CSPA Convergence

#GreenFests: Changing the World, Festival by Festival

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

The Edinburgh International Festival was founded shortly after the end of the Second World War with the intention of rejuvenating the cultural sectors of Scotland, Britain and Europe. As people came to terms with the tragedies of recent years, the festival set about facilitating the social change that was needed. This intention is one that is still shared by many festivals today, but can it be achieved? What do we need from our festivals to accomplish social change?

During the Fringe, Creative Carbon Scotland (in conjunction with Festivals Edinburgh and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe) hosted an event to discuss just these questions. ‘Changing the World, Festival by Festival’ was presented by Ben Twist, experienced theatre director turned founder and director of Creative Carbon Scotland, and Stella Hall, fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and freelance festival director.

In fact, Stella Hall is nothing short of a festival guru. Current Festival Director of Darlington’s award-winning Festival of Thrift, she was also:

  • one of four inaugural ‘Canny Creatives’ advising the British Council on Arts programme development in Turkey and Kazakhstan
  • Co-founder of the Greenroom, Manchester’s first arts centre.
  • Director of Warwick Arts Centre
  • Festival Director of the Belfast Festival at Queens and
  • The first Festival Director of the Preston Guild, an event that has occurred in the city every twenty years since 1179.

Not to mention the fact that she is a board member of the Wildworks Theatre in Cornwall, ISIS Arts in Newcastle, ArtsAdmin in London and was a member of the Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts panel of the Research Excellence Framework. Long story short, Stella Hall knows her festivals.

Although this event had the format of a formal talk, it was more of a conversation between Ben, Stella and all who attended, many of whom were themselves prominent members of the arts world. With Stella’s expertise as a festival director, Ben’s in-depth knowledge of sustainability in the arts, and the knowledge and experience of all there (including performers, festival organisers, and marketing executives to name a few) a very interesting discussion ensued. Impossible to summarise, here I simply present what I took to be the main points of debate.

The first of these was the importance of the discomfort zone. Herein lies the possibility of change. For Stella, the discomfort zone is the place she must enter when trying to put on a festival that satisfies the needs of people with different motivations and ideas from her own. The key to finding a solution that suits all is not only to enter this discomfort zone where your own perspective and convictions are challenged, but to stay there. The longer you stay in the discomfort zone with someone, the more likely it is that you will find a connect, a point of agreement around which a compromise can be constructed and progress made.

The discomfort zone also works as a direct driver for change. Festivals wishing to create social change arguably need to include events which challenge attitudes towards the status quo. The audience are forced to genuinely consider their own position. What’s good about it? What’s not? What change in attitude or action is required? The active engagement required from audiences in response to such events are likely to have stronger consequences than passive attendance at one that merely dictates an alternative approach.

FoTThe second focal point for discussion was the importance of communities. These are not just the communities in which the festivals take place (e.g. Edinburgh as a city) but also the communities that are created by the festivals, both intentionally and by chance. This is especially the case if the festivals are based around a particular theme, as in the Festival of Thrift (see left). If festivals are to inspire lasting change then they must engage with all of these communities.

One such way of engaging is to create a sense of community ownership over the festival. It has to come from them, they have to see it as theirs. Stella found this was particularly important when she directed the Preston Guild. It is a Prestonian institution and belongs far more to the city and its people than to a festival director. Stella found that acknowledging this and allowing the people to put on the festival that they wanted was crucial to its success.

It was noted, however, that there is a certain tension between giving the people both what they want and what they need. Many people,aon myself included, don’t often actively seek challenges to their existing viewpoints, which means we can miss out on new ideas. The example given in the talk was that of Sir Anthony Gormley’s Angel of the North (see right), which, because it was something entirely different and new, would likely never have been created had we designed the statue to be built.

There is also the challenge of creating this sense of community ownership in the face of a huge influx of new people coming specifically for the festivals. Major summer festivals like Glastonbury, Reading, T in the Park and, of course, the many Edinburgh festivals are particularly vulnerable to this. Whilst locals are often glad that the festivals occur (78% of Edinburgh citizens believe the festivals to be positive and 60% participate) they often feel separate from them. The festivals happen to them rather than with them as it were.

As well as better engaging with existing communities in the festival locations, one way to garner the sense of ownership that is required for social change is to engage with the communities that are created by the festivals. This can be an intentional community, as in Darlington’s Festival of Thrift which attracted people with a particular interest thereby facilitating discussion. They can also be unintentional, for example similarly themed shows in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe who find themselves performing alongside and socialising with performers with similar ideas and interests.

The challenge of creating lasting social change in these circumstances, as opposed to with pre-existent communities, is that the existence of these communities is so strongly tied to the festivals. Despite being connected by a shared idea, once the festival ends these communities are forcibly disbanded. Modern technology can go some way towards helping people keep connected (and indeed including those interested parties that were unable to physically attend) but it is difficult to maintain the momentum and drive that can be inspired during the festival.

