On April 22, 1970, I was a sixteen year old kid swept into a movement to “save the world.” We took a train to mid-town where 5th Avenue was closed for what was called a “National Environmental Teach-in.” There and in Central Park we joined hundreds of thousands in a demonstration to stop industrial pollution and the unbridled degradation of our small planet. It was the first Earth Day.
On this 40th Earth Day, its ideals may be celebrated as we open our new gallery building, welcome visitors to the Museum Park, and complete the Pond restoration. Here, art is connected to nature, completely. The NCMA is taking a leadership role in sustainable design. Our day-lit galleries are beautiful and reduce energy consumption, as does an advanced HVAC system for the collection. Rain water is collected to replenish pools and irrigate a sustainable landscape for sculpture. Our Park is preserving open space and introducing the community to contemporary art in nature. And we are building a unique and innovative storm water management pond to reduce sedimentation and point-source pollution to the state’s rivers and streams. We may not be saving the world, but we think the Museum is contributing in a significant way.