ENGLEWOOD — Chris Rowlands, singer, songwriter, painter, puppeteer and Outreach Naturalist with Aullwood Center and Farm, has been selected as the Grand Marshal for the 2017 Englewood Art Festival Parade, August 12 at 9 a.m.
“I am humbled and beyond honored to be leading the parade as Grand Marshal,” Rowlands said.
Rowlands began his career as a naturalist in 1986 while enrolled in college with the National Audubon Expedition Institute. Within a few years, Rowlands became a nationally recognized performer, teaching children about nature through innovative outreach programs. A talented artist, he has also drawn animals in a variety of media his entire life and created wildlife illustrations for the Connecticut Wildlife Department. Rowlands has gone on to creatively blend his talents in music, art, comedy and education to create fast paced shows that teach and inspire young people.
His programs include an ongoing series of artistic residences in which he works with students to create large scale murals involving natural subjects. The Environment Magazine honored Chris with its first ‘E Award’ for his environmental education programs.
Over the years Rowlands ‘entertaining programs range from oceanography to dinosaurs. Terry Cannon, retired gifted services teacher for the Northmont School District says, “Chris is a delight. He exudes energy while teaching children about science through his music and art.”
In his interactive stage performances, he has kids on their feet making broad hand motions and joining in refrains.
“If a song doesn’t lend itself to hand motions I’ll make a puppet,” Rowlands stated.
In his current capacity as Outreach Naturalist at Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm, Rowlands brings his lessons about nature, art and conservation to more than 60,000 students, teachers and parents each year through public performances and in-school artistic residencies. He is currently working on a program related to bird migration flyways and the ways we can help.
“The only way to keep people lobbying for our planet is to connect them to nature,” he says.