Yearly Archives: 2018

Opportunity: Green Tease Open Call

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Are you interested in harnessing the imagination and influencing power of the arts for a more sustainable Scotland? We are seeking proposals to run Green Tease events connecting arts and sustainability across the country. Read on to find out more about the Green Tease network and how to apply!

The Green Tease Open Call is a funded opportunity which supports sustainability practitioners and artists to exchange knowledge, ideas and practices with the aim of building new connections between their areas of work and widening understanding of the role of arts in influencing a more sustainable society.

*We are currently seeking proposals to run events for up to March 2019*

What support does the Open Call offer?

  • Budget to run your event to help cover speaker fees, travel expenses, venue hire and refreshments. In many cases, costs are shared by Creative Carbon Scotland and the event partners and organisers
  • Event shaping, planning and facilitation support to ensure the event is relevant to the Green Tease network, accessible and inclusive
  • Event promotion to the Green Tease network
  • Event evaluation

Looking for ideas and inspiration?

Green Tease started in 2013 with cups of tea and biscuits around a table in the Briggait in Glasgow and has continued to support a growing community of sustainability practitioners and artists interested in working together to tackle climate change. Past events taken the form of:

  • Talks from artists, climate change and sustainability practitioners
  • Events running in tandem with wider conferences, exhibitions, festivals etc.
  • Hands-on, practical workshops
  • Film screenings
  • Focus group discussions
  • Panel discussions
  • Pecha kucha presentations
  • Site visits and walking tours
  • Occassional day-long events (such at the Abernethy Nature Reserve with RSPB Scotland)

Have a read through our events archive and Green Tease reflection blogs to find out more about past events.

Info on the Green Tease network

In a recent survey, network members highlighted that:

  • Evenings are the preferred time for events
  • They value the chance to meet people working across different sectors, exchange knowledge and gain inspiration for new, creative approaches in their work
  • They are interested in a wide range of artforms with particular focus on multi-artform, community arts and visual arts
  • They are interested in all of the goals addressed in the UN Sustainable Development Goals with some focus on sustainable cities and communities, climate action, energy, and responsible consumption and production

Proposal guidelines

Event proposals will be selected on the basis of quality of content, inclusivity and the addressing of the connections between arts and sustainability to appeal to a wide audience. We’re particularly keen to hear from practitioners working in sustainability and climate change related-roles who we don’t know (yet!)

Find out more about how to apply or contact our culture/SHIFT Producer, Gemma, on gemma.lawrence@creativecarbonscotland.com to discuss your ideas.

 


The post Opportunity: Green Tease Open Call appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.


 

Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

Touring Plays on Bicycle Across a Shifting Landscape

This post comes from the Artists and Climate Change Blog

Recently, I found myself traveling by car on the same stretch of Arizona highway that my theater company, Agile Rascal, had traversed on bicycle a few years prior. As the car flew by cacti and freeway exits, I saw a familiar sight in the distance – a truck stop. I suddenly recalled what it had felt like to see this beautiful, run down relic loom on the horizon of that hot lunar landscape. I could picture the face of the man who worked behind the counter, the spider in the truck stop shower, the rack of vaguely erotic romance novels right beside the ice cream freezer, the vividly colored sunset against the neon station sign.

But as the car passed, with radio playing and air conditioning blowing and engine burning, this otherworldly oasis turned back into the mundane – just another outpost on the way to our destination.

A gas station in Arizona, 2015 coast-to-coast tour.

I sometimes think of this moment when I reflect on the purpose of Agile Rascal – my theater company that tours original plays on bicycle. When I started the company almost five years ago, the purpose was simply to collide my love of theater with my love of biking. At the time, there was no thought to how the collision of these two things would inform one another, or how they would lead us to bigger questions of how we bear witness to our shifting landscape, or how we bring these observations to our audience. But years later, it’s clear to me that the act of bicycling creates an awareness that transforms the landscape into a place of potential, not because of any physical change, but rather, because of a shift in perspective.

