A Message From And About The Director

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Jean Stevens
Jean Stevens

Jean E. Stevens
Executive & Creative Director,
Taos Environmental Film Festival

Jean is a filmmaker, artist, world traveler and retired educator with 27 years teaching experience in California, Italy and New Mexico. Her short film, One Life, was recently honored by NMWIF and WIFTI in 2017. She has served on the boards of the Taos Fall Arts Festival and the Friends of D.H. Lawrence where she helped launch their festivals and assisted with their educational outreach programs.

Jean grew up along the beaches of Southern California and was involved in surfing and beach volleyball. In her early twenties she traveled, with a surfboard designer, to Costa Rica, Hawaii, Asia and the Indian subcontinent. It was in Nepal, in the early 1970’s, that she first encountered a community of Tibetans and their culture greatly impressed her. In 1980, she moved to Kauai and lived on a Hawaiian kuleana (native farm land) and later, with her partner, built a home on the north shore of Kauai. As a result of this experience she developed a deep respect for Native Hawaiian culture and the need to keep the Hawaiian Islands safe from exploitation and chemical pollution.

She eventually returned to Laguna Beach, California and completed her education in 1989 after receiving teaching credentials and an MFA at UCI. While working on her graduate degree, she studied with the famed director, Jerzy Grotowski. She admired his philosophy of “art as a vehicle” and it has subsequently influenced her life. After living in Italy for about a year, in 1990 she moved to Taos and helped build her passive solar home and became involved with the diverse arts community.

After twenty-seven years in Taos, she has developed a deep love for the artistic and cultural traditions of the local Hispanic and Native Americans. Taos is also a very unique place with innovative architects who have built sustainable communities. It is also full of healers, both indigenous and foreign, who have created a vibrant holistic community. As a result of these influences, Jean became a member of the Yoga Alliance Registry and the Sound Healers Association.

The 2018 Taos Environmental Film Festival is proud to present award winning feature films spotlighting various global locales. In addition, six short films made in and around Taos share stories of the acequias, the precious Rio Grande River, local sustainable farmers and the unique Taos County landscapes that have brought many artists, from far and wide, to depict the beauty of this region.

Inspired by the power of films to make positive changes for humanity, and as a result of the United States departure from the Paris Climate Agreement, the 2018 Taos Environmental Film Festival dates were changed to coincide with Earth Day.

A big thank you goes out to all the non-profits, foundations, organizations and friends who assisted Jean with mounting the 2018 Taos Environmental Film Festival.

2 Responses

  1. Ernie Atencio

    Hi Jean,

    We met briefly at the Taos United meeting last night. I’m the NM Program Manager for National Parks Conservation Association. What a great lineup of films you have for this year, and of course I’m very interested in all the national park focus and the Terry Tempest Williams tribute (our SW regional office is in Salt Lake and she is a strong supporter and friend of NPCA). Before I got into conservation and advocacy work, I spent many years as a park ranger, including a couple seasons on the north rim of the Grand Canyon and several years living and guiding trips around northern AZ. In any case, I was wondering about the opportunity for a NPCA table or exhibit at the festival. I will actually be gone that weekend leading a group of inner-city youth from Salt Lake in Canyonlands National Park (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lLNBY8-9g8), but I might be able to recruit a volunteer. Please let me know.


  2. Dave Wasserman

    Ms. Stevens (Jean) – My name is Dave Wasserman (Rev. Dr.). My wife and I live up Taos Canyon, just past the Valle Escondido golf course along the county road.
    I attended the Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Houston last January, was impressed and left interested in bringing something like this to Taos…then I learned that you organize the annual environmental film festival here in Taos.

    I’m interested in sharing a couple of ideas with you…and in particular seeking your advice in putting together an evening of short films for the Valle Escondido summer residents – using their big screen TV at their club house.

    Would you be willing to contact me, please?
    Dave Wasserman

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