The key to changing the world, festival by festival then seems to be twofold. First, the festivals must be events that encourage audiences to engage with the area in which change is desired, that question the status quo and provide an alternative perspective to be considered. Second, they must create lasting communities of the converted (for lack of a better term). This can be by including the local community and helping them develop a sense of ownership of the festival. It can also be by facilitating the creation of a new community, intentional or otherwise, that forms in response to the ideas being promulgated. If enough people are inspired then there is real hope that lasting change can be achieved.

The post #GreenFests: Changing the World, Festival by Festival 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

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Running a Green Event: the Fringe Sustainable Practice Award Ceremony

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Running an event can be stressful enough, so why bother adding to this by creating another aim or condition for your event? Being greener, however, doesn’t have to be difficult or more expensive – just look at this case study and you’ll already be making a green start.

Why would you want to run a green event?

The obvious reason is because it is the right thing to do. The climate is changing and it is our responsibility to address our actions and work towards a more sustainable world. Additionally, there are many other great reasons why you should aim to go green:

  • Reduced costs
  • Guests like green
  • You will be ahead of new carbon regulations
  • Going green shows you are inventive

How would you run a green event?

Case Study: Fringe Sustainable Practice Award Ceremony

Friday 28 August, 4 – 5pm at Fringe Central 1, see here for more details

 

1. Define your event goals and objectives

Why are you organising this event? What do you have to achieve? Who is it for? Is it as sustainable as reasonably possible?

The Fringe Sustainable Practice Award Ceremony celebrates Edinburgh Festival Fringe shows making significant efforts to become the most sustainable of the Fringe.

 

2. Identify your team

Identify your team and share with them the sustainable objectives of your event. Everyone will then be working towards a common green goal.

 

3. Organising outside suppliers

Venue: Find a venue that is part of a green accreditation scheme. In Scotland, search for a Green Arts Initiative (GAI) venue; click here to find one near you. The GAI supports Scottish arts organisations to be at the forefront of growing an environmentally sustainable Scotland.We-are-Green-Arts-2015-Green

The FSPA Ceremony will be held in Fringe Central 1, an accredited and proud GAI member.

Technical Requirements: Consider where your venues power comes from. Try reducing your electricity use to only vital requirements, and document such power use. If you are carbon footprinting look into offsetting the environmental cost of the electricity used.

Catering: Source local and seasonal, and think in terms of minimal waste!

Refreshments and catering sourced from two local companies will be provided at the FSPA ceremony. Cornelius Wine & Beer is providing local Scottish beer and cider (note, all glass bottles will be recycled). The Larder is providing us with seasonal canapés. Vegware is supporting our event, and donating eco-friendly plates, cups and napkins.

Travel: Get to know the local public travel facilities, and advertise walking routes to nearby attendees. For long distance travel look into trains or car-pools.

The FSPA Ceremony will be held in Edinburgh, an ideal city for sustainable transport because of its compact city centre and ample bus and cycle routes.

Our award guest speaker, the comedian Jessica Fostekew, unfortunately has a show finishing 5 minutes before the ceremony. After looking into various travel options, even considering a rickshaw, we found the most practical yet sustainable option to be City Cabs – City Cabs support Trees4Scotland in order to account for their carbon emissions, see their carbon neutral policy here.

 

4. Plan for Reuse

Even if your event is a one off, some of the materials you have used will more than likely come in useful again.

Creative Carbon Scotland (CCS) and Edinburgh Festival Fringe facilitate the reuse of production materials at a three-day Swap Shop, see here. If you won’t reuse an item from your event look online to see if someone nearby would (Gumtree is always a good place to start).

 

5. Publicity and marketing

Event attendees want to know how you are greening your practice, so show off your commitment to being green by publicising via print, digital or word-of-mouth channels.

Go digital! Come up with innovative ways of publicising your event that allow for smaller, cheaper print runs. Think about using ink stamps, or apps, or clever social media tactics.

If needed, use recycled or FSC-certified paper when printing. PR Print and Design and EAE print distribution are two companies based in Scotland who ensure sustainable printing and distribution. Make sure you monitor the quantity of print actually used, and reduce print runs when possible. Also, encourage attendees to recycle any flyers you give them.

The FSPA Ceremony has been publicised online using both the CCS and the Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts webpages, and through our media partner The List. We have built up hype around the ceremony as the award itself has progressed, inviting all award applicants and including the event in our blog updates. Follow us on twitter to see our social media activity.

 

6. Evaluation tools

Do a carbon footprint: Carbon footprinting is a way to describe your environmental impact in terms of carbon emissions and is a great way to better understand how you can be greener, see here. Once you understand carbon footprinting you can begin to set yourself targets for future events.