I will admit, I suppose, that Agile Rascal was created as an exercise in doing things the hard way. Hard art creation made harder by hard travel, hard cooking, hard cleaning, sleeping and bathing. Sometimes even hard relationships and hard compromises. In a landscape made up of car-dictated space and a culture consumed by screen-mediated interactions, to bring free, live performance to people without the aid of fossil fuels is nothing if not a self-imposed obstacle course.

But when you travel the land by bicycle, instantly your understanding of distance in relation to time shifts. Sixty miles is no longer an hour car ride, but instead, an entire day’s epic journey. Keep pedaling and something expands in the body, a kind of pulsing awakeness peppered with ache. Suddenly you feel the hills, the heat, the hunger, the weight of your belongings and the trash you generate – feelings that entire economies and infrastructures try to soften and hide.

In a car, the liminal, in-between spaces of freeways, gas stations and big box stores that make up so much of the American landscape are easily sped through. But on bicycle, these areas are unavoidable – their place-ness no less palpable than a beautiful and pristine national park. In more rural areas, we witness forests blackened by wildfires, spindly creek beds now dry, and mountaintops hacked bare by mining.

To bike the land is to bear witness, to both mourn and revere it. It puts this act in the body, not that unlike what we do when we step out on stage, putting our bodies into a new landscape and putting the story inside of our bodies.

* * *

Arriving in a new town to perform our plays, I often wonder whether the audience can sense the pulsating in our muscles, can see the feral glint in our eyes. I’d like to think so. But even if they can’t, the play is an opportunity to get people out of the house, away from their screens, to gather together, often times in unconventional theater spaces and always for free.

“We Called it Resonance,” 2017 Montana tour.

The same absurdity that characterizes the project is also what brings non-traditional theatergoers to our shows. While we expected cyclists and environmentalists to show up, we didn’t predict how often we would meet someone on the road – at a gas station or truck stop – only to have them show up again, sometimes hundreds of miles later, at our next show. Street performers once intersected with people where they shopped and convened, but as Main streets all over the United States become boarded up, we find we meet people where they are now – on the road, in their cars, stuck in traffic, at gas stations.

If performance (and art in general) is going to stay relevant in the face of our rapidly changing environmental landscape (and the cultural, social and economic landscapes it affects), we have to push against the fast-paced, highly individualized and wasteful modes of production that late stage capitalism dictates, and we must do so not only in the messaging of our work, but also in the mode in which we create and share it.

“Sunlight on the Brink,” 2015 coast-to-coast tour.

Agile Rascal is an invitation to imagine another way. The challenge becomes not simply the challenge of inconvenience, of effort, of difficulty, but of creating new priorities – slowness, focus, community and creativity to re-imagine the landscape both as what it is and what it could be.

(Top image: The plains of Montana, 2017 Montana tour.)

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Dara Silverman is the Artistic Director of Agile Rascal Theatre, a company that tours innovative new plays with environmental themes on bicycles. A bit of a nomad, your best bet is to find Dara in Oakland, California, where she often lives, works, and rides her bicycle just about everywhere. Dara thinks of her creative projects as experiments, each born from a collision of questions, and resulting in a unique universe complete with rules of science and magic, patterns of behavior and specific aesthetics. She allows her current preoccupations to embed themselves inside these landscapes, revealing connections and complexity.


 

Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

News: New wildlife photo exhibition on show in Edinburgh

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

A public photo exhibition, showcasing images of wildlife and scenery on the National Cycle Network has gone on show in Edinburgh.

The Go Wild exhibition, showcasing stunning images of wildlife and scenery on the National Cycle Network in Scotland, has gone on show along the Union Canal in Edinburgh.

The free exhibition, which showcases submissions from photographers of all abilities as part of Sustrans Scotland’s Go Wild photography competition, will be displayed at Lochrin Basin until 30th August.

Greener Greenways

Go Wild is part of Sustrans Scotland’s Greener Greenways project, which is part-funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, and aims to improve and enhance biodiversity on traffic-free sections of the Network that are home to a variety of animals and plant species.

The shortlisted photos range from a playful stoat to scenic shots highlighting breath-taking views along National Cycle Network routes in Scotland.

