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Guest Blog: I CAN’T WAIT TO DRIVE A CAR!

The fourth in a series of blogs from playwright Lewis Hetherington about his work with Glasgow cycling charity Bike for Good and Creative Carbon Scotland.

We’re all just back from a cycle ride. exhausted, smiling, happy, we’re already talking about where we might cycle tomorrow. We start to chat about other things…

him:     you know what it’s only six years ’til I get my driving licence!!!

me:      Are you excited about that?

him:     YES!

me:      how come?

him:     cos I can DRIVE A CAR!

me:      Maybe in five years there’ll be no cars!

him:     Looks at me in complete confusion

me:      So no one will need a driving licence because there’ll be no cars!

him:     continues to stare as his disbelief grows… as though I’ve just started making bizarre and incomprehensible wailing sounds.

There I was, on a glorious sunny afternoon the other week, having ridden through the park with some of the brilliant youngsters who regularly attend the after school bike club. We were all buzzing, from feeling the sunshine stream down as we free wheeled our bikes around the park. Not to mention some exhilarating games of ‘Sardines’ and ‘Find the Cones’, I did very well in the first and was terrible in the latter, but we all had a great time. Back at the hub, the conversation turned to cars and a number of the group expressed mega excitement about learning to drive.

him:     but you couldn’t have no cars. how would anyone get anywhere? how could you do that? how would anyone get to work?

Pavements are for people, train tracks are for trains, roads are for cars

This isn’t the first time these ideas have come up, I chatted to some of the same youngsters before Christmas around the same idea. It was a much needed jolt to my naive thinking that these young cyclists might not be interested in cars. I remember looking out at the streaming traffic on Victoria Road behind them as we chatted and it hit me like a brick that of course they want to drive. As much as they love cycling, car usage is the model of transport that is presented to them all day, every day. Pavements are for people, train tracks are for trains, roads are for cars, and our cities are built around roads. It’s the model we all take part in everyday.

me:      but imagine the whole of Victoria Road didn’t have cars, we could all cycle, or skateboard!?

Now, I have a car. I am very much part of this problem. Myself, my partner and our two dogs rely on it to get us round the country to visit family and friends, he uses it for his work which takes him all over Scotland. Doing any of those things would be much harder (not impossible!) without a car. We avoid using it wherever we can. But still here I was, trying to sell the idea of a car-less city.

him:     I want to drive so I can get places, go wherever I want, get to work, drive to Romania.

Towards beautiful acts

I’m reminded of an Arne Naess quote I read recently:

“the extensive moralising within environmentalism has given the public the false impression that we primarily ask them to sacrifice, to show more responsibility, to show more concern, better morals”

Now of course this is all connected to an urgent discussion which is happening about the (in?)significance of individual action which we won’t go into in length here, other than to say that for the shift to active transport to be meaningful requires change on a civic scale where going by a car is the least preferable option for travel within our urban areas at the very least. Cleaner air, healthier and cheaper travel is what we are aiming towards, not people feeling they have to ‘sacrifice’  their right to drive a car.

There’s another Arne Naess quote where he wonders if

perhaps we should primarily try to influence people towards beautiful acts

which seems to capture a lot of what I’m trying to capture at Bike For Good. It feels to me like a pleasingly poetic encapsulation of what they’re doing. It almost feels uncomfortably lofty and wide eyed, but I think that’s why I like it, we need to be wide eyed and giddy and lean into the profound beauty of this living planet we are part of.

Face the terror that is imminent

planet not profit! Demonstrating for climate action in Glasgow

Planet not profit! Credit: Geraldine Heaney

Now I can feel certain people flinching at their screens – we don’t just need wafty sentiment about the beauty of the earth – we need to face the terror that is imminent! We need to be shocked into action at the catastrophic damage we’re doing to our planet! We need to get out on the streets and make our resistance seen and heard where we can!

Plural and abundant and wildly variant

Sunset over park

Sunset on the park. Credit: Lewis Hetherington

But I suppose something I’m trying to resist is the binary framing that sometimes frames contemporary debates, I don’t find it helpful to think in terms of hope or fear, individual or societal action. Those sorts of dualities are not an honest reflection of the world we’re part of. Nature is plural and abundant and wildly variant and diverse, and we are part of nature.