Record how individuals are getting to your event, and how they found out about your event. How individuals found out about the event can be a great indicator on what forms of publicity worked and show which areas to reduce investment in (such as paper advertising).

For the FSPA Ceremony we are using tools on eventbrite to document both of the above.

 

Hopefully this case study has inspired you to think more carefully on how you can run your event in a more sustainable manner. Not only will your green event have a lower carbon footprint, but it will also allow you to think more creatively and innovatively about the event you are organising!

For the Edinburgh Fringe guide on running a sustainable show, click here.


 

Image Aviva Stadium, by Sylvain.

The post Running a Green Event: the Fringe Sustainable Practice Award Ceremony 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

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#GreenFest: FSPA Shortlist Diary No.2

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

It has been another busy week for our reviewing team who have managed to fit in 8 shows from the Fringe Sustainable Practice Award shortlist. From a secret theater location accessed by bike, to a Dutch photography exhibition we have covered it all.

For more information on the 21 shortlisted Fringe shows, click here.

 

cinema in s gFriday 14th 1pm: A Cinema in South Georgia

In the heart of the Fringe with all the shows from the four corners of the world it’s good to see a show that comes out of and has connections with Edinburgh (or rather Leith). The performance brings together first-hand accounts, some hilarious and some regretful, of some of the remaining men who embarked on whale hunting expeditions. These stories are performed in both word and song.

A Cinema in South Georgia is about the – ultimately unsustainable – whaling industry and the human consequences of it, not to mention the effect on the whales!

 

 PhotosynthesisSaturday 15th 10am: Photosynthesis

The artist collective, the ‘Tropists’, captured the natural world (mainly plants) with a variety of photographic techniques, forcing the viewer to reconsider their previous conceptions of what ‘nature’ is.

Using a variety of techniques, from x-ray shots to pinhole techniques, the exhibition is not an obvious case of ‘this is what mankind is doing to nature’ but rather shows the beauty of nature from different angles not usually experienced through the human eye. In addition to the various camera techniques the exhibition uses film to bridge the gap between science and public perceptions of what is a plant.

 

The Wild Man of OrfordSunday 16th 12.45pm: The Wild Man of Orford

The Wild Man of Orford was able to transform a small room into the seaside. This production explores the concept of civilization and how it can feel to be the “other”. The Wild Man of Orford is a charming fairy tale with live music that both children and adults can enjoy.

Their sustainable efforts should be praised for their use of recycled material for their costumes and set pieces as well as environmentally friendly marketing that reduces paper use by promoting their show online with links written on branches, stones, and shells that audience members can keep.

 

Fringe 62pm: Scarfed for Life

A green and blue take on a heightened severity of meaning in this fast-paced and familial drama. Two warring households – both alike in their football passion – provide the environment for a sensitively-executed examination of sectarianism, domestic violence and polite society.

Scarfed for Life is lively and loud, and speckled with Scots and slang. The performance was communicated very well, with humour and sensitivity. The Citizens Theatre bring a snapshot of their Glasgow to the capital with sustainable design elements that enable, rather than detract from, their story.

 

Ventoux 1Monday 17th 1.55pm: Ventoux

Never before have I watched two men hop on and off bikes for an hour in the name of theatre. Ventoux tells the story of two famous cyclists; as these men climb further up the Ventoux you learn more about the history of doping, and the pressure put on cyclists at a time when ‘everyone was doing it’, finally seeing the full consequences of it all as they approached the summit.

The use of props was mesmerizing at points, as the men cycled in tandem, dunked their heads in a cool box of water and ‘shaved’ their legs and heads. Similarly, the Ventoux footage, filmed by the performers themselves, brought the audience right into the action as we were propelled through their lives listening to real-time soundtracks of vital racing events.

 

HandleBards 1Tuesday 18th 5pm: The HandleBards: Secret Shakespeare

The Handlebards return to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with an expanded offering from their 2014 run, and a challenge to engage their audiences in their bike-behaviour. Secret Shakespeare is an unusual approach to an Edinburgh Festival Fringe production that actively promotes and engages with sustainability.

Having travelled around the country by bike, the players paired up with Sustrans and Spokes Edinburgh to take their audience on a 5-mile tour of Edinburgh’s cycle paths, en-route to their secret performance location. A high-energy performance that leaves one asking: “How are they going to manage that?!”.

 

Fringe 8Wednesday 19th 11am: Fraxi Queen of the Forest

This charming piece of children’s theatre brought the threat of chalara, otherwise known as ash dieback disease, to life in a very accessible and moving way. The story follows Fraxi, an ash tree, and Woody, a man who has known and loved Fraxi since childhood. When Fraxi becomes infected with chalara, Woody must decide how best to help her and the rest of the trees in the forest. Incredible costumes, a fun caterpillar sidekick and snippets of information about forest ecosystems and their environmental and social significance make this show a great way of encouraging children to care about nature.

