Co Founder

Co-founder of Culture|Futures opens a student competition

This post comes to you from Culture|Futures

Last week co-founder of Culture Futures Peter Head gave his speech in connection with the launch of the student competition ‘Co-creating Sustainable Solutions for the Future’, 14 September. The launch was arranged by Cultures Futures Club, CBS Goes Green and the Danish Cultural Institute as a part of ‘India Today – Copenhagen Tomorrow’. Read
more about the competition at http://cocreatenow.org/competition/

Listen to Peter Head sharing some of his experiences concerning co-creating sustainable solutions with students at Copenhagen Business School – examples for inspiration in relation to the competition

Peter Head’s inspirational talk to the students (6 minutes)

 

Culture|Futures is an international collaboration of organizations and individuals who are concerned with shaping and delivering a proactive cultural agenda to support the necessary transition towards an Ecological Age by 2050.

The Cultural sector that we refer to is an interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral, inter-genre collaboration, which encompasses policy-making, intercultural dialogue/cultural relations, creative cities/cultural planning, creative industries and research and development. It is those decision-makers and practitioners who can reach people in a direct way, through diverse messages and mediums.

Affecting the thinking and behaviour of people and communities is about the dissemination of stories which will profoundly impact cultural values, beliefs and thereby actions. The stories can open people’s eyes to a way of thinking that has not been considered before, challenge a preconceived notion of the past, or a vision of the future that had not been envisioned as possible. As a sector which is viewed as imbued with creativity and cultural values, rather than purely financial motivations, the cultural sector’s stories maintain the trust of people and society.
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THE MAN WHO PLANTED TREES Announced as Recipient of the 2012 Award for Sustainable Production at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (CSPA) has awarded the third CSPA Fringe Award for Sustainable Production at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to The Man Who Planted Trees adapted from Jean Giono’s story by Ailie Cohen, Richard Medrington, Rick Conte and directed by Ailie Cohen. It is produced by the Edinburgh’s Puppet State Theater, and is currently on tour in North America.

Giono, who passed in 1970, has said about The Man Who Planted Trees in 1957: “I wrote this story to make people love trees, or more precisely to make people love planting trees. Of all my stories it is one of the ones of which I am most proud. It has never earned me a penny and for that reason it has accomplished the very purpose for which it was written.”

The Man Who Planted Trees was chosen because of the synchronicity of the themes and the physical production of the show.” comments Ian Garrett, co-founder and Director of the CSPA. “ The award is intended to reward both smartly addressing issues of sustainability and production practices. Further, we recognize that in the Fringe environment, the physically production is often partially determined by the resources and time made available by the venues. What made The Man Who Planted Trees stand out is that it was able to successfully combine these factors into one of the most consistently lauded productions of the festival.”

The award is determined by the submission of a questionnaire about how the show was produced and audience response. The Man Who Planted Trees’ production team was able to provide comprehensive technical information for the production, which showed a commitment to design and resource efficiency. This considered approach also factored into their communications and marketing. All of these factors were further supported by the themes of the play.

The CSPA Directors, Ian Garrett and Miranda Wright adjudicated the award, along with select CSPA affiliates and friends. This year marked the beginning of a closer relation with Festival Edinburgh, which supports all of the festivals throughout August and the rest of the year. For the original Edinburgh Fringe application, Mhora Samuel and Tim Atkinson from The Theatres Trust’s European Regional Development Fund-backed Ecovenue project helped the CSPA adapt the criteria for a UK audience, providing guidance on UK equivalents to US name brands, as well as providing insight on measuring conventions and policy.

“The CSPA is not just another ‘go green’ organization,” says Wright.  “We hope to gather and distribute information that aids in the sustainability of the earth, the sustainability of our communities, and the sustainability of our art.  And so, the purpose of this award is not to recognize the greenest production.  Our objective in offering this award is to ask questions of ourselves, as theater artists, about the greater impact of our work on the world around us. The fringe model provides an ideal platform to introduce these ideas and the award due to the expectations and scale of the shows.”

“Even more so than we want someone to score perfectly on the questionnaire we use to evaluate shows, we want theater artists to look at the questions and think about how it helps to guide their thinking about sustainability in the their art. There may be questions asked in ways they hadn’t thought, and we hope they ask these questions of their next project and the project after that,” adds Garrett.

Ian Garrett and Miranda Wright founded the CSPA in early 2008 after individually working on each of the programs that now make up the multi-faceted approach to sustainability separately. The organization provides a network of resources to arts organizations, which enables them to be ecologically and economically sustainable while maintaining artistic excellence. Past and Present partnerships have included the University of Oregon, Ashden Directory, Arcola Theater, Diverseworks Artspace, Indy Convergence, York University, LA Stage Alliance and others.

The poets vs. neogreenwashing?

This post comes to you from Cultura21

“Any campaign to protect the wild world which avoids acknowledging our intuitive, emotional relationship with it will leave itself open to the kind of heartless ideological assault it is now receiving from the neogreens. […] Perhaps the best rejoinder to those who believe the world is a giant spreadsheet is an engagement with its messy, everyday complexity.”

Thus spoke “Dark Mountain Project” co-founder Paul Kingsnorth, in an article on the website of The Guardian on August 1st, about the “Neogreens” (or “neo-environmentalism”) movement and their promise that “science and business will provide while nature can adapt”.

To read the full article: click here

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

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D IS FOR DOG Announced as Recipient of Award for Sustainable Production at the Hollywood Fringe Festival

The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (CSPA) has awarded the second CSPA Fringe Award for Sustainable Production at the Hollywood Fringe to D is for Dog by Katie Polebaum and the Rogue Artists ensemble, directed by Sean Calweti. It is produced by the Rogue Artists Ensemble at the Hudson Theater and continues to play through August 4th.

D is for Dog explores the themes of family loyalty and compassion using iconic imagery from 1950s television blended with startling elements of horror and science fiction. Mixing puppetry, live actors, original music and video projection, the play takes audiences from the absurd to the terrifying, and everywhere in-between.

D is for Dog was chosen because of how the Rogue Artists Ensemble careful considered their entire production.” comments Ian Garrett, co-founder and Director of the CSPA. “The nature of our process for determining the winner of this award doesn’t just focus on what a show is about; though there are mainly elements of D is for Dog which do speak to thematic to sustainability. But, it is also about the importance of being conscientious in how a show is made and addressing those questions across all elements of production and presentation, which is what led to this award going to this show.”

The award is determined by the submission of a questionnaire about how the show was produced and audience response. D is for Dog‘s production team was able to provide comprehensive technical information for the production, which showed a commitment to design and resource efficiency. This considered approach also factored into their communications and marketing. All of these factors were further supported by the themes of the play.

The CSPA Directors, Ian Garrett and Miranda Wright adjudicated the award, along with select CSPA affiliates and friends. The CSPA also supports a similar award for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August, going into its 3rd year. For the Edinburgh Fringe, Mhora Samuel and Tim Atkinson from The Theatres Trust’s European Regional Development Fund-backed Ecovenue project have helped the CSPA adapt the criteria for a UK audience, providing guidance on UK equivalents to US name brands, as well as providing insight on measuring conventions and policy. This year, the CSPA will be working with Festivals Edinburgh to further expand the impact of this program.

“The CSPA is not just another ‘go green’ organization,” says Wright.  “We hope to gather and distribute information that aids in the sustainability of the earth, the sustainability of our communities, and the sustainability of our art.  And so, the purpose of this award is not to recognize the greenest production.  Our objective in offering this award is to ask questions of ourselves, as theater artists, about the greater impact of our work on the world around us. The fringe model provides an ideal platform to introduce these ideas and the award due to the expectations and scale of the shows.”

“Even more so than we want someone to score perfectly on the questionnaire we use to evaluate shows, we want theater artists to look at the questions and think about how it helps to guide their thinking about sustainability in the their art. There may be questions asked in ways they hadn’t thought, and we hope they ask these questions of their next project and the project after that,” adds Garrett.

Ian Garrett and Miranda Wright founded the CSPA in early 2008 after individually working on each of the programs that now make up the multi-faceted approach to sustainability separately. The organization provides a network of resources to arts organizations, which enables them to be ecologically and economically sustainable while maintaining artistic excellence. Past and Present partnerships have included the University of Oregon, Ashden Directory, Arcola Theater, Diverseworks Artspace, Indy Convergence, York University, LA Stage Alliance and others. www.sustainablepractice.org

It should be noted that director Ian Garrett has previously worked with the Rogue Artist Ensmeble. He was production manager on Gogol Project and Lighting Designer for Hyperbole:Origins. He was in no way involved with D is for Dog or other Rogue project since his work on Hyperbole: Origins.

Taylor Guitars & The Future of Ebony

In this video, Taylor Guitars co-founder Bob Taylor talks about the world’s dwindling supply of ebony, the realities of ebony sourcing in Cameroon, and Taylor’s efforts to preserve a sustainable supply for the entire musical instrument community. With the co-purchase of Crelicam, an ebony mill in Cameroon in 2011, Taylor began to develop a fresh framework for sustainable sourcing, one that blends socially responsible forestry with job training that will help Cameroonian communities support themselves and improve their living standards.

From the Taylor website: “We need to use the ebony that the forest gives us,” emphasizes Bob, who has personally met with a number of other prominent guitar manufacturers since the Crelicam purchase to spread awareness of the new realities regarding ebony sourcing. While the current conditions don’t mean that the days of all-black ebony are entirely gone, they do mean that if we want to ensure a sustainable ebony supply for future generations of instruments and players, we must embrace greater cosmetic diversity.

The story was recently picked up by the Los Angeles Times. In the article, but Ron White, Taylor was also quoted as saying, regarding the workers at the mill:

“We are going to start doing a lot of the processing and that will provide more jobs and more higher-paying jobs and triple the value of what they can sell, instead of just the raw material,” Taylor said. “There is money in the ebony, and they deserve to have more of that.”

Click these links for more info:

Taylor Guitar’s Commitment to Sustainability

Taylor Guitar’s page on Sustainable Ebony

LA Time’s Article about Talyor Guitar’s purchase of the Crelicam Mill

Carrying the Fire

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Douglas Strang asked ecoartscotland to highlight the Carrying the Fire weekend 20-22nd April 2012 at Wiston Lodge near Biggar in the Scottish Borders.

I seen he was carryin’ fire in a horn the way people used to do and I could see the horn from the light inside of it. ‘Bout the colour of the moon. And in the dream I knew he was goin’ on ahead and he was fixin’ to make a fire somewhere out there in all that dark and all that cold.

from ‘No Country for Old Men’ by Cormac McCarthy

The Dark Mountain Project is a cultural movement for an age of global disruption. It is a growing network of writers, thinkers, artists, and craftspeople who have stopped believing in the stories our civilisation tells itself. We believe we are entering an age of material decline, ecological collapse and social and political uncertainty, and that our cultural responses should reflect this, rather than denying it. Carrying the Fire hopes to become the northern cousin of Uncivilisation, the main Dark Mountain Festival. Hosted by Wiston Lodge near Biggar in South Lanarkshire, it will be a smaller event, more intimate, but still with a strong programme of speakers, poets and performers. And still asking the question: where are the stories to guide us through this era of crisis and change?

The dominant stories – those that speak of growth, endless progress, more of everything – continue to be proclaimed throughout the land, but there’s a hollowness in the telling and a growing mistrust of the tale. At ‘Carrying the Fire’ we will hear from those with a different perspective:

Paul Kingsnorth, co-founder of Dark Mountain, will be there to discuss the Project – where it’s come from and where it’s going.

Margaret Elphinstone will read from and discuss ‘The Gathering Night’, which is set during the Mesolithic era. Her novel is a celebration of ‘wildness’ and of the ‘animism’ which once formed the basis of our relationship to the natural world.

Kenneth White’s ‘Geopoetics’ is correlated to the Dark Mountain idea of ‘uncivilised writing’. Norman Bissell, director of the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics, will discuss White’s ideas and use them in an exploration of ‘the Golden Land’ – the utopian vision which so haunts Orwell’s ’1984′.

Sharon Blackie of TwoRavens Press and the soon to be launched journal ‘Earthlines’, will discuss the art of storytelling and the ways that stories connect.

And there will be other talks and tellings, including from Luke Devlin, director of the Centre for Human Ecology, the artist Matthew Donnelly, and Gehan MacLeod of the GalGael Trust. There will be art workshops and ecopoetry sessions, storytelling for children (and adults), and opportunities to explore the land and the woods round Wiston Lodge – including Tinto Hill (2334 ft) beneath which Wiston nestles.

