Celebrate and learn about Madagascar and its unique primates
The Lemur Conservation Foundation, Ringling College of Art and Design, and New College of Florida are pleased to present the second annual World Lemur Festival in Sarasota, Florida on Saturday, October 12, 2019. This free, family-friendly event will feature fun and educational conservation activities for all ages and a juried art exhibition with lemur-themed artwork by students and faculty from the partnering colleges. It will take place at the Alfred R. Goldstein Library on the Ringling College campus from 1pm to 4pm.
The World Lemur Festival is a series of events held throughout the world in October during the weeks surrounding World Lemur Day, which takes place the last Friday of the month. The events celebrating lemurs and raising awareness for lemur conservation have been held in Madagascar, Hungary, Japan, Canada, Germany, and cities in the U.S. The Lemur Conservation Foundation has been supporting the World Lemur Festival in Andapa, Madagascar for several years.
“This is such an exciting way to build awareness about lemurs and bring a bit of Madagascar to Sarasota,” said Katie Virun, LCF Keeper & Education Manager and event coordinator. Her role at the Foundation includes bringing the Ako Conservation Education Program to local schools, libraries and community events. Illustrator Deborah Ross and the late primatologist Dr. Alison Jolly collaborated on a series of bilingual picture books about lemurs in which story and science converge. The success of LCF’s six-book series led to the program, which includes accompanying posters, teacher materials, and lesson plans about different types of lemurs and their fragile habitats in Madagascar.
For young guests, the World Lemur Festival will feature many of the fun Ako activities created for K-5 students. Adults will particularly enjoy short films and talks by Dr. Erik Patel, LCF Conservation & Research Director, and Gary Schumer, Ringling College Computer Animation instructor and artist.
The Lemur Conservation Foundation was founded in 1986 by conservationist and artist Penelope Bodry-Sanders. Its reserve in Myakka City, Florida serves as a private conservation breeding facility and site for visiting scientists and students studying lemur behavior. It is also home to the Anne and Walter Bladstrom Library which houses LCF’s book and art collection. Through a field office in Madagascar, the Lemur Conservation Foundation works to protect critical lemur habitat through reforestation, community development, eco-tourism, and education programs.