Sustrans Scotland Volunteers Coordinator, Laura White said: “We hope these photos will inspire and encourage more people to explore their local area by foot or bike, and enjoy the fantastic scenery and wildlife the National Cycle Network has to offer.”

“The National Cycle Network plays a vital role in supporting and promoting a wide variety of wildlife in Scotland and is a fantastic place for people to experience some of the rich biodiversity that Scotland has to offer.”

See the exhibition

You can visit the exhibition at Lochrin Basin, EH3 9QD, along the Union Canal in Edinburgh during the month of August. Visit www.sustrans.org.uk/scotphotocomp18 for more information.

There are approximately 2,371 miles (3,815 km) of National Cycle Network routes in Scotland, including 644 miles of traffic-free routes which use a mix of railway path, canal towpath, forest road, shared-use path, segregated cycle lanes and re-determined rural footways. It plays a vital role in helping people to travel by foot, bike or public transport for more every day journeys and can act as a green corridor for wildlife.

 


The post News: New wildlife photo exhibition on show in Edinburgh appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.


 

Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

A Theatrical Revolution of Hope

This post comes from the Artists and Climate Change Blog

“And if you are here,
And you are one of the Seven who run this world
You are not alone
I have come to bare my heart before you.
I have come to greet you.”

Bare Spaces by Angella J. Emurwon

This was the opening of our 2017 Climate Change Theatre Action production, The Spaces Between Us, which I produced as part of the 2017-18 Brandeis University Department of Theater Arts Season. The cast took the stage one at a time to greet the audience.

But as part of the same project in 2015, this was how we started our production:

… I know. I mean, I get it, I do… it’s hot. It’s, like, seriously hot out today and the first thing I hear… not five minutes outside my building… “it’s global warming.” (makes a face) I mean, come on… please. It’s summer! It’s always hot in the summer! How you gonna blame that on anything but it’s the summertime and it’s hot in summer.

A wonderful monologue by Neil Labute, An Average Guy Thinking Thoughts About Climate Change pits a climate change denier against reality. He rants, he calls us stupid, gullible and whiny. And his only real concern seems to be getting his Chipotle.

We didn’t let him conclude his hysterics. Not yet. We cut him off, mid-rant, and ushered in other plays to shout facts and fear at our audience: The last polar bear alone on an ice floe; parents wrangling over whether or not they should kill their own children rather than let them encounter the end of the world. We clamored louder than Labute’s Man could. And then we allowed him to come back on stage.

The guy looks up at the sun overhead. Squints. Looks back at us. Shakes his head.

I mean, come on! (beat) Global warming? (beat) Whatever…

He opens his bottle of water and finishes it. Crushes the plastic and tosses it to the ground. He wanders off. The stage gets brighter and brighter and brighter…

The end. Don’t be that guy. That was our mandate. We were frustrated. We were angry. We needed the audience to be our hope, and we would overwhelm them with unvarnished truth and terrifying circumstances until they took up arms and gave us the hope we needed.

So how did we go from this to “baring our hearts,” a much more hospitable opening?

I remember one tenet from my undergrad Introduction to Sociology class (sorry Professor ????): “The miserable don’t rebel.” The masses don’t revolt when conditions stay the same. They don’t riot when conditions get worse either. They revolt when an indication of light reaches into the mine, an omen of opportunity that summons the strength to exact reformation. Revolutions require hope!

And in the fall of 2017, we were miserable. Way more than we were in 2015. We had just been through, well, the election and we were now living in a country that had just elected the “Man” from Labute’s play to our highest office. And yet, in our deliberations over which plays to perform, the desire to provide hope that would lead to action was palpable. We would offer our audience that spark, that bit of light that they needed to incite a revolution.

We realized that we had to be the purveyors of hope. We welcomed our audience. We received them into our home, our circle. “I have come to bare my heart before you.” We bared the hearts of two scientists. Their budgets cut. Their labs closing. Ready to acquiesce. But rather than quit, they plant a tree.

“Start Where You Are” by E.M. Lewis. Featuring Emily Bisno and Lilia Shrayfer. Directed by Alex Jacobs. Photo: Mike Lovett.

