The Trash Trout Motion Picture Show is a crowdsourced experimental film and live music and dance performance. This public art project supports ongoing work to protect freshwater ecosystems from plastic pollution.

Filmmaker Tom Hansell worked with the Watauga Riverkeeper and the Town of Boone, North Carolina to collect refuse from the headwaters of the New River in the Blue Ridge Mountains. During a series of free public workshops, participants taped trash from the river to 16mm film strips. Hansell edited the film strips into a 350 foot reel of motion picture film, then collaborated with musicians and dancers Trevor McKenzie and Julie Shepherd-Powell to create a live soundtrack to perform while the film is projected.  

Participants at a workshop sponsored by the New River Conservancy
The Trash Trout in Winkler’s Creek

The Trash Trout is a passive stormwater debris collection device manufactured by Asheville Greenworks. This article in the Appalachian Voice has more details about groups like Mountain True and the Watauga Riverkeeper are using Trash Trouts to track pollution and advocate for policies that reduce plastic pollution.

Upcoming Events

December 6, 2022 to February 4, 2023Trash Trout Picture Show exhibit at the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum

Past Events

Thursday, November 17, 2022 – 7pm The Trash Trout Motion Picture Show will be part of the Dance-a-lorus program at the Cucalorus Film Festival in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Thursday, November 3, 2022 – 1pm Presentation at the Creative Placemaking South + Appalachia Leadership Summit Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Thursday, October 20, 2022 – 6pm Screening of the Trash Trout Motion Picture Show with live musical accompaniment by Trevor McKenzie and Julie Shepherd-Powell at the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022 – Screening of the Trash Trout Motion Picture Show with live musical accompaniment by Trevor McKenzie and Julie Shepherd-Powell at the Appalachian – Carpathian International Mountains Conference in Brasov, Romania.

Friday, June 17, 2022 – Screening of the Trash Trout Motion Picture Show with live musical accompaniment by Trevor McKenzie and Julie Shepherd-Powell as part of the Boonerang Festival in Boone, North Carolina

Wednesday, April 27, 2022 – Screening of the Trash Trout Motion Picture Show with live musical accompaniment by Trevor McKenzie and Julie Shepherd-Powell at Radford University’s Bonnie Auditorium. (Eight Point Star opened the show)

Participants at workshop at the Appalachian Mountain Brewery

Sunday, April 10, 2022 – Trash film workshop at the Bechtel Summit Reserve’s Sustainability Treehouse (in conjunction with the New River Conservancy’s New River Symposium)

Friday, April 1, 2022– Trash film workshop at the Turchin Center for The Visual Arts  (in conjunction with the Town of Boone’s First Friday Celebration)

Tuesday, March 22, 2022 – Trash film workshop at Appalachian Mountain Brewery (in conjunction with the Watauga Riverkeeper’s World Water Day Celebration)

This project is supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.