 

Fringe 23.35pm: Lungs

Lungs openly addresses sustainability, looking at it from the perspective of two adults having a “conversation” over whether or not to bring a child into this world. They consider both the carbon impact of a child, comparing the weight in carbon to the weight of the Eiffel Tower, and the question of whether they should want to bring a child into the world when it is such a mess. The story brings you face to face with the reality of many unspoken truths.

The two actors were fully exposed to the audience in the center of the Roundabout theatre, which, for such an intimate and emotionally intense performance, worked perfectly. The story is heartwarming, saddening, funny and very current, and if performed by two very talented actors.

 

For details on the Fringe Sustainable Practice Awards Ceremony on 28 August, check out are event page here.

 

If you are interested in sustainability in the Fringe, the Fringe Swap Shop (formerly known as the Reuse & Recycle Days) occurs each year at the end of August and is a great opportunity for companies, individuals, and those that have participated in the Fringe to dispose of any unwanted props, sets and costumes. We’d also like to encourage anyone, fringe participant or not, to come along to pickup and re-use the dropped off materials – it’s a swap shop after all!

 


Image, Brown Linen Lace Coptic Journal, courticy of Samandra Vieira

 

The post #GreenFest: FSPA Shortlist Diary No.2 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

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#GreenFests: Tragedy strikes the clowns as wigs no match for wind

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is in full swing. The city is alive with the sounds of buskers and acapella groups, the sights of technicolour costumes, bizarre make-up, incredible acrobatics and somehow every building has become a venue (which makes sense since there are over 3000 events to accommodate!). A new venue of note is the Underbelly’s Circus Hub, the first major venue dedicated to circus at the Edinburgh Fringe, and now in pride of place on the Meadows.

The Underbelly Circus Hub comprises  two venues: Lafayette, named after the great magician and illusionist who sadly perished in a fire at an Edinburgh theatre in 1911, and Beauty, named after Lafayette’s beloved dog given to him by Harry Houdini himself. These venues have been specially adapted to allow for an unprecedented level of circus work at the Fringe: work that’s both technically ambitious and spectacular to behold.

Alas, the misfortune of Lafayette seems to have been transferred to the venue that bears his name. Whilst the rest of the Fringe launched into action on Friday 7th August, all shows at Lafayette were postponed until the following Monday as gusting winds prevented the tent from being erected. Fortunately, this has now been remedied and Lafayette is up and running in all its glory.

However, this is not the first time that extreme weather has resulted in the delay, or even cancellation, of an Edinburgh festival. In 2003/2004, the Hogmanay celebrations had to be cancelled at the last minute due to high winds and rain. This happened again for Hogmanay 2006/2007, despite investments in more robust staging, equipment and weatherproof fireworks, when wind speeds reached upwards of 70mph. Furthermore, in 2013 the Edinburgh MELA had to close early, also on account of high winds.

It is not only Edinburgh festivals that are being adversely affected by unusual weather events. The Veld Music Festival – held annually in Toronto, Canada – had to be cancelled this year due to high winds, hail and torrential rain. The Lollapalooza, another North American music festival, also had a premature finish as a quickly moving severe thunderstorm swept through the area. Across the globe, extreme weather is increasingly frustrating and foiling the plans of festivalgoers.

An increased frequency of extreme weather events is one of the predicted effects of climate change. Of course, no single meteorological event can be directly ascribed to climate change. It is irrefutable, however, that the climate is changing:

  • Global temperatures are rising, with all 10 of the warmest years on record occurring in the past 12 years.
  • Between 1961 and 2004, Scotland’s annual precipitation increased by 21%. In northern Scotland, winter precipitation increased by almost 70%
  • Heavy rainfall events have also become more common over the last 45 years
  • Severe windstorms have increased in frequency
  • The number of climate-related disasters has increased from approximately 200 per year in the 1990s to 350 per year in the 2000s.

[Data from: NASA, Visit Scotland, and the Climate Centre]

Overall, the key climate change trends that are predicted for Scotland include hotter, drier summers with more heat waves, extreme temperatures and droughts, and milder, wetter autumns and winters, with more frequent and extreme precipitation events. As we have seen, such extreme weather events have an adverse effect upon our festivals. They can result in lower visitor numbers, disruption of road and rail infrastructure, and disruption of ICT links, not to mention the high costs of damage repair and adaptation work.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. Action is being taken to mitigate climate change and to develop technologies and infrastructure that will help us to adapt. The arts can play a significant role in both of these activities. Through creativity and ingenuity, they can help us envision worlds and ways of being and encourage us to transform ours for the better. Through the visual arts, music, film, literature etc. alternative approaches and ideas can be explored, debated and matured. Indeed, this is already happening and where better to see it than at the world’s biggest art festival – the Fringe here in Edinburgh. You just have to look at the shortlist for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award to see many examples of creative engagement with sustainability issues.