We comforted the audience: the scientists won’t give up. Of course, they won’t. But along with these hopeful pieces, we wanted to include plays that provoked the audience to action. We sought out plays that gave agency to the audience to engage with the text. We performed Appreciation by Katie Pearl, a piece that encouraged the audience to clap for a multitude of devastating events brought about by climate change: Let’s clap for the one white rhino left in the world; a round of applause for the waters flooding back into their original waterways. Like the best activist theatre, it was fun, and funny, and you are clapping and laughing until you are really uncomfortable doing so. It feels gross, but you are required to clap for the play to succeed. So you do. And by the end, the audience is still clapping, but it is faint and painful. And we all want it to stop.

“Appreciation” by Katie Pearl. Featuring Sara Kenney. Directed by Raphael Stigliano. Photo: Mike Lovett.

OK, the audience is primed for participation now. So we decided to up the ante even more with The Rube Goldberg Device for the Generation of Hope by Jordan Hall. This play turns the audience into a Rube Goldberg machine. Every audience member is given a strip of paper with an instruction, like this:

  1.  (Stage-Manager) If everyone closes their eyes, and takes a deep breath, turn out all the lights.
  2.  If the lights go out, begin to cry, loud enough that everyone can hear you for about ten seconds.
  3.  If someone begins to cry, say “Shh! It’ll be okay.” Repeat this until the crying stops.
  4. If someone says “It’ll be okay”, wait about five seconds and then hiss loudly: “It was never going to be okay.”
  5.  (3 people) If someone hisses “It was never going to be okay,” start making noises like those of traffic in a big city (cars WHOOSHING past, horns HONKING, feet STOMPING, etc.) Don’t stop until you hear “Donald Trump.”

When it works, if it works, it is a progressive current that carries the audience on stage for a dance party. Complete audience participation, leaving-your-seats-coming-on-stage-audience-participation. I won’t lie, opening night we were clutching on to each other, dreading what would happen, or not happen. But when the two performers climbed onto rehearsal cubes at the end of the play, surrounded by a dancing audience, we were ecstatic (and relieved.) The audience gazed up at the actors, still dancing, while the performers delivered a substantive promise of hope.

“The Rube Goldberg Device for the Generation of Hope” by Jordan Hall. Featuring Gabi Nail, Joelle Robinson and Ensemble. Directed by Brandon Green. Photo: Mike Lovett.

A: When I think of how improbable it all is, that a planet should have formed in just the right place, with rocks, and water, and one perfect, circling moon – like the biggest symphony of ball bearings you ever saw. How improbable it is that rock and water could catalyze into life—like the littlest symphony of ball bearings you ever saw. That life evolved into fish and moss and dinosaurs and bees and a species of bipedal primate with a brain that happens to generate the tiny electrical storm of consciousness. That this species could come to their own extinction, see their selfishness and say STOP! That we can stand together in this moment, letting nothing but a few words, written by a small woman far away, start us dancing, dancing in the face of it all –

B: And of course, maybe it won’t work. Maybe it’s silly, and redundant. Maybe we’re doomed –

A: But I like to think that the things we put in motion can be bigger, and more complicated than us, and yet very, very simple. I’d like to think that at any moment, one tiny act might be the start of the Rube Goldberg Device that saves the world.

And maybe it is silly. And maybe it won’t work. But our experience with this show is a testament. This is how the revolution will start. With stories. With people in a room baring their hearts. With the one ball bearing rolling down a tube that will launch a revolution.

“I have come to bare my heart before you. I have come to greet you.”

(Top image: Bare Spaces by Angella J. Emurwon. Featuring Emily Bisno, Geraldine Bogard, Peter Diamond, Gabi Nail, Joelle Robinson, Lilia Shrayfer, Daniel Souza, Zain Walker and Alex Wu. Directed by Brandon Green, Alex Jacobs and Raphael Stigliano. Photo: Mike Lovett.)

*   *   *

The production team for The Spaces Between Us included: Gabi Nail, Daniel Souza, and Hannah Uher (artistic collaborators); Brandon Green, Alex Jacobs, and Raphael Stigliano (directors); Aislyn Fair (scenic design); Anthony Fimmano (lighting design); Eleanor McKnight (costume design); Alicia Hyland (sound design), and; Tong Li (stage management).