In the evenings there will be music from the likes of Mairi Campbell as well as more informal sessions. On Saturday night, we will set off into the woods for the latest instalment of Liminal – an otherworldly mix of art, poetry and physical theatre.

So, if you can’t wait till ‘Uncivilisation’ in August, or are based in the North and want to support a Dark Mountain event closer to home, join us for what promises to be an amazing weekend on the 20th – 22nd April. Come, celebrate spring amidst the hills of the Borders, gather by the fire in a clearing in the woods. There are stories to be told…

For more information and how to book tickets click here.

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
Go to EcoArtScotland

New metaphors for sustainability: include the craft of great design

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory
Following Solitaire Townsend’s suggestions for metaphors – teen-aged sex, Shakespeare, and advice to the dude – Ed Gillespie, co-founder of Futerra, emailed us to add a crucial component to the art of sustainability. Ed writes: 

To add to Soli’s suggestions I would include: craft.

Sustainability is really all about craft – artful, considered, creative solutions that work for people and planet.

Sustainability is also the crucial third component of great design, building on William Morris’s‘fit for purpose’ (functionality) and ‘beautiful to look at’ (aesthetics). I add to these ‘sustainably produced, reusable, durable, recyclable’. Sustainability turns good design into truly great design.photo above of William Morris

 

“ashdenizen blog and twitter are consistently among the best sources for information and reflection on developments in the field of arts and climate change in the UK” (2020 Network)

ashdenizen is edited by Robert Butler, and is the blog associated with the Ashden Directory, a website focusing on environment and performance.
The Ashden Directory is edited by Robert Butler and Wallace Heim, with associate editor Kellie Gutman. The Directory includes features, interviews, news, a timeline and a database of ecologically – themed productions since 1893 in the United Kingdom. Our own projects include ‘New Metaphors for Sustainability’, ‘Flowers Onstage’ and ‘Six ways to look at climate change and theatre’.

The Directory has been live since 2000.

Go to The Ashden Directory

New metaphors for sustainability: teenaged sex, Tatiana’s ‘Weather Speech’ and advice to the dude

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Photo: Copyright 1989 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

Solitaire Townsend, co-founder and director of Futerra, the sustainability communications agency, draws on sex, Shakespeare and the party spirit for three new metaphors for sustainability

I’ve heard hundreds of definitions and metaphors for sustainability. For a decade my company Futerra has been communicating this precious, complicated, simple idea in communities, through brands and across continents. So I’ve picked three favourite metaphors which sandwich the sublime between two moments of the ridiculous.

The first is courtesy of my co-founder at Futerra the guru, professional comic and activist Ed Gillespie. This one comes with humour warning…

“Sustainability is like teenage sex. Everybody says they are doing it, but very few actually are. And those which are doing it – are doing it wrong.”

Ed loves opening conference speeches with that one.

The second isn’t really a metaphor but rather a poetic description of climate change. It’s the famous ‘Weather Speech’ by Titania from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Act 2, Scene1):

The winds, piping to us in vain,
As in revenge, have suck’d up from the sea
Contagious fogs; which falling in the land
Have every pelting river made so proud
That they have overborne their continents:
The ox hath therefore stretch’d his yoke in vain,
The ploughman lost his sweat, and the green corn
Hath rotted ere his youth attain’d a beard;
The fold stands empty in the drowned field,
And crows are fatted with the murrion flock;
The nine men’s morris is fill’d up with mud,
And the quaint mazes in the wanton green
For lack of tread are undistinguishable:
The human mortals want their winter cheer;
No night is now with hymn or carol blest:
Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,
Pale in her anger, washes all the air,
That rheumatic diseases do abound:
And thorough this distemperature we see
The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts
Far in the fresh lap of the crimson rose,
And on old Hiems’ thin and icy crown
An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds
Is, as in mockery, set: the spring, the summer,
The childing autumn, angry winter, change
Their wonted liveries, and the mazed world,
By their increase, now knows not which is which:
And this same progeny of evils comes
From our debate, from our dissension;
We are their parents and original.

That in the 1590’s Shakespeare wrote the most chilling description of climatic upheaval inspired Ed and I to shoot a short film of the speech. Called ‘The Season’s Alter’,  it stars a young Keira Knightly.