While the winds that prevented Lafayette opening on time may or may not be a result of climate change, we know that climate change is causing extreme weather events and that such events do adversely affect festivals. But festivals are a melting pot for artistic ideas; ideas which can change the way that we see and interact with the world; ideas which can encourage us to take mitigative action and aid us in adapting to a changing world. If successful, then the very people that make up the festivals that we love may be the ones who save them in the future.

[Top image courtesy of Michael MacLeod via STV Edinburgh]

The post #GreenFests: Tragedy strikes the clowns as wigs no match for wind 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

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More tickets released for ‘Achieving Social Change, Festival by Festival’ with Stella Hall

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Due to popular demand, we have moved our upcoming discussion event ‘Achieving Social Change, Festival by Festival‘ to a larger venue, now taking place on Thursday 20th August at 4pm at Fringe Central 2. This event will be led with a discussion by Stella Hall, founder of Newcastle’s Juice, EAT and Enchanted Parks festivals and current director of Darlington’s award-winning Festival of Thrift. Drawing on her considerable festival involvement, Stella will discuss the potential of festivals to affect social change, including the opportunities and challenges of distributing leadership under a cohesive festival programme.

The discussion event marks the fifth year of event programming by CCS to bring internationally-renowned speakers to Edinburgh during the buzzing August festivals, with the aims of widening conversations of how festivals can affect positive social and environmental change. Last year, in partnership with Festivals Edinburgh, we hosted ‘Can Festivals Change the World?’ with Di Robson. Attended to maximum capacity, this event brought together an international audience of festival organisers, arts administrators and creatives to respond to Di Robson’s provocations, based on her extensive experiences in organising festivals across the world. The wealth of thoughts and ideas shared at this event proved the demand for this discussion, utilising Edinburgh’s August Festivals as a key time and place for this knowledge gathering and exchange.

Achieving Social Change, Festival by Festival‘ will gather leaders in the creative sector from the UK and abroad, offering the chance for new international connections and collaborations to be established. While a new venue has been secured to allow for a larger number of attendees, tickets are still required for this event. Secure your space today to take part in this opportunity by registering for tickets through the Fringe Box Office.

More details about ‘Achieving Social Change, Festival by Festival‘ can be found on our event page.

The post More tickets released for ‘Achieving Social Change, Festival by Festival’ with Stella Hall 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

Powered by WPeMatico

#GreenFests: Swap Shop allows shows to be sustainable beyond the Fringe

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

The Fringe Swap Shop (formerly known as the Reuse & Recycle Days) is an established sustainability initiative run by The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, with support from Creative Carbon Scotland and Festivals Edinburgh. It occurs each year at the end of August and is a great opportunity for companies, individuals, and those that have participated in the Fringe to dispose of any unwanted props, sets and costumes in an easy, inexpensive and sustainable manner, whilst also sourcing new materials for future productions.

The sheer variety of materials available for collection mirrors the range and diversity of the Fringe itself. The Swap Shop quickly becomes filled with all manner of weird and wonderful objects, from a classroom whiteboard to motorcycle helmets, a comedy (or tragedy – who are we to limit your imagination?) door-on-wheels to a claw-footed bath tub and two three-seater sofas. There are also plenty of raw materials deposited, waiting to be re-purposed into whatever you desire. Wood, paper, plastic, and metal were all dropped off in force last year, as can be seen in our time lapse video of the event.

Whilst only Fringe participants are allowed to donate items, everyone and anyone is allowed to come and collect items of interest and use. The props and costumes are perfect for companies planning on putting on future productions, while the raw materials can be of great use to artists and craftspeople.

It is always interesting to hear what happens to the objects and materials after they’ve been picked up. For example, a jewellery designer based in Edinburgh took advantage of the 2014 event to collect several materials that she would have otherwise been unable to source within her budget. Packaging pellets, which cannot be recycled and would have had to be sent to landfill, were one of the key items the designer was keen to take back to her studio, where a community of ceramicists are constantly looking for ways to protect their products in transit. She also took home some select pieces of wood – a material that was donated in unprecedented amounts last year. She got back in touch with Creative Carbon Scotland to explain the outcomes of her visit:

Desk“I’m a self-employed jewellery graduate who is really struggling to afford the realities of setting up my own studio. The recycling day was a lifesaver as I managed to build my very own jewellery bench. With these costing upwards of £100 I couldn’t have afforded one but with the help of the Reuse and Recycle Days (and my dad’s building expertise) I now have a beautiful recycled bench all of my own and can begin working again. I also managed to get a few side tables that will be perfect for my studio and really help to make it feel more professional and organised.”