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Alicia Hyland has been so grateful to have been a part of Climate Change Theatre Action over the last two years (and surely beyond!). At Brandeis University, Alicia is the Executive Director of the Senior Festival and the Academic Administrator for the Department of Theater Arts. She has also taught several courses and directed readings of new and existing plays at Brandeis. Alicia received her MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University and has had work placed in a variety of literary magazines, including Mason’s Road and Fwriction Review.


 

Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

Recipients of Spanish Heritage Exchange Residency Announced

This Post Comes From A Studio in the Woods

The Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain and SPAIN-USA Foundation have envisioned a cultural exchange residency between New Orleans, Louisiana and Las Palmas, Canary Islands to facilitate the exchange of ideas and experiences between creators from Spain and the United States through artist residencies and to explore themes related to artistic and cultural heritage from a creative and multidisciplinary perspective. These residencies address the general theme of heritage and conservation, focusing on the interrelationships between art and culture, the use (and re-uses) of heritage sites, new opportunities and public participation in the context of the city and our society.

The calls for artists were announced in April and artists were selected in early July.  From New Orleans, artist Monique Verdin will travel to live and work at La Regenta, an art center in Las Palmas of the Canary Islands. From the Canary Islands, artist Julio Blancas will come to New Orleans to live and work at A Studio in the Woods. The two artists will overlap during their time in both regions and will come together to explore the shared cultural and environmental concerns of the Canary Islands and the Gulf Coast.  The residencies will span October 22 – December 14, 2018 and honor New Orleans’ tricentennial year and Spanish roots.

About the Artists:

Julio Blancas was born in 1967 in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. He studied art at Las Escuelas de Artes Plásticas in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria and sculpture in Santa Cruz, Tenerife. He works mainly with pencil or graphite on paper, canvas, or satellite dishes and has participated in more than forty group exhibitions and seven solo exhibitions in both his home in Gran Canaria, Spain as well as other countries such as Belgium, Italy, and Germany.

Working almost exclusively with pencil and graphite, Blancas uses nature as a source of inspiration. His methodology is simple: to fill the artistic surface by repeating the essential graphic gesture – the line. The line made with graphite reflects light, creates subtle gradations, and molds forms that arise from the opacity of the black surface. Blancas works with the idea of memory, simulating natural spaces that serve as mental landscapes. These landscapes provide a strongly structural sense of the end result through the art’s intention and meaning.

Julio Blancas, Sedimentos, Charcoal on paper

Monique Verdin has been intimately documenting the complex interconnectedness of environment, economics, culture, climate and change in southeast Louisiana for decades. Her indigenous Houma relatives, their lifeways at the ends of the bayous, and the realities of restoration and adaptation in the heart of America’s Mississippi River Delta have been the primary focus of her work.

Monique is the subject/co-writer/co-producer of the award-winning documentary My Louisiana Love (2012). Her interdisciplinary work has been included in an assortment of environmentally inspired projects, including the multiplatform performance ecoexperience Cry You One (2012-2017) as well as the publication Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas (2013). Monique is a member of the United Houma Nation Tribal Council and is director of The Land Memory Bank & Seed Exchange; an experiential project engaged in building a community record through cultural happenings, strategic installations and as a digital archive to share stories, native seeds and local knowledge.


Monique Verdin, Bayou Pointe Aux Chenes, Terrebonne, Louisiana, 2008. Inkjet print

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About A Studio in The Woods:

A Studio in the Woods, located in 7.66 forested acres on the Mississippi River in New Orleans, is dedicated to preserving the endangered bottomland hardwood forest and providing within it a peaceful retreat where visual, literary and performing artists can work uninterrupted. A program of Tulane University’s ByWater Institute, A Studio in the Woods focuses on interrelated areas of programming including artists’ residencies, forest restoration, and science-inspired art education for children and adults. One of a few live-in artists’ retreats in the Deep South, A Studio in the Woods fosters both environmental preservation and the creative work of all artists. For more information, visit: www.astudiointhewoods.org.

