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A Sustainable Groove: 50 Years of the Whole Earth Festival

Mar 12 – Aug 1, 2019
Shields Library Lobby – Left Side of Main Staircase

Combining treasures from the University Archives and items on loan from the Whole Earth Festival Archive, this exhibit presents a journey through 50 years of the Whole Earth Festival, one of the longest-running annual traditions on the UC Davis campus.

The Whole Earth Festival began in 1969 when an art class taught by Jose Arguelles held an “Art Happening” on the UC Davis campus. The students used art to teach visitors about activism, wellness, and the environment in an interactive and creative way. Following the United Nations’ declaration of “Earth Day” in 1970, the second “Art Happening” was renamed “Whole Earth.” Embracing the values of acceptance, expression, sustainability, community, and inclusivity, the festival continues today as a student-run, free three-day event attracting tens of thousands of visitors annually on Mother’s Day weekend. Stop by the lobby of Shields Library to celebrate five decades of the Whole Earth Festival through an exhibit of historical posters, photographs, ephemera, and even a “Karma Patrol” T-shirt.



Festival Map

Festival map from program, 2003 (David Kupfer Collection, D-247)