Trees like skyscrapers and housing as many. Grass the height of hedges, nuts the swell of pumpkins. Sardines that would take two men to land them. Eggs, pale-blue-shelled, each the weight of a breaking universe. And underneath, mushrooms soft and small as a mouse ear. A crack like a cut, and inside a million million microbes wondering what to do next. Spores that wait for the wind and never look back. Moss that is concentrating on being green.[1]

We must be terrified, joyful, patient, demanding, thoughtful, hopeful, optimistic, sceptical, generous, angry, rebellious, mindful and instinctive… sometimes all at once.

him:                 how would it work with no cars?

me:                  I don’t know. How do you think it would work?

we don’t finish the conversation at this moment, as it’s time to huddle together for a group photo.

her:                  ok everyone in position? We’re going to take ten photos and try and make a GIF. So just keep moving the whole time ok? Let’s go!

Gif of kids and Lewis with helmets pulling poses

Bike excitement! Credit: Geraldine Heaney


[1] from Stone Gods by Jeanette Winterson

Lewis is working embedded with Bike for Good for two years in their VeloCommunities project to contribute to their activities widening access to cycling and helping Glasgow to become a more sustainable city.

This artist in residence is part of Bike for Good’s VeloCommunities Project, which is funded by the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund. We’ll keep you posted of updates and developments on this blog, and please get in touch with any questions or ideas!

New project announcement: Velocommunities 1000th Climate Challenge Fund project                                      New project announcement: Velocommunities 1000th Climate Challenge Fund project 1

The post Guest Blog: I CAN’T WAIT TO DRIVE A CAR! 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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Green Tease Podcast: Can art get people travelling more sustainably?

Road vehicles such as cars, trucks and buses are Scotland’s largest – and growing – source of carbon emissions but what role can artists play in increasing  active travel and contributing to a more sustainable Scotland? Listen to the podcast from Green Tease: Arts and Active Travel, a collaboration between Sustrans Scotland and Creative Carbon Scotland. 

Can art get people travelling more sustainably?

To allow you to hear the full presentations and a summary of discussions we have created Creative Carbon Scotland first ever podcast “Can art get people travelling more sustainably?”! 

The podcast is available on ItunesGoogle Podcasts (on your phone), Spotify and a bunch of other platforms. We welcome your feedback on the podcast as we’re aiming to produce recordings of more of our events, to allow a wider audience to benefit from the information and to ensure that there’s a means of participating when environmental or other considerations mean people choose not to travel.

You can also get the visuals from the presentations by taking a look at the slides, linked to in the section below.

In brief

Cosmo Blake, Arts and Diversity Officer at Sustrans Scotland, kicked off the event by showing diverse examples of public art works commissioned on Scotland’s cycle paths. He also gave an update on the ArtRoots Fund which offers grants to communities for artistic and aesthetic improvements to the National Cycle Network.

Arts producer and consultant Ben Spencer then gave a presentation on how artistic practices and projects have sought to affect social change.

Freshly inspired, Green Teasers then discussed how artists can influence the different stages of active travel projects (Inception, Design, Construction, Completion), as well as the potential challenges and opportunities. Questions were raised and explored such as;

  • If an artist was involved from the very start of projects (for example path building), could they be more visual and appealing?
  • How can health and safety requirements be managed while also encouraging the creative flair of an artist?
  • And how can you evaluate the impact of public artwork on cycle ways?

Green Tease

This event was part of Green Tease, a network and ongoing informal events programme, connecting creative practices and environmental sustainability across Scotland.  Creative Carbon Scotland runs the Green Tease Open Call, which is a funded opportunity supporting sustainability practitioners and artists to exchange ideas, knowledge and practices with the aim of building connections and widening understanding of the role of arts in influencing a more sustainable society.

For more information please click on the links above or email gemma.lawrence@creativecarbonscotland.com 

Image: Slow Down C Jacqueline Donachie (2014)

The post Green Tease Podcast: Can art get people travelling more sustainably? 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

Guest Blog: Crises. Crocuses. Creativity.

The third in a series of blogs from playwright Lewis Hetherington about his work with Glasgow cycling charity Bike for Good and Creative Carbon Scotland.

I’m currently Artist in Residence with the brilliant Bike for Good documenting their Velocommunities project which has two main aims; Firstly, to increase the number of short journeys made by bike in Glasgow and secondly, to raise awareness of climate change.

This is my third blog in this series and has been by far the hardest one to write. As we’ve stopped to take stock of where we are in the process, I’ve been reminded of the scale and the urgency of the issues which this residency is engaging with.

Before Christmas we made a short film launched at the Climate Challenge Fund Gathering in Perth. We’re now working towards a longer film which we’ll share as part of Climate Week later this year.