About La Regenta:

El Centro de Arte La Regenta, located in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, is a public institution that was founded in 1987 and is dedicated to the exhibition, education, production and promotion of contemporary art, from a local, national and international perspective. Its programming includes exhibitions, workshops, seminars, talks, debates and didactic activities, with attention to all manifestations of contemporary culture, that are conceived for all types of audiences and public. Located in a former tobacco factory, el Centro de Arte La Regenta also houses a library and archive. For more information, visit: http://www.laregenta.org/

Centro de Arte La Regenta Exterior

About the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain:

The Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain, through its official cultural program SPAIN arts & culture, aims to promote Spanish culture in the U.S. through fruitful cultural exchanges among institutions and artists, fostering positive bilateral relations between our two countries. Among its objectives, the program enhances shared knowledge on the cultural and creative industries and facilitates professional opportunities for artists, drawing on our common Hispanic heritage. We partner with American institutions to build institutional alliances and long-lasting transnational bridges through the arts in a broad sense. Our multidisciplinary approach covers a wide range of fields from design, to urban culture, culinary arts, music, cinema, literature, visual arts and performing arts. For more information, visit: https://www.spainculture.us/

Top Image: A Studio in the Woods Exterior, Photo by Neil Alexander, 2018

An Interview with Playwright Chantal Bilodeau

This post comes from the Artists and Climate Change Blog

How is it July already? The year feels like it’s flying by, perhaps because so much is happening. This month features an interview with Chantal Bilodeau, a playwright and translator whose work focuses on science, policy, art, and climate change. She is also the Artistic Director of The Arctic Cycle, an organization created to support the writing, development and production of eight plays that look at the social and environmental changes taking place in the eight Arctic states. (You might remember Bilodeau from one of my Art and Activism of the Anthropocene panels that I hosted at the New York Society Library this past spring.)

We spoke about what drew her to the topic of climate change, how she thinks theater can help shape conversations about the subject, and about her annual workshop called the Artists & Climate Change Incubator, which takes place next month in New York City.

What first drew you to the topic of climate change, and why do you address the issue in your playwriting?

In 2007 I went to Alaska on a summer vacation and I fell in love: the vastness of the landscape, the quality of the light, the unforgiving climate, the colorful characters – the Arctic really grabbed me. This was on the heel of Al Gore’s first documentary An Inconvenient Truth and climate change was very much on my mind. When I came back home, I realized that very few people outside of the Arctic were talking about it, and even less had any awareness of it. Yet what was happening there was a direct consequence of what we were doing here. That’s when I started thinking about addressing climate change in my work. Beyond my own personal interest in the region, I saw a need to capture a moment in time, to acknowledge a transition, to bear witness to disruptions that are so massive that we will be still struggling to comprehend them for years to come.

What role can theater play in getting people to think more seriously about climate change?

From time immemorial, we have created culture through storytelling. Our behaviors, beliefs, and values are a direct result of the stories we tell each other, whether they are about hunting and gathering practices, economic systems, religious tenets, or laws. We first imagine worlds that we then all agree to turn to reality. If we want climate change to be taken seriously, if we want to shift towards a more sustainable way of living, we need these ideas to permeate our stories – and not just our scientific stories but our everyday stories about families, relationships, growing up, interacting with our environment, and dying.

Theatre is a great medium for telling stories. I often compare seeing a play with going shopping. When you shop, you get to try on clothes until you find the one thing that really fits you. When you go see a play, you get to try on – vicariously through the characters on stage – beliefs and values until you find the ones that really fit you. And even better, you get to do that in the company of fellow humans who are doing exactly the same thing.

This combination of storytelling, reflection, and communal experience is why I think theatre is a great ally for addressing climate change. We get to watch how people just like us navigate some of the challenges posed by climate change. We get to see, hear, and feel the climate crisis in three dimensions instead of staring at abstract charts and graphs and trying to figure out why we should care. We’re also given free rein to subjectively experience the full scope of the climate crisis, with all of the emotions that it might generate however inappropriate these might be.

Please tell us about the Artists & Climate Incubator. What is it, and what do you hope it accomplishes?

