Mushroom Fest Updates & Highlights from Festival Director, Britt Bunyard

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“The summer rains are falling in Colorado and the mushroom season is underway! Only two more weeks until the biggest wild mushroom event in North America–the 39th Annual Telluride Mushroom Festival! The program is set and you can check it out online. We have more than 40 nationally- and world-renown lecturers and foray leaders, dozens of forays and lectures planned, and more than 80 total events for you to see and participate.” – Britt

Festival Keynotes:

Three Evenings, Three Incredible People
David E. Nichols, PhD is currently an Adjunct Professor of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Previously he held the Robert C. and Charlotte P. Anderson Distinguished Chair in Pharmacology and in addition was a Distinguished Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at the Purdue University College of Pharmacy, where he taught both professional undergraduate as well as graduate classes. He also was an Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Indiana University School of Medicine and taught in the medical curriculum. He received his B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Cincinnati in 1969, and the PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Iowa in 1973, following which he did postdoctoral work in pharmacology at the University of Iowa, College of Medicine. He joined Purdue University in 1974 where he remained until his retirement from Purdue in June 2012. He was continuously funded by the NIH for nearly three decades and served on numerous government review panels. His two principal research areas focused on drugs that affect serotonin and dopamine transmission in the CNS. In 2004 he was named the Irwin H. Page Lecturer by the International Society for Serotonin Research, and in 2006 he received the first Provost’s Outstanding Graduate Mentor award from Purdue University. He has published more than 300 scientific articles, book chapters, and monographs, most of which deal with the relationship between molecular structure and biological action and has been awarded nine composition of matter patents. He also serves as a medicinal chemistry expert in patent litigation for major pharmaceutical companies. In 1993 he founded the Heffter Research Institute, which has supported and funded clinical research with psilocybin and led the so-called “renaissance in psychedelic research.”

Nichols’ Keynote Talk will give an overview of psychedelic natural products; where they come from, what they are. Some attention will be given to psilocybin, with possible explanations for its oral activity when other simple tryptamine are not orally active. Discussion will proceed to problems encountered when doing research on psychedelics; how are they modeled in the laboratory. Recent work in understanding how LSD works with some comments on its receptor mechanism will follow. Finally, a brief explanation will be provided on what we know about how psychedelics can provide clinical relief for depression, anxiety, and certain addictions.

Giuliana Furci has dedicated her life to obtaining justice for the fungi in all aspects possible since 1999. In 2012, she founded the Fungi Foundation, through which he has focused on the conservation of fungi, sustainable collection of edible wild mushrooms, education, mycological explorations, the curatorship of the FFCL Fungarium, and the creation of national and international mycological capacity. Her achievements have led her to work and partner with important international institutions such as the Farlow Herbarium of Harvard University, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, and the Telluride Mushroom Festival, among others. Thanks to the fundamental role of Giuliana, Chile is the only country in the world that has included fungi in its environmental legislation at the highest legislative level, thus creating dozens of jobs for mycologists and giving the initial kick-off to the creation of formal financing lines for mycology in Chile. In 2007 she published “Fungi Austral”, and later in 2013 “Field Guide Fungi of Chile vol. 1” whose second edition was published in 2016, and in 2018 “Field Guide Fungi of Chile vol. 22 was published. She has collaborated in numerous books and publications on mushrooms across the globe. Giuliana received the Telluride Mushroom Festival Salzman Award 2018 for her contribution to the Festival.

Furci’s Keynote Talk will highlight a plan for global curricula. “In order for our planet to heal and be remediated, mycology needs to be taught to the same level as zoology and botany through national, state and municipal curricula to achieve an integral formation of our children with tools for sustainability in an ever threatened Planet. Fungal education needs to be at the forefront of our efforts in order to ensure an ecosystem approach to nature,” says Furci. The Fungi Foundation has developed a plan for fungi education to be taught from pre-school to high-school and will be applicable to most countries around the world.

Tradd Cotter is a microbiologist, professional mycologist and organic gardener who has been tissue culturing, collecting native fungi in the Southeast and cultivating fungi both commercially and experimentally for more than 22 years. In 1996 he founded Mushroom Mountain, which he owns and operates with his wife, Olga. The company, his platform for exploring applications for mushrooms in various industries, currently maintains more than 200 species of fungi for food production, mycoremediation of environmental pollutants and natural alternatives to chemical pesticides. He’s particularly fond of coming up with low-tech and no-tech cultivation strategies so that anyone can grow mushrooms on just about anything, anywhere in the world. Mushroom Mountain is expanding to 42,000 square feet of laboratory and research space near Greenville, South Carolina, to accommodate commercial production, as well as mycoremediation projects. Tradd, Olga and their daughter, Heidi, live in Liberty, South Carolina, in the northwestern part of the state.

Cotter states, “the future of fungi is knocking on our door, and we need to recruit more mycowarriors to realize that our dream can become a mycotopian society.” During this late night Keynote Talk, Cotter declares a call to action, the time to assemble our collective mycelial push to create global change and to cement the visions that are the foundation of the Telluride Mushroom Festival. Come join the earth army and march our way to make this world the envy of the galaxy! No topic is safe, be prepared to cringe or celebrate the moment of truth.

Keynote Lecture: From Bench to Bedside: Progress in Psychedelic Research: Thursday August 15, 2019 7:00pm – 8:00pm at the Palm Theatre
Keynote Lecture: Project FE (Faith and Fungal Education): Friday August 16, 2019 7:00pm – 8:00pm at the Palm Theatre
Keynote Lecture: Mushrooms, Molds and Mycorrhizae: Down the Rabbit Hole: Saturday August 17, 2019 8:00pm – 9:00pm at the Palm Theatre

Paid Event/Workshop (included in Full Festival Pass): Individual Tickets sold after pass holders have been admitted. (Theater Capacity: 650) Event Ticket Price: $25 at the Door.


Don’t Miss it!

The MycoLuscious MycoLicious MycoLogical Poetry Show
with Art Goodtimes and Friends

Friday, August 16th 9:00 PM – 11:30PM Sheridan Opera House

FREE EVENT for festival pass holders / $10 at the door for non-passholders

Join Seven Stevens, Daiva Chesonis, Craig Childs, Elissa Dickson, Charris Ford, Sarah Pletts, Nathan Brown, Kierstin Bridger, Danny Rosen, Wendy Videlock, Peter Waldor, Marie Luna, Ascentia Fox, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, Art Goodtimes and others for a Talking Gourds Poetry and Performance Closing party. MycoBeer will also be available.

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