Geraldine and I have been talking about everything that our next film could, and maybe should contain. So of course we’ve found ourselves in conversations about potholes, asteroids, politics, religion, education, schools, alien life, transatlantic flights, shopping, central heating, children, cars, pavements, air quality, skeletons, traffic, motorways, accessibility, solar power, dancing and much much more.

So this has been the hardest blog to write because we’re not at the beginning and we’re not at the end, and when you’re in some way grappling with the climate crisis, you’re kind of dealing with everything all at once.

I was going to write about being warm in a T-shirt in February.

I was going to write about the rift between legislation and culture.

I was going to write about the tension between wanting to provoke and wanting to be thoughtful.

I was going to write about the fact that even some of the most enthusiastic young cyclists I’ve met still talk with mega excitement about getting a car when they’re older, and I think how can we challenge that when of course they would want a car when they look out the window everyday and see a city built for cars.

I was going to write about a children’s TV show that is basically Top Gear for kids where an extremely excited rally driver grins as she enthuses about sports cars and super yachts.

Racing car driver behind the wheel

I was going to write about the striking students across the world that have made me feel genuinely hopeful and inspired and overwhelmed.

I was going to write about Greta Thunberg.

I was going to write about what role art can have in advocating for social change.

I was going to write about how some people don’t want art to have a role in advocating for social change, they just want it to distract people and make them feel better for a bit.

I was going to write about the crocuses appearing in Queen’s Park. The purple, yellow and white flowers poking out and reaching up to the sky.

Purple crocuses in leaf litter, bare treas in the background

I was going to write about international travel.

I was going to write about how it’s easy to point fingers elsewhere.

I was going to write about how we have to point fingers elsewhere because none of us can solve this on our own.

I was going to write about how pointing fingers sometimes feels abrupt and uncomfortable.

I was going to write about how awful it would be if the world burned just because we didn’t want to do anything abrupt or uncomfortable.

I was going to write about how there are so many people, who are doing SUCH TERRIBLE things for the environment that it’s really easy to go ‘oh well they’re worse’ and slip into atrophy.

I was going to write about the fact that I’m just supposed to be documenting what’s happening at Bike for Good on Victoria Road so no one needs to hear my free wheeling, nervy musings on this climate catastrophe we’re all facing.

I was going to write about how the first film made some people think and smile and debate and we have some exciting ideas for the next film.

I was going to write about a robot who comes back from the future and tells us a moving story of how we destroyed the earth and convinces us to all change our ways, and that’s when I knew I was really going into freefall.

I was going to write something that was breezy and upbeat and made it seem like broadly I’ve got everything under control.

But instead I wrote this.

I’m reminded of a quote from Timothy Morton;

We are losing a fantasy – the fantasy of being immersed in a benevolent Mother Nature –  and a person who is losing a fantasy is a very dangerous person.

And also of Joanna Macy’s call for us to have Active Hope.

Active Hope is not wishful thinking. Active hope is not waiting to be rescued by the Lone Ranger or by some saviour. Active Hope is waking up to the beauty of life on whose behalf we can act.

I was going to try and write an eloquent, robust yet empowering closing statement, but there isn’t an end yet. We’re right in the middle. And it’s how we write the present that will determine what the end is.

Lots and lots of light purple crocuses in grass


Lewis is working embedded with Bike for Good for two years to document their VeloCommunities project and contribute to their activities widening access to cycling and helping Glasgow to become a more sustainable city.

This artist in residence is part of Bike for Good’s VeloCommunities Project, which is funded by the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund. We’ll keep you posted of updates and developments on this blog, and please get in touch with any questions or ideas!

New project announcement: Velocommunities 1000th Climate Challenge Fund project                                      New project announcement: Velocommunities 1000th Climate Challenge Fund project 1

The post Guest Blog: Crises. Crocuses. Creativity. 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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Opportunity: Call for proposals – Nuit Blanche

As a cultural, artistic event, Nuit Blanche invites everyone to reclaim the city for just one night.

CALL FOR PROPOSALS NUIT BLANCHE – 17th edition – 5 October 2019

Supported by the City of Brussels, NUIT BLANCHE highlights every first Saturday in October dozens of sites across the capital as it presents a variety of contemporary artistic creations at night. Cultural venues, shop windows, school playgrounds, car parks, churches, stations, fountains, streets and squares are all potential locations.

In offering a series of artistic works closely related to the sites in which they are presented, NUIT BLANCHE sheds new light on familiar places as well as extending an invitation to discover locations that the public usually have little or no chance to see.