The Incubator is a 5-day intensive workshop offered every year in New York City at the beginning of August. It’s open to artists, activists, scientists, and educators who want to engage or further their engagement with climate change through artistic practices. Every day, a different guest speaker from the arts and/or the sciences interacts with the participants for a few hours to explore a topic. This is complemented by discussions and work sessions where participants can deepen their thinking about the intersection of arts and climate change and learn from each other.

For several years, I had been looking for a place to encounter artists and people from other fields who were interested in the role of the arts in addressing our climate crisis. Because there are still relatively few of us, I was longing for a community of peers to share successes and challenges and deepen our thinking around this burgeoning field. When I couldn’t find what I was looking for, I decided to create it; that’s how the Incubator was born. My goal with the Incubator is to share knowledge, and empower all of us to get better at what we do and have greater impact.

What kinds of participants are you hoping will join the Incubator?

This is the second year we’re offering the Incubator and what was most exciting about last year’s participants was the variety of fields they represented: leadership studies, theatre studies, activism, theatre, sound, music, visual arts, etc. The more varied the experience, the more we can learn from each other. Some participants were at the beginning of their careers while others were more advanced. A great deal were from the U.S. but others came from Europe. What bound us together was our shared commitment to using the arts to address climate change in a way that preserves the integrity of the artistic process while striving to have a social impact.

Given all we know about climate change, are you hopeful for the future?

It depends on how I think about the question. Do I think that the human species will survive? I don’t know, and truthfully, I’m not invested so much in our survival as I am in the way we live through and handle this crisis. It’s very possible that another species will replace us – homo sapiens is only one of a number of human species that once populated the earth. Why should we be the end of the line when every other species in the world continues to evolve? However, I am hopeful that life will survive, that no matter how much we deplete it, it will find new ways to thrive. Even if it takes millions or billions of years. But regardless of the outcome, we owe it to ourselves to live through this time with dignity. We owe it to ourselves and to every other creature on the planet to do everything in our power to turn this boat around. Terminally-ill patients don’t give up the fight because they know they’re going to die soon. On the contrary, in most cases, they make a point of living life to the fullest because they’re going to die soon. I hope that as a species we can show the same grace.

This post was originally published in Amy Brady’s “Burning Worlds” newsletter. Subscribe to get her newsletter delivered straight to your inbox.

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Amy Brady is the Deputy Publisher of Guernica magazine and Senior Editor of the Chicago Review of Books. Her writing about art, culture, and climate has appeared in the Village Voice, the Los Angeles TimesPacific Standard, the New Republic, and other places. She is also the editor of the monthly newsletter “Burning Worlds,” which explores how artists and writers are thinking about climate change. She holds a PHD in English and is the recipient of a CLIR/Mellon Library of Congress Fellowship. Read more of her work at AmyBradyWrites.comand follow her on Twitter at @ingredient_x. 


 

Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

Opportunity: Call for Ideas 2019

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Get involved in Scotland’s biggest celebration of science!

This is an open call offering you the chance to be part of the 2019 Edinburgh International Science Festival, which will run from 06 – 21 April. Our call is open to anyone – individuals, groups or organisations – with bright ideas and a passion for communicating them.

In honour of the 50th anniversary of the Moon landings, the 2019 Festival theme is Frontiers, exploring the boundaries of knowledge and the spirit of adventure and enquiry that drives science, technology, engineering and maths. Within this theme, specific areas of focus will include Healthcare Frontiers, Engineering Frontiers, Digital Frontiers, Environmental Frontiers and Planetary Frontiers.

What are we looking for?

We specialise in bringing people together to share ideas and inspiration and look for participants working in diverse fields from across the sciences, arts and cultural sectors. From fabulous shows that enthral people of all ages, to thought-provoking discussions, interactive events and creative performances, exhibitions and workshops that bring science to life for a wide range of audiences, we are open to all suggestions.

How do I get involved?

First, read the documents on our website to find out more about the process. These will help you prepare the information you’ll need to fill in the online proposal form.

Submit your proposal via the online form on our website by 5pm on Friday 14 September for your chance to be part of one of the world’s best science festivals.

 


The post Opportunity: Call for Ideas 2019 appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.


 

Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland