Thank you to all of our friends and supporters who participated in our 3rd Annual World Lemur Festival from October 19 to 23. The Lemur Conservation Foundation’s first 100% digital festival was a great success and proved that compassionate people from around the world were eager to help raise awareness for lemurs and lemur conservation efforts. Although we could not celebrate in person this year, we were none-the-less able to reach a remarkable, international audience. The outpouring of digital support made this free event another enjoyable, informative, and inspiring celebration all about lemurs.
People from 34 US states and 14 countries participated in WLF activities.
LCF is grateful to our amazing staff members Dr. Erik Patel (LCF Conservation and Research Director), Caitlin Kenney (LCF Curator of Primates), and Lauren Arshakuni (LCF Senior Keeper) for hosting a free Q&A session to build awareness about our conservation programs and explain how we are working together to protect Madagascar’s endangered primates and their habitat. Additionally, we were honored to have LCF Founder and artist, Penelope Bodry-Sanders, and LCF art committee member, Mark Ormond, lead a fascinating discussion on the importance of art in LCF’s mission to save lemurs from extinction. The Mianatra Center for Lemur Studies proved to be the perfect place to host these delightful digital talks and gave viewers a behind the scenes look at our main hub in Myakka City, Florida.
Other highlights included brand new print-at-home activities & crafts and our first ever digital escape room which was completed by 155 people in at least 21 US states and 5 different countries during the week of World Lemur Festival. Due to the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received from our escape room participants, we are working hard to develop even more challenging prosimian puzzles in the future!
Lemur professionals throughout the United States joined forces for a special virtual Lemur Trivia Night. Eight teams had a chance to fundraise to receive pre-game clues and advantages. Altogether, the animal care experts raised more than $1440 for LCF’s conservation efforts!
Congratulations to our crowned Lemur Trivia Champions. In a daring move, Team #5 (Endangered Primate Foundation’s Prosimian Sanctuary & Jacksonville Zoo) decided to wager all their points on the final question and emerged victorious. Thank you to all the teams who participated including Lincoln Children’s Zoo, Smithsonian National Zoo’s primate unit, John Ball Zoo, Bramble Park Zoo, Riverbanks Zoo AAZK Chapter, Denver Zoo, LCF’s interns and the winning team at EPF’s Prosimian Sanctuary and Jacksonville Zoo. We hope each team will share some fascinating facts about lemurs and their Madagascar home after participating in this boisterous game night.
The presentations and activities were all exceptional, but the real show-stopper was our 3rd annual Juried Art Exhibition where artists from around the globe showcased their talent to raise awareness for lemurs. With over 137 submissions (including paintings, photography, sculpture, mixed media, and more) our judges have never had a harder time selecting winners. After much deliberation, we were pleased to recognize the following artists.
Shelby Baillie – Florida, USA
First Place – $1000 grand prize winner, LCF’s Lemur Artist of the Year
“Lost Home” is a brilliant depiction of an apocalyptic Madagascar. The image conveys an emotionally wrenching and well-told story: a single frantic female ring-tailed lemur trying to protect her family from the inevitable. Shelby’s winning piece was featured in SRQ Magazine.
Mika Fowler – Florida, USA
Second Place – $500 prize winner
“Critically Endangered” depicts a mongoose lemur mother and child. The drawing catches the nuances of this wonderful species – they are very curious and clever in general, and are devoted mothers. Mika has added to the collage torn dictionary pages highlighting words like “disaster,” “hurtful,” “endangered,” etc.
Felinar Mr. Lemur – France
“World on Fire” depicts an indri holding a globe of fire that focuses on the island of Madagascar. The image is so beautifully complicated and emotionally compelling. Ancient baobab trees are burning at the bottom, the ashes of which become lemurs in the sky. But the “seeing” indri maintains his contemplative pose against a circle of Malagasy Traveler Palm fronds.
Dr. Jessie Williams – Florida, USA
“Lemur Racing Extinction” vibrates with energy as the ring-tailed lemur tries to outrun the devastating realities streaking behind him – poverty, deforestation, overpopulation, etc. The photo is masterful in its composition, execution, and drama.
RANDRIAMANJATO Iaro Foulun – Madagascar
“Let’s protect the lemur” displays exceptional skill in the quiet rendering of a bamboo lemur. Unlike the showy, iconic ring-tailed character, bamboo lemurs are unimposing, diminutive gray creatures whose image is well suited to a pencil drawing.
Dina Randriambalohery – Madagascar
Community Favorite Award
“INDRI SAFE HOME” received over 736 votes on social media from fans around the world. This handmade shoulder bag features an indri, the largest living species of lemur in the world. Indri are critically endangered in the wild, and Dina’s beautiful shoulder bag will help to raise awareness for these precious creatures everywhere it goes.
While our 2020 festival was a wonderful, worldwide celebration, we truly hope to see all of our supporters in person next year. Thank you to all the artists and partners who made this virtual World Lemur Festival a digital success.