Each year, thousands of night owls flock to Brussels to live intriguing and one-of-a-kind experiences.

A distinctive feature of NUIT BLANCHE is that it takes place in a different district each year. The 2019 edition will take place in and around Thurn & Taxis on Saturday 5 October, from 7.00pm until 3.00am.

Back to Nature

The theme this time will be ‘Back to Nature’. The 2019 NUIT BLANCHE intends to examine the impact of the Anthropocene period- a term that describes the current period, which started when human activities began to have a global impact on climate – on Earth’s ecosystem, the need to take account of nature and the role of artists in creating an awareness of climate-related issues.

This call for projects is open to emerging artists with a professional experience of up to 5 years. Artists are allowed to submit several projects. These can be new creations as well as existing projects. Files must be sent by Wednesday 27 March 2019 at the latest.

Go to http://nuitblanche.brussels/en/open-call-for-proposals-2019/ to find the general provisions for this open call.

The post Opportunity: Call for proposals – Nuit Blanche 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

News: Citizen Bravo – Build a thing of Beauty

Chemikal Underground Records announce the exciting news around the launch of Citizen Bravo, a new music venture by Matt Brennan, who led the Fields of Green research which Creative Carbon Scotland collaborated on. As part of our Green Tease programme we’re taking part in the launch event for the new album and ‘interactive musical sculpture’.

It gives Chemikal Underground Records great pleasure to introduce the unabashed geek pop of Citizen Bravo, AKA songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and music researcher Matt Brennan. His remarkable debut album Build A Thing Of Beauty will be released on 5 April 2019 exclusively on digital services, save for one, extraordinary and thoroughly unique physical manifestation – an interactive musical sculpture known as SCI★FI★HI★FI, which will be premiered at the launch event Green Tease: Citizen Bravo presents “The Terrifying Miracle of Recorded Sound” at the University of Glasgow Concert Hall on 11 April 2019. Completing this ambitious hybrid music and research experiment is a short documentary film The Cost Of Music, which will be screened as part of the sculpture launch event in Glasgow, ahead of further screenings at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Université du Québec in Montreal, the Australian National University in Canberra, and further tour dates to be announced. The video for the album’s lead single “Limbs And Bones,” was released on 15 March 2019.

Citizen Bravo is Matt Brennan, a dual citizen of Canada and Scotland. Born in Nova Scotia and raised in New Brunswick, he immigrated to Scotland at the age of twenty-two to study and make music. In the mid-2000s, Brennan was a founding member of indie pop group Zoey Van Goey (Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian produced the band’s debut single, and the group released two well received albums on Chemikal Underground Records before disbanding in 2012). Citizen Bravo marks Brennan’s first outing as a solo artist. Drawing on musical influences ranging from Jonathan Richman to Robert Wyatt, Brennan recorded the album with the help of friends including Andy Monaghan (Frightened Rabbit), Malcolm Benzie (Withered Hand), Raymond MacDonald (Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra), and Pete Harvey (Modern Studies). Brennan also found inspiration in scavenging and manipulating orphaned samples from antique recording formats and integrating them into his songs.

The Cost of Music

The short film The Cost Of Music (directed by Graeme O’Hara) documents Matt’s journey making the album: disillusioned by prevailing attitudes about the disposability of new music and the decline of physical formats, Matt set out to record his own songs and release them in an unusual way: not so much a ‘concept album’ as a musical sculpture that explores the concept of albums as historical artefacts. In doing so, he discovers how the cost of listening to records has changed over the past century: while the economic cost of listening to one’s choice of recorded music has never been lower, the environmental cost has never been higher.

By day, Brennan works as a music academic at the University of Glasgow. His research draws from his practice as a musician and vice versa. In the case of Build A Thing Of Beauty, for example, the album’s release coincides with the publication of videos presenting collaborative research on the economic and environmental costs of recorded music, including new research findings on how the price consumers have been willing to pay for recorded music has changed across formats and over history. Similarly, the sole physical copy of the album is a one-off interactive musical sculpture called the SCI★FI★HI★FI, which will tour as part of a series of public lectures in 2019.

