Vallejo’s Eighth Annual Visions of the Wild Festival is Seeking “Environmental Heroes” and artists – Times-Herald


“Connecting nature, culture, and community” is the goal of Vallejo’s Visions of the Wild Festival.

Steven Dunsky developed the Visions of the Wild Festival to “connect nature, conservation, and art.”

“Vallejo has a very rich culture, multiple cultures,” said Dunsky, the Acting Director for Public Affairs and Communication for the Pacific Southwest Regional for the United States Forest Service. “We believe the arts are a great way to bring people to nature. Each year we explore a different theme through field trips, art exhibits, concerts, speakers, and films. In 2023, we celebrate the environmental heroes, local and global, who are making a difference to conserve and restore our endangered planet.”

The Visions of the Wild Festival is a free three-day event with opening night held at the Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum on Oct. 12. The festival will also include an art exhibit at the Vallejo Temple Lofts, a film festival at the Empress Theatre, and a Family Discovery Zone near the downtown Vallejo Farmers Market.

Dunsky believes small victories can be just as important as major successes.

“We decided we didn’t want to only speak about the gloom and doom that goes on these days — environment and global warming, extinction, etc,” said Dunsky. “We wanted to celebrate some of the environmental victories that have happened especially in places like Vallejo and also celebrate some of the heroes that have led to those victories, both locally and globally.

“Whether the heroes are building butterfly gardens, organizing neighborhood trash cleanups, planting trees, teaching children how to make birdhouses, or promoting environmental justice issues, we want to celebrate individuals who are making Vallejo and Benicia beautiful places to live.”

In addition to honoring local conservators, Vallejo and Benicia artists can submit artwork for the chance to be displayed at the Visions of the Wild festival art exhibition. The six winners will not only have their art displayed at the art exhibition but will receive a $1,000 stipend.

All mediums of art can be submitted.

“In general, artists are amazing thinkers about the world. We don’t want to limit their creativity,” said Dunsky. “Artists look at the world in certain ways that the rest of us don’t. Artists can take that vision and create something that helps us look at the world differently.”

The Vision of the Wild committee will choose five wild visionaries to receive the awards and six artists’ creations will be selected.

The Visions of the Wild Festival will take place on October 12-14. If you would like to nominate an “Environmental Hero” or submit artwork, please do so by Aug. 11 at

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