A theatre maker from Aberfeldy, Perthshire, was also enthused by materials he collected during the day. He told Creative Carbon Scotland of his plans to build a new theatre on the site of an old one that had been destroyed, using entirely reused and recycled materials. Items donated donating during the 2014 event included tens of small stools, all of which were taken back to Aberfeldy to be used for seating in this project.

Whilst we encourage people to take as much as they give (if not more!), any materials that are not picked up and re-homed are recycled by ScotWaste. This ensures that as little as possible is sent to landfill. We also donate any good quality pieces, especially furniture, to local charity shops making the Swap Shop good both for the environment and the community as a whole.

Although in previous years, the event has accepted paper for recycling, this year’s Swap Shop will focus on reusable goods. Keep an eye on this CCS blog for further updates in this area. 

This year, the Swap Shop will take place from Sunday 30th August to Tuesday 1st September 2015 from 11am to 6pm. For further details, click here.

Have you participated in the Swap Shop in the past? If so, we’d love to hear what you did with the materials that you collected. Please send your stories to kitty.dutton@creativecarbonscotland.com.

The post #GreenFests: Swap Shop allows shows to be sustainable beyond the Fringe 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

Powered by WPeMatico

#GreenFests: Tips & Tricks for Sustainable Festivals

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

1. Use your own water bottle and encourage staff and audiences to do the same. Make sure that everyone knows where they can fill them up too.

2. Find out the location of the nearest recycling facilities and actively advocate their usage. Landfill should be a last resort!

3. Opt for sustainable forms of transport – especially cycling and walking. Websites like www.walkit.com and www.edinburgh.cyclestreets.net can be used to find new routes and avoid the manic festival traffic

4. Always use recycled and/or recyclable paper. The price difference is often negligible while the environmental benefits are huge. See here to learn more about your paper options.

5. Use the Fringe Swap Shop. At the end of the festivals, don’t throw everything away! Bring along any good quality props, costumes, and set materials that you no longer want to the Fringe Swap Shop, running 11am-6pm from Sunday 30th August through to Tuesday 1st Here they can be collected and reused by other productions and members of the local community. You might even find something you like for yourselves! Contact participants@edfringe.com for full details.

6. Join the Green Arts Initiative. Members of the GAI commit to helping to grow a sustainable arts sector for Scotland by reducing their environmental impact and sharing their green ambitions with audiences and artists. This is supported by Creative Carbon Scotland and Festivals Edinburgh, and you will join a community of practice of same-minded and mutually supporting organisations.

7. Follow our blog and twitter campaign #GreenFests where we will be posting case-studies of best practice and reviewing and promoting festival shows, especially those involved with the Fringe Sustainable Practice Award.

8. Check out the Fringe Sustainable Practice Guide for further ideas (click here for the guide)

We’d love to know how you get on or if you have any other ideas on how to be green at this summer’s festivals. Let us know via Twitter @CCScotland, our Facebook page or – if social media’s not your thing – email us at info@creativecarbonscotland.com. We will be posting on festival sustainability throughout the summer under #GreenFests so get in touch!

[Image: ‘Dancers on the Royal Mile’ courtesy of Edinburgh Festival City]

The post #GreenFests: Tips & Tricks for Sustainable Festivals 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

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Assembly Rooms Attains Silver Award in Green Tourism Business Scheme

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

The Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh have been given a Silver Award by the Green Tourism Business Scheme, a programme that aims to develop and recognise exemplary sustainability initiatives within the hospitality sector. The award marks the success of the programmes and strategies implemented by the Assembly Rooms’ ‘Green Team’ to increase environmental awareness and positive action within this historic venue. A number of initiatives have been administered by the Assembly Rooms’ team, including a highly successful recycling programme (with effective custom signage), the introduction of bioplastics into biodegradable plastic cups and ongoing coordination with ethical suppliers.

The Assembly Rooms is a Green Arts Initiative member and has worked jointly with Creative Carbon Scotland on carbon monitoring projects within the City of Edinburgh Council Culture and Sport division. As a regular Edinburgh Festival Fringe venue, the Assembly Rooms sets a high standard for green operations during the busy summer festival period. Through their genuine commitment, the venue continues to showcase the finest international acts while pioneering techniques for approaching sustainability effectively at various levels of engagement.

To read more about the Assembly Rooms’ Silver Green Tourism Award achievement, please visit the Assembly Rooms’ website.


Image courtesy Assembly Rooms

 

The post Assembly Rooms Attains Silver Award in Green Tourism Business Scheme 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

Powered by WPeMatico

GAI Member Survey: The Results

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

The Green Arts Initiative is changing: growing from a simple branding and accreditation scheme, to a more useful and interactive community of practice for those artists and organisations working to reduce the environmental impact of the Scottish arts sector.