SCI★FI★HI★FI

Built in collaboration an electronics engineer (Peter Reid) and metal worker (Mark Reynolds), the SCI★FI★HI★FI is what its name suggests: a science-fiction inspired hi-fi system that can play the music of Citizen Bravo on seven of the most historically significant recording formats (Edison wax cylinder, 78 rpm disc, vinyl LP, cassette tape, compact disc, mp3 on hard drive, and streaming remotely from the cloud). It explores how playback technology changed the parameters of musical work at different moments in history: from two minutes of lo-fidelity mono sound on wax cylinder, to a streamed AI-composed remix that is unstoreable and infinite in length. To listen to the album Build A Thing Of Beauty via the SCI★FI★HI★FI is to make sense of recorded music not as a fixed, frozen object but as an historical event unfolding over time. How was recorded music valued before the advent of albums, and how might it be valued after albums are gone?


TOUR DATES:

  • Thursday 11 April, 7pm: Launch event – Green Tease: Citizen Bravo presents “The Terrifying Miracle of Recorded Sound” at University of Glasgow Concert Hall, Glasgow
  • Sunday 14 April, noon-5pm: SCI★FI★HI★FI demo as part of Record Store Day weekend at Monorail Records, Glasgow
  • Saturday 18 May: The Cost Of Music film screening at Berklee College of Music, Boston
  • Saturday 25 May: The Cost Of Music film screening at Université du Québec, Montreal
  • Friday 28 June: The Cost Of Music film screening at Australian National University, Canberra

More dates TBC at www.citizenbravo.com

The post News: Citizen Bravo – Build a thing of Beauty 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

Guest Blog: Staging Change – A green theatre network

Staging Change is a new initiative for performers and makers interested in greener theatre. Alice Boyd, Founder and Co-Director talks about how they’re forming a network of performers and makers who believe in a greener future for theatre.

As storytellers, performers and makers have a unique capacity to explore key issues with audiences both on and off the stage. In a warming world, this means taking leadership in communicating the importance of environmental action, whether that be through the content of our projects or the sharing of our practice.

Last year at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, my theatre company, Poltergeist Theatre, challenged fellow theatre makers to reduce their plastic, paper and material waste, as part of our #SustainableFringe campaign. We were thrilled that over 100 individuals and companies committed to sustainable actions over the course of the festival.

Staging Change

Since then, alongside a fantastic team, including my co-Director, ThisEgg’s Josie Dale-Jones, I’ve developed a new initiative called Staging Change. Staging Change is forming a network of performers and makers who work together to discuss how the industry can overcome the challenges it faces in becoming more environmentally sustainable. With over 50 individuals and groups in the network as of March 2019, and supporters including The Pleasance Theatre Trust, High Tide Theatre, The Bunker Theatre and the very inspirational Creative Carbon Scotland, we aim to see this grow and have a wider impact.

Alongside the network, we are developing a series of campaigns, including a new and improved #SustainableFringe at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Follow us on social media or join the network to stay up to date with the events, tips and opportunities we are offering to this year’s Fringe-goers.

Beyond August, we are exploring how we can set up campaigns across the nation and opportunities for performers to develop and present green work.

Join in

Whether you’re a green theatre machine or new to the sustainability game, everyone is welcome to join the discussion! Together we can create a theatre industry that has a small footprint, but a big impact.

Join the network at www.stagingchange.com
Follow us on social media @StagingChange
Or get in contact at info@stagingchange.com

The post Guest Blog: Staging Change – A green theatre network 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

Creativity to help Glasgow City Region respond to Climate Crisis

The Embedded Artist to work with Climate Ready Clyde and Creative Carbon Scotland as part of the Cultural Adaptations project has been announced!

A writer and theatre producer has been tasked with adding creativity into how the Glasgow City Region adapts to the impacts of climate change. Lesley Anne Rose will help ensure that transformative cultural shifts as well as dramatic technological and infrastructural changes enable the region to deal with the present and future impacts of our climate crisis.

This Embedded Artist commission has been announced as part of Cultural Adaptations, a project co-funded by the European Union’s Creative Europe programme and the Scottish Government, The project will see embedded artists working in the Glasgow, Gothenburg, Ghent and Dublin city regions to bring creative solutions as they deal with the intense rainfall and other impacts increasingly being brought about by climate change.

Not commonplace in the climate change adaptation world

Lesley Anne will be working within the Climate Ready Clyde initiative – a coalition of thirteen organisations including six local councils, transport agencies, universities and government agencies – with support from Creative Carbon Scotland who are leading the Cultural Adaptations project. Climate Ready Clyde is excited to be bringing in Lesley Anne’s skills as a theatre producer, playwright and experience in senior roles with Aberdeen Performing Arts. Such skills and experience are not commonplace in the climate change adaptation world, which is expected to benefit from the creativity, curiosity and methods for building collaboration which an embedded artist can bring.

