Earthstock Block Party
The fourth annual Earthstock Block Party took place on a cloudy Friday afternoon in the center of the University of Nebraska- Lincoln’s campus. It was an inventive approach to the exigence of environmental problems, like climate change and the destruction of the Earth. It was also celebrating Earth day and encourage environmental stewardship.
The event used several rhetorical approaches. The location chosen was in the “agora” of campus, or the green space and the space in front of the student union. It was also from the hours of 11 am to 2 pm, when many students are on campus and walking around. This meant that people could stumble upon the event.
The Earthstock team also brought in a screen printing company. There were four designs and students were able to choose one and get a t-shirt for $5. Many people at the block party were there because they care about environment issues. The t-shirts had nice-looking designs on them, which encouraged people to buy them. They also had catchy phrases, such as earth day every day and may the forest be with you. This creative use of eloquence means that people were more likely to buy the t-shirts and then also wear them around campus. This helps to create a norm of caring about the environment. It also allows the message to stick in people’s memories.
The Earthstock team was also aware of their audience. They encouraged booths to be interactive and engage students attending. One of the ways booths did this was by passing out free food, which is a great way of getting the attention of college students.
They also gathered attention by having lots of booths and putting on path ways so students had to walk near the booths. They also played music which made the event seem exciting.
The event had more of a pathos appeal in it, than one of logos or ethos. It was fun and upbeat. There were no booths that focused on what climate change is, a topic that can often be unpleasant. Instead, the booths had a positive, upbeat response to the environmental challenges of the day.
The Earthstock team was also focusing on the kairos in two ways. First of all, this event always takes place on or near Earth Day. This year it was the day before. Around that time, many people are thinking about the state of the planet and more likely to be receptive to messages about that. The event also was largely targeting college students. At that period in a person’s life they are changing a lot. After graduating, people are much more set in their ways. By spreading environmental awareness at this group of people, they are more receptive and so the message can have a greater impact.
By using these rhetorical strategies, they were able to make the event quite effective and bring change to campus.