MORE OF A THINK EXPO, THAN A THING EXPO
Highlighting the work of eco-minded thinkers and doers offering innovative approaches to building regenerative futures, EcoExpo aims to stimulate the imagination through knowledge sharing. Featuring activists, educators, cultural workers, and organizations in projects ranging from marine ecologies to urban farming to sustainably reclaimed fashion, this node is anchored in ideas and practices rather than products. EcoExpo empowers visitors to engage with lifestyle-shifting ways of thinking through participatory events and demonstrations that showcase the green economy already thriving in Southern California.
AlloSphere is a research collective of scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and media arts researchers that use multiple modalities to represent large and complex data. They create technology that will enable experts to use their intuition and experience to examine and interact with data to identify patterns, and suggest and test theories in an integrated loop of discovery. Important research areas include quantum information processing and structural materials discovery, bioengineering and biogenerative applications, and arts and entertainment.
AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles is a unique public-private ocean institute that joins together the best and brightest in ocean exploration, science, business, and education to advance an emerging blue economy. They turn to the ocean to develop solutions for some of the planet’s most pressing challenges, such as climate change, energy supply, and global food security as they prepare today’s generation of students for future jobs in science, technology, engineering, business, and the ocean.
Banter & Barter is inspired by the age-old tradition of the exchange economy. It encourages CalArtians and Earth Edition festival goers to converge at its table at the EcoExpo for some banter and barter. Swap something precious for another, give it a new life, and perhaps make a new friend.
Centro CSO was founded in 1947 by Fred Ross, Antonio Rios and Edward Roybal. Since its inception it has trained leading Chicanx activists like Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez. Centro CSO continues to inspire a new generation of activists that resume the struggle for self determination, fighting against police brutality, the environmental cleanup of Exide, against the privatization of education, and an avid advocate for the legalization for all.
Compton Community Garden is a communal effort to directly address social and ecological inequalities in Compton and beyond. An organic, regenerative, and community-run garden, CCG’s core mission is to feed healthy natural foods to the Compton and North Long Beach community for free. A hub for social and cultural exchange, CCG treats gardening as a social and spiritual practice, and offers free gardening workshops, community resources, food drives, and cultural events, encouraging a more shared, connected way of life.
LA Urban Farms is passionate about inspiring and empowering people to grow their own healthy food. Founded in 2013 with the very first aeroponic vertical rooftop farm on a commercial office building in Los Angeles, LA Urban Farms reimagines gardening. Their sustainable vertical gardens can grow a wide variety of nutrient-dense vegetables, fruits, herbs, and edible flowers, without any gardening experience necessary, in just 30 inches of space using 90% less water than conventional gardening.
Herbalaria, a family endeavor based in East Hollywood since 2016, seamlessly unites Filipino plant healing traditions with modern well-being needs. Beyond their commitment to wellness, they're dedicated to conservation. Herbalaria takes pride in its role in preserving large marine megafauna and native trees in the Philippines. Their ethos extends to safeguarding these vital natural resources for generations to come and they strive to catalyze personal and communal transformation of people for the harmony of all.
1-Off Recycled Garment Project, founded in 2017, was originally created to change the way consumers view secondhand garments and other pre-loved objects. Though the phrase LAST ONE LEFT was always used as a tagline, it has become the signature brand name under the 1-Off umbrella, highlighting the individuality and uniqueness of the wearer and the distinctive past that every piece possesses — each piece is one of one just like you.
Los Angeles Ecovillage is a demonstration of sustainable community development for people who want to be part of the regenerative communities. They champion higher-quality living with lower environmental impacts, creating a healthy neighborhood ecologically, socially and economically. Their accomplishments include permanent affordable housing, a learning garden, a food co-op, a bicycle repair shop, a community hub, and a 40-member intentional community in an intensely dense urban neighborhood.
Metabolic Studio is an interdisciplinary art and research hub directed by artist Lauren Bon. The studio’s mission is to explore and address critical social and environmental issues through artistic interventions and innovative projects aimed at reparation. Their work often revolves around themes of water, land use, energy, and the redefinition of the relationships between humans, non-humans, and living systems. They hope to bridge the gap between art, science, and activism, offering creative perspectives on social and environmental challenges.
Rag Reserve, founded in 2020, has worked with local denim, consciously producing products through upcycling and innovative dye techniques. Each item is uniquely designed and upcrafted by hand. With their no-waste philosophy, they have quickly been taken notice by the Los Angeles sustainable community. They are a recent participant of Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator’s Founders Business Accelerator program.