Lesley Anne joins the project in the same week as the first meeting of Glasgow City Council’s new “Climate Emergency Working Group”, further highlighting the multiple approaches needed both to avert a growing climate crisis, and create societies able to live with the consequences caused by present and past emissions.

Thinking differently and raising ambitions

James Curran, Independent Chair of Climate Ready Clyde, whose report released in October 2018 showed that vital roads, bridges, rail lines and hospitals in the region are at significant risk of being damaged or closed by climate change, said:

“Building resilience to the impacts of climate change requires us to think very differently about the way we approach the development of the City Region, to ensure we adapt in a way which supports the City Region to prosper and ensure that impacts do not disproportionately affect the most vulnerable. We’re looking forward to working with Lesley Anne to help us think differently and raise our ambitions as we prepare Glasgow City Region’s first adaptation strategy and action plan”.

Lesley Anne Rose, who was chosen from a strong field of creative practitioners, commented:

“I look forward to playing a meaningful role in this project and the region. For the past few years I’ve sought ways that the cultural sector can contribute to the process of adaptation and challenges and opportunities this will bring. Bringing my skills and experience into the work of Climate Ready Clyde will I hope help realise the transformational changes that the climate crisis demands.”

Ben Twist, Director of Scotland’s arts and climate change charity Creative Carbon Scotlandwho are leading the project, said:

“This is an exciting step in this ambitious project. We’re proud to be leading this project which brings together some of the most forward thinking cultural and adaptation organisations in Europe and we see it having the potential to significantly change perceptions of how the arts can, and do, help people to think differently.”

The Embedded Artists will come together for the first time in March as the project partners gather in Glasgow. as part of the project’s first transnational workshop. The gathering in Glasgow will also see the beginning of the project’s parallel strand, with the first in a series of workshops for managers from arts & cultural organisations on Tuesday 19th March to develop tools to help the sector when planning for climate change impacts. Artists, sustainability professionals and those interested in building links between these two areas can attend an evening ‘Green Tease’ on Monday 18 March to hear from local and international partners and discuss this developing project.

Find out about opportunities for participation, and the project’s international conference in Glasgow in 2020, by registering on the Cultural Adaptations website.


Cultural Adaptations seeks to find creative, innovative and place-based responses to climate change impacts, equipping cultural organisations and cities with the knowledge and skills they need to create a positive future. The project, running from October 2018 – March 2021, is co-funded by the European Union’s Creative Europe programme with match-funding from Scottish Government.

Cultural Adaptations
Creativity to help Glasgow City Region respond to Climate Crisis

The post Creativity to help Glasgow City Region respond to Climate Crisis 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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Opportunity: Theatres Trust launches new grant scheme to improve environmental sustainability of theatres

Up to £20k available for projects that improve the environmental sustainability of theatre buildings

The latest round of the Theatre Improvement Scheme, in association with the Wolfson Foundation, will offer theatres grants of up to £20,000 for projects focusing on Improving Environmental Sustainability.

Protecting the environment is one of the biggest social issues right now and the theatre sector is keen to be more environmentally sustainable. While operational changes can make a difference in reducing energy wastage and carbon footprint, major energy consumption comes from heating, ventilation, stage machinery and lighting.

Sadly, many of the UK’s stock of more than 1,000 active theatres, particularly the older ones, do not meet today’s environmental standards. Theatre buildings and the plant that services them are in desperate need of investment to make them more efficient. In a recent Theatres Trust survey of theatres planning capital works in the next 5 years, 50% cited environmental improvements as one of the key reasons for the works.

It is hoped that these grants will support a range of projects that consider different ways theatre buildings can reduce their environmental impact. From sedum roofs to new windows, building management systems to more efficient water heaters, funding will be given to projects that demonstrate how a small intervention can have a big impact.

Theatre operators can apply for grants of up to £20,000 towards their building or equipment as part of the scheme. The deadline for applications is Friday 13 September 2019.

Full details of the scheme are available on the Theatres Trust website.

The post Opportunity: Theatres Trust launches new grant scheme to improve environmental sustainability of theatres appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

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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

Ben’s Strategy blog: How we bring about change – Individuals, Organisations and Structures

‘Brave!’ That’s what a fellow theatre director said to me when I quit directing to work on setting up Creative Carbon Scotland. I have an idea they really meant ‘Stupid!’. Whether they’ve changed their mind I don’t know, but Creative Carbon Scotland is eight years old and the climate crisis is now on the agenda of the Scottish cultural sector in a way that it simply wasn’t when I started.