Our primary step was to find out more about our GAI members: who they are, where and how they work, and what they want from the redevelopment. From these results, we’ll be working to create more opportunities for the GAI to be useful to its members; in terms of working on their sustainability activities; learning from each other; and showcasing their sustainability to audience and partners.

Here are some of our key results:

More about our members

The survey revealed a lot of information about our members, allowing us to tailor the advice we provide, the events we hold and the way we communicate. We’re also able to place some focus on those who are more individual in their aims and challenges, and make sure that we’re providing information useful to all our different members.

Here are some snapshots of our community membership:

  • 68% of members are focused on carbon reduction, whilst 30% are focussing on changing their organisations from within – such as through engaging more staff members.
  • 53% of members are the only green champion in their organisation – but the remaining 47% vary, from having one other supporting member, to a fully engaged staff team.
  • 80% of GAI members have previously used the tools provided by CCS (including Claimexpenses.com and GAP).


Area of arts workArea of work

More about the resources they want

We asked our members specifically about they kinds of information they want, and how they want to access them. We’ve been working to make this a reality:

  • Use technology more actively and innovatively to maintain easy access to up-to-date resources
    • We’re working to redesign and streamline our website to make it easier to identify the resources that are relevant to you. We’re also working to extend the platforms across which these resources are hosted on: already we’ve created a video tutorial for our Claimexpenses.com travel tool, and we have more planned.
  • Involve external experts in specific aspects of sustainability
    • Since the conclusion of the survey, we’ve already commissioned expert consulting advice with regards to sustainable travel planning for new capital (building) projects. As we continue to identify the knowledge gaps of the community, we’ll seek further support to make sure the GAI is an access point for quality information.

More about their needs

We asked our members about what they think the core values of the GAI should be, and what kinds of activities would help them achieve their environmental sustainability aims. Our top results are prompting us to consider different ways to meet these needs:

  • Enhance the sustainability competencies of arts organisations
    • Creative Carbon Scotland is working hard to grow the range and accessibility of the resources and tools we provide to help guide those addressing their environmental impact. Over time, we plan to host informative training events on key sustainability topics to grow organisational competency.
  • Identify, use and share relevant knowledge
    • Our members are experts in their own field, each having faced specific sustainability questions and issues. But many of these issues are familiar across the arts sector, across regional boundaries, and across art form. We’re investigating the different ways to share these stories – through case studies and research reports, to best communicate how to overcome the common problems.
  • Provide a central gathering of arts and sustainability expertise in Scotland
    • On 6th October 2015, we’re hosting our first annual conference for GAI members and those Scottish arts organisations reporting on their environmental efforts. Held in Glasgow at the Pearce Institute, the conference will be a great opportunity to hear about the challenges and successes of fellow GAI members, and glean ideas to adapt for other organisations.

Thanks once again to all those who completed the survey. For those who missed it, we are always eager to hear any thoughts or ideas on how you want the GAI community of practice to work. Please let us know! You can get in touch with Catriona by emailing catriona.patterson@creativecarbonscotland.com.

For the mean time, keep an eye on the Green Arts Initiative project page and our social media accounts (#GAI) to stay up-to-date with our members. And don’t forget to save the date for our GAI and carbon reporting conference on October 6th: 50 Shades of GreenWe’re looking forward to seeing you there!

If you’re interested in joining the Green Arts Initiative, have a look on the Green Arts Initiative project page to find out more, and to join the community.


Image: David Smith of The Filmhouse/Edinburgh International Film Festival – Winner of our GAI Member Survey prize draw!

 

The post GAI Member Survey: The Results 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

Powered by WPeMatico

#GreenFests Top 10 Things to See in Edinburgh This Week

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Creative Carbon Scotland presents our 10 sustainable top picks for the week ahead. We have scoured through the programme of each and every festival to find the best and brightest acts engaging with art and sustainability. From shows to exhibitions, talks and discussions to events, I hope you enjoy our list of the sustainability crème de la crème on show in Edinburgh this week.

1. Workers’ Rights in the 21st Century – do we need them?

Festival of Politics

Fringe 1Although they have been synonymous with industrialization for more than a hundred years, detractors believe unions are outmoded institutions whose role has been pre-empted in the 21st century by labour laws, better human resource management and an increasingly educated and mobile workforce.  Yet many believe we still need a fairness and voice in the workplace. Join Chair Deputy Presiding Officer, Elaine Smith MSP as she discusses these issues with Ann Henderson, Assistant Secretary, Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC); Professor Mike Gonzalez, formerly head of Latin American studies at University of Glasgow and member of Solidarity – Scotland’s Socialist Movement; and Colin Borland, Federation of Small Businesses.

A special Festival discount will apply if tickets are bought for both this panel and the film screening Made in Dagenham.