SCOPE’s work is to promote, protect, and preserve the environment of the Santa Clarita Valley. The valley is home to many rare and endangered plants and wildlife, oak woodlands, and the Santa Clara River, Los Angeles County’s last mostly free-flowing river. It is also a high-growth area with many planning, water supply, and pollution issues. SCOPE works to promote sustainable community planning and design by monitoring, reviewing, and taking action on proposals that would impact or affect the environment in the Santa Clarita Valley. They provide a forum in which issues involving the environment can be heard and discussed, and educational presentations on environmental issues.
The Plant Chica is a community-focused business that provides access to green spaces for Black and Brown families. They have hosted over 150 community events in their space, given away over 20,000 plants with their ‘adopt a plant’ event, and introduced thousands of community members to the magic that plants have to offer.
Woodlake Botanical Garden, located in Woodlake — a farmworker community in the Central San Joaquin Valley, the cornucopia of California — is a project of Woodlake Pride Inc founded by Manuel and Olga Jimenez as a non-profit volunteer organization that provides youth an opportunity to work on community projects. The Garden’s 13 acres nurture fruit trees, vegetable gardens, ornamental shrubs, and thousands of flowers, offering a view of the adjacent lake and its abundant bird species and other wildlife.
The Plant Plug™ was started in 2019 by Taylor Lindsey as the first outdoor private curbside nursery in Los Angeles. Since then, they have added 1000's of homegrown organic seedlings, starter fruit trees, and succulents annually. The Plant Plug™ specializes in organic produce at low-cost, low-maintenance gardening, community event organization, and project management in Los Angeles throughout the spring, summer, and autumn. Their mission is to lead with education, connecting intergenerational people to grow their food within urban spaces.
Born in 1973 from the hopes and dreams of a teenager, TreePeople is now the largest environmental movement headquartered in Southern California. They have inspired, engaged, and supported more than 3 million people to take action for our environment by planting and caring for trees in forests, mountains, parks, and our neighborhoods. As the world faces increasing threats from a more hostile climate, TreePeople helps create actionable solutions.
Suay Sew Shop is a Los Angeles-based, 100% vertical sewing and production shop founded in 2017 that pioneers the clean-up economy. Their products are created from a combination of post-consumer waste, deadstock, and domestically, organically grown fibers. They have a workforce of textile recyclers within the garment industry with thirty employees dedicated to eradicating the massive amount of destructive waste from the fashion industry at their 5,000 sq. ft sew shop and retail space.
Western Fibers is a unique company offering a complete operation: research and development, resource management, recycling, manufacturing insulation, equipment and installer training since 1976. Our goal is to build affordable, carbon negative climate resilient safe and healthy housing.
EcoExpo is organized by artist Leslie Labowitz Starus, Marie Vigneau, and Pedro Hernandez with the support of Daisy Magallanes and Vrinda Aggarwal.
Leslie Labowitz Starus is an artist and eco-entrepreneur best known for her public performance work with Suzanne Lacy on violence against women from 1977–82. In 1980, Labowitz began SPROUTIME, an art/life project involving performance, installations, and an organic agriculture business that is ongoing. Her concerns for the personal and global survival of the planet are represented in her work incorporating materials from her growing operation. For over 40 years she has had a stand at the Santa Monica Farmers Market.
Marie Vigneau is a passionate writer with a background in independent curation and cultural production, and an interest in the critical analysis of the fashion industry and the arts. She has developed curatorial projects and produced programming for No Longer Empty, Victori + Mo, Trust for Governors Island, the Swiss Institute, the Brooklyn Museum, and more.
Pedro Alejandro Hernandez is a stage manager, director, and photographer from the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. Most recently, he has worked with theater productions including the WICKED National Tour, RENT 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour, Harry Potter and The Cursed Child and Rocktopia on Broadway, Stranger Things: The Experience, Emojiland an Off-Broadway, Baby Blue at the Ars Nova Theatre, and more.
Daisy Elizeth Magallanes is a Chicana writer and poet from Los Angeles. Her work has been published in the Acid Verse Literary Journal and the Black Warrior Review. Their poetry was on view at the Proyecto Píkaro Gallery in CDMX and she is currently pursuing an MFA at Calarts in the Critical Studies department.
Vrinda Aggarwal is an interdisciplinary artist working with video, projections, installation, and performance. Her most recent work deals with displacement, cultural loss, and nostalgia from migration. She received a B.A. in Communication from University of Southern California. She recently showcased her site-specific installation, Boneyard, in collaboration with Sophia Stevenson at the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies in Catalina Island. She also showed her Rakta Mikvah work in the Zoom webinar “Come A Little Closer” with the 18th Street Art Center.