That responding to the climate crisis is now part of cultural organisations’ work and practitioners’ thinking isn’t just down to us, of course: society is much more aware of it overall and regulations, news stories and campaigns all make it part of the general discourse. It’s sometimes tricky to know whether our work has had much impact at all, and this is something we’re determined to get better at understanding with some work this month on how we go about doing so.

One area where we can be confident though is in our work with various strategic organisations where at least some of our work has paid off. Most obvious is the work with Creative Scotland – the main body distributing Scottish Government and National Lottery funds to the arts, screen and creative industries. Creative Scotland was interested from the start but climate change wasn’t top of their agenda – we needed to demonstrate that there was also interest within the sector. Even then it took some time for crucial elements to get started.

Creative Scotland had been discussing with us the idea of introducing carbon reporting for some organisations from 2012 or 2013, but it wasn’t until 2014 that they finally announced that Regular Funded Organisations (those arts organisations receiving funding for a three-year period) would need to start measuring and reporting their carbon emissions from 2015/16 onwards. The success of this meant that the always-planned next step – a formal way of planning to reduce carbon emissions rather than just measure them – was easy to introduce, and Carbon Management Planning began in 2018. That gives some idea of how long these things can take.

Creative Scotland is now taking big steps forward

But constant discussion and working closely with the staff there now means that Creative Scotland are thinking about how climate action can be integrated into the processes for other funding streams. This is a big step forward. In the autumn of 2018 I delivered training for most of the Lead Officers that have direct responsibility for the relationships with Regular Funded Organisations. In the past this sort of work has been more ad hoc: some years ago I provided some training for organisations which had received capital funding, but not directly for the staff involved. Next year we hope staff and funding recipients will start having training workshops together to share and develop their joint knowledge.

We are in discussion with Creative Scotland’s new film unit Screen Scotland to talk about how it should act on climate change. The BAFTA schemes Albert and Albert+ are already used by many producers when planning productions and we have supported BAFTA in providing Albert training in Scotland for some years, and this is now becoming more formalised.

Festivals, theatre and more

More recently we’ve extended our work with other strategic organisations. We’ve always been members of and provided specific advice to the Edinburgh Festivals’ Environmental Sustainability Working Group – the experience from that and work with a pilot group of theatre, dance and music organisations which were members of the Federation of Scottish Theatre informed our training work from the beginning. We’ve now done workshops with staff from both the Federation of Scottish Theatre and Youth Theatre Arts Scotland exploring how they can mainstream work on climate change, building it into their other work.

iOS – no, not that one

Why write about this now? Partly it’s to explain what I think of as our ‘Individuals, Organisations, Structures’ approach to bringing about change. As I touched upon in my last blog, Creative Carbon Scotland grew up in parallel with the Scottish Government’s development of the ISM Model which is their tool for bringing about ‘behaviour change’. The ‘ISM’ stands for Individual, Social, Material, and the following, taken from the ISM tool website, explains it well (as you’d expect…) and the image at the top of the page helps:

ISM brings together into a single figure the main factors from the three disciplines most concerned with understanding behaviour: behavioural economics, social psychology, and sociology. The factors are arranged into three contexts, symbolised by a head (the Individual) in a circle (the Social) in a square (the Material). Evidence from reviews of international behaviour change interventions suggests that lasting change requires action in all three contexts (Southerton et al, 2011).

The aim of the ISM tool is to move away from the focus on the individual and getting them to ‘change their behaviour’ and instead acknowledge the complex web of factors that lead to individuals acting in the ways that they do. Although I have some misgivings about it, rather than having any argument with the thinking behind it this is because I have found that in the demonstrations of it and reports I have heard of it being used, people still tend to end up focusing on the individual.

When Creative Carbon Scotland was developing, therefore, the ideas behind the ISM tool were in our minds. We realised that to bring about change in the cultural sector we needed in a parallel manner to bring about change in Individuals, Organisations and Structures. We needed to push on all three fronts at the same time, as the different levels act upon each other both upwards and downwards:

Diagram explaining Individual, Organisation and Structures interconnections and reliance on each other to create change.

Our work with Individuals includes the Green Tease and the Green Arts Initiative. Our work with Organisations includes the Carbon Reporting and Carbon Management Planning work we do with Creative Scotland and it also includes the Green Arts Initiative, which is about the organisations as much as the individuals who work in them. In our Structures work – which is the work I’ve been writing about above – we try to bring about change in the ‘rules’, formal and informal, which govern and affect the way organisations and indeed the whole of the cultural sector works.