2. Lungs

Fringe 2Edinburgh Festival Fringe

‘I could fly to New York and back every day for seven years and still not leave a carbon footprint as big as if I have a child. Ten thousand tonnes of CO2. That’s the weight of the Eiffel Tower. I’d be giving birth to the Eiffel Tower.’ In a time of global anxiety, erratic weather and political unrest, a couple want a child but are running out of time. What will be the first to destruct – the planet or their relationship? ‘The most beautiful, shattering play of the year’ ***** (Sunday Express).

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

 

3.  Current Location

Edinburgh Festival FringeFringe 9

Three women stand on a cliff-edge overlooking their village; a village which is soon to disappear. ‘Sometimes we need to do things like this; we need to step away from our daily lives, and look at them from a distance.’ Set in the intimacy of a choir rehearsal room, an all-female cast presents this immersive piece of theatre with live music by Ben Osborn, which explores how rumour and the fears associated with climate change disrupts families, friends and communities. ‘Quietly gripping and thoroughly unsettling, this piece climbs inside you, like the best examples of sci-fi’ (ExeuntMagazine.com).

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

4.  We May Have To Choose

Fringe 10Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Winner: 2015 Adelaide Fringe Weekly Award – Best Theatre. A monologue of sorts, a list of 621 declarations about the universe. A darkly humorous solo show that asks: in a dying world, what is it to speak one’s mind? “a refreshingly experimental performance… surprisingly funny… provocative…an introspective experience” (Buzzcuts.org.au). Australian performer Emma Hall creates a funny, withering, and moving piece about the fallibility of thought in our quest to solve the riddles of our world. I think therefore I am…often wrong. **** ‘smart, fun and distinctly different’ (TheatreGuide.com.au). **** (RipItUp.com.au).

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

5. Holoturian

Edinburgh Art Festival

Fringe 3For the Edinburgh Art Festival, Guzik has constructed a beautiful capsule, the Holoturian, designed to send a living plant and a string instrument into the depths of the sea. Imagined in extraordinary drawings, this ship has instrumentation, which expresses life, space, harmony and brightness as primary messages, and is dedicated to sperm whales and other deep ocean creatures.

6. Embrace Your Creativity and Improve Your Life

Fringe 7Edinburgh International Book Festival

BBC arts editor Will Gompertz has interviewed plenty of creative people. In Think Like an Artist he focuses not just on their output, but the creativity with which they approach their work. He argues that there’s a link between creativity and entrepreneurialism, and using artists like Picasso and Warhol as examples, he says we can improve our own lives by learning some of their skills.

 

7. The Wild Man of Orford

Edinburgh Festival FringeFringe 4

Orford, the Suffolk coast, 1167. A fisherman hauls up a mysterious catch: a scaly, glistening creature from the depths of the sea. Man or monster? Is the wild man barbaric or simply free of the constraints of society? A tale from English folklore, The Wild Man of Orford is a story of freedom, of kindness, and of the strange wild song of the sea. Beautiful and improbable, Rust and Stardust’s production features an exciting combination of handmade puppets, live theatre and music, and projected animations. Part of the Sea of Stories season at Sweet Venues.

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

8. Ndebele Funeral

Fringe 5Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Winner! FringeNYC Overall Excellence Award Best Play, Critics’ Pick Time Out New York. From a successful run off-Broadway in New York and South Africa’s National Arts Festival. Hilariously heartbreaking, Ndebele Funeral pulls audiences into the music, dirt, and dreams of modern South Africa by examining the aspirations and loss of three characters whose lives intersect in a Soweto shack. Smoke and Mirrors Collaborative’s powerfully physical production delves bravely into modern poverty, health care and violence featuring original music and gumboot dancing from the mines of Jo’burg.

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

9. Scarfed for Life

Fringe 6Edinburgh Festival Fringe

‘The play, Scarfed for Life, is a loud, lively piece about sectarianism in Glasgow … a mix of broad, mouthy comedy and serious agitprop’ (Joyce McMillan, Scotsman). A modern parable set against the backdrop of the first Old Firm clash of the season. Funny, hard-hitting and thought provoking, Scarfed for Life tells the story of two teenage friends caught in the crossfire of polite suburban prejudice and garden equipment. This play draws on what sectarianism and prejudice actually means to young Glaswegians, and how it affects them and their peers. Supported by the Scottish Government.

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

10.  Fraxi Queen of the Forest

Fringe 8Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Home provider, light giver, and oxygen producer, Fraxi the Ash tree is a guardian (and BFF!) to all woodland creatures. When tragedy strikes and Fraxi is infected with the ash-dieback virus, her childhood friend Woody must choose how to save the forest. A triumph of whimsical physical theatre for young audiences written by Scotland New Playwrights award winner, Jack Dickson.

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

 

[Top image courtesy of Lonely Planet]

The post #GreenFests Top 10 Things to See in Edinburgh This Week 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

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