There is a place for students, faculty and community members to come together off campus. It’s called Late Night for the Planet. This student-driven talk show hosts interviewees every third Wednesday of the month at Olive Ridley’s. At 8 p.m., the games and questions began as these students, faculty and community members came together as an audience. The team consists of seniors Clarice Knelly, Hadar Pepperstone and Emma Stewart. Associate Professor Curt Gervich from the Center for Earth and Environmental Sciences is the advisor for this talk show, which was established in the spring of 2019.
Due to COVID-19, Late Night had been virtual for more than a year. Wednesday, Sept. 15, for the first time since the spring of 2020, the show was back in person. The show was hosted by Knelly, who interviewed Julia Devine and Amy Guglielmo, the directors of Outside Art. Outside Art works to bring art into the City of Plattsburgh, and is responsible for the new murals that have sprung up over the recent years. Also interviewed was Andrew McGill, one of the creators whose sculptures are featured in the new Betty Little Art Park located downtown.
“I just wanted everyone to feel comfortable, being back in the bar,” Knelly said about her apprehensions with getting back to in-person interviews.
Gervich’s only fear when going into these shows is the thought that no one will show up. However, this was certainly not the case for this show.
“We had a great crowd and it was awesome. We had a great show, and these were great guests to have,” Gervich said.
With over 35 guests in attendance, people certainly showed up. The stage area was packed with people enjoying food and drinks, creating art of their own on tables lined with paper, eager to watch the show unfold. During the interview, between sets of questions, the hosts facilitated a couple of games. One of which had the three artists paint the hosts in three minutes with obstacles, including kaleidoscope goggles and painting with a snapper.
“It’s enjoyable to highlight different people in our community and what they do,” Knelly said.
Late Night for the Planet hosted a variety of interviewees over the last two and a half years, from city council members to local writers. Last semester, the Late Night team even interviewed Plattsburgh’s city planners. There was great participation from the audience as they asked questions and relayed their opinions on upcoming changes in the city.
“I just want people to come and talk about cool stuff in our community and celebrate small victories,” Gervich said. “The mission is to help local folks understand that we live in a beautiful place that people care about and are doing neat things in.”
Late Night ties together the environment and seemingly unrelated events, jobs and people. Originally, the talk show set out to center around the environment, but as time has gone on, it has evolved into a middle ground between community and the environment.
“[Interviewees] may not have thought of their work as environmental work, and so to hear your [interviewers’] questions and questions from the audience about how it connects to the environment might help them think of their work differently,” Gervich said.
Their next show will be Oct. 20, discussing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report, and facilitate a well-rounded discussion about climate change.