One reason therefore for working with our partner strategic organisations is to mainstream those areas of work so that we can concentrate on the next steps. By helping them to integrate into their core work ideas and processes that we have tested and know work, we can clear some of our own time to focus on more strategic actions that will take us all to the next level.

More ambition, more change, now

But the other reason for writing about this now is because, just as the public awareness of climate change has increased, so has the urgency of the situation. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) 1.5° Report last year, a recent paper suggesting that the oceans have been absorbing extra heat at the rate of 5 Hiroshima nuclear blasts per second, the fact that Scotland’s excellent progress on decarbonising the energy supply is masking our failure to reduce the harder areas like transport and agriculture: all these point to the need for more, faster action now. Those strategic organisations we already know, and others we want to engage with, need to get more ambitious in their climate action and we will help them do so.

top image: Image of ISM tool taken from https://www.ismtool.org/ A silhouette of a head inside a circle inside a square demonstrates the different domains of the Individual located within the social and the material

The post Ben’s Strategy blog: How we bring about change – Individuals, Organisations and Structures 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

Guest Blog: Picking a battle – How to find the right subject matter

The first step for any artist is working out what to write about. In this guest blog London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) Soundhub Composer Lillie Harris leads us through what the process was like for her writing her new piece ‘Consumption’ .

Before I had even properly started my LSO Soundhub piece, I knew that the crucial ingredient in the piece would be an emotional core, addressing a social and political issue.

Pieces don’t have to be ‘about something’ of course. Earlier this year, I wrote a piece without a clear narrative or emotional idea. ‘This will be a fun challenge,’ I had thought naively, like someone about to discover a crippling fear of heights at the top of a bungee-jump. ‘What a great learning opportunity!’

Reaching the end of that particular work was unusually difficult, and I learned, (much like the bungee jumper might) that an important part of my composer-self requires a clear emotional or narrative purpose. No ifs, no buts.

So my initial plan for this second year of Soundhub was to write a piece about social and economic inequality, and the frustration of waiting for unequal systems to change. It was inspired by the incredibly moving BBC Panorama episode about health inequality. I had scribbled down my feelings straight away like a diary, outlining the ‘characters’ I wanted to embody in the differing musical ideas, then refining them, excitedly describing how the opposing musical ideas would influence (or rather, not influence) one other.

But as days started to trickle by, I found myself oddly reluctant to get going, despite my initial passion about the piece. I realised that I was nervous about telling a story that’s so very personal for many people. My own experience has been relatively fortunate: ‘The System’ wasn’t an antagonist for me when I was growing up. Student loans notwithstanding, I didn’t really feel equipped with enough first-hand experience to do this topic justice.

Telling the story of humans and the natural world

After some deliberation, I found a story that I feel informed enough to tell: the story of humans and the natural world – and more specifically, our relentless battering of it.

My initial plans had centred around two opposing voices; with the shift in focus, they made even more sense: a domineering voice ploughing relentlessly on doing whatever it wanted, and the other, desperately trying to get its attention. As the recent flood of articles about the environment came through, reinforcing in ever more pessimistic language the reality of the situation we are in, I felt emboldened by my choice.

So the title became Consumption, a play on the literal consumption of natural resources, but also the historic term for tuberculosis: a nasty, infectious disease that consumes the life and vitality of sufferers. The opposing material in the piece became a) the natural world – full of variety, space, tiny flitting fragments, a natural chaos but also moments of unison; and b) the human capitalist economy: relentless, unending, rhythmic, and increasingly toxic.

Art can inspire people in ways facts cannot, as Ben Twist, Director of Creative Carbon Scotland, describes in his excellent TED talk, Why the arts are essential in addressing climate change.

I’m not a climate scientist, but I am a composer. And if I can write a piece that strikes the emotional core of the unprecedented losses we are facing as a result of our rampant consumerism, then I might be able to make a difference.

Hear the world premiere of Consumption at the London Symphony Orchestra Soundhub Phase II Showcase on Saturday 9 February at LSO St Luke’s. Click here to find out more and book tickets.


Share your news!

This story was posted by  London Symphony Orchestra Soundhub Composer Lillie Harris. Creative Carbon Scotland is committed to being a resource for the arts & sustainability community and we invite you to submit news, blogs, opportunities and your upcoming events.

The post Guest Blog: Picking a battle – How to find the right subject matter appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

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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