The final example is my most often used. When asked to define or explain sustainable development I don’t call upon the great Bard, but rather upon Bill S. Preston, Esquire and Ted Theodore Logan:

“Be excellent to each other, and party on dudes.”

“ashdenizen blog and twitter are consistently among the best sources for information and reflection on developments in the field of arts and climate change in the UK” (2020 Network)

ashdenizen is edited by Robert Butler, and is the blog associated with the Ashden Directory, a website focusing on environment and performance.
The Ashden Directory is edited by Robert Butler and Wallace Heim, with associate editor Kellie Gutman. The Directory includes features, interviews, news, a timeline and a database of ecologically – themed productions since 1893 in the United Kingdom. Our own projects include ‘New Metaphors for Sustainability’, ‘Flowers Onstage’ and ‘Six ways to look at climate change and theatre’.

The Directory has been live since 2000.

Go to The Ashden Directory

New metaphors for sustainability: the yew tree

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory

the Llangernyw Yew, Conwy, Wales

Our series of new metaphors for sustainability will continue through November. Today, Peter Harrison, writer, artist and co-founder of Propeller Arts Collective finds solace in the shade of the yew tree.

A simple definition of sustainability is the capacity to sustain. For me, this immediately poses a problem. I’m aware that everything comes to an end, nothing can go on forever. There’s something not quite real about the word, implying the possibility of being liberated from death. But also there are nurturing, practical, organic aspects to the word, implying maintenance and growth.

Trees are living processes. Yew trees live for centuries. Although it is difficult to accurately date yew trees, it is estimated that the Llangernyw Yew, in Conwy, Wales, is over four thousand years old. Yews are associated with immortality, renewal and transformation. Yews are living entities that sustain while the world around them changes. The yew in Conwy sheltered people from the early Bronze age. It is tempting to think that one of those people stood under the tree imagining life four thousand years in the future. As generations came and went, the tree continued. Yews represent the passage from life to death, and beyond, into the land of shadows.

The timeless quality of yew trees can also be personally experienced. Stepping into the low-hanging canopy of a yew, there is a marked change in temperature and volume. The air is cool and still. The world is quieter. A space under branches. Natural sanctuaries in which to reflect, to slow down and contemplate life beyond the moment.

This is an uncertain world. In past centuries, when death was a more present, daily occurrence than it is now, maybe yews gave people hope that the world will continue. Hope that although one day we will die, part of the world we knew and loved will sustain.

 

“ashdenizen blog and twitter are consistently among the best sources for information and reflection on developments in the field of arts and climate change in the UK” (2020 Network)

ashdenizen is edited by Robert Butler, and is the blog associated with the Ashden Directory, a website focusing on environment and performance.
The Ashden Directory is edited by Robert Butler and Wallace Heim, with associate editor Kellie Gutman. The Directory includes features, interviews, news, a timeline and a database of ecologically – themed productions since 1893 in the United Kingdom. Our own projects include ‘New Metaphors for Sustainability’, ‘Flowers Onstage’ and ‘Six ways to look at climate change and theatre’.

The Directory has been live since 2000.

Go to The Ashden Directory

CSPA Supports has launched!

The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts is pleased to announce a new initiative: CSPA Supports.

“The CSPA Supports grant program is designed to support the projects of our members as they consider issues of sustainability (ecological, economic, or cultural) in their professional work,” comments Miranda Wright, co-founder of the CSPA.

“Since founding the CSPA, it has been our goal to offer grants or commissions by re-investing a large percentage of any profit we earn back into the arts.   We hope this initiative will enable artists to work on projects that are meaningful to them, and projects that could impact the public’s perception of what sustainability means.”

Artists from all genres (and cross genres) are encouraged to apply, including those working in public art, installation, live performance, or digital work. Applicants must be current members of the CSPA.  Members of the CSPA receive a variety of other benefits, including an annual book selection, subscriptions to the CSPA Quarterly and Mammut Magazine, monthly e-newsletters, and opportunities to submit articles, essays, and information to the CSPA’s multi-faceted knowledge network.

Grants will support materials, creative fees, documentation, travel, and communications related to a proposed project.  International applications are accepted, and projects may take place anywhere in the world.  The application consists of an online form, short essay questions, and a proposed budget. The deadline for round one of CSPA Supports is March 1, 2011.

To join the CSPA, visit www.sustainablepractice.org/join-the-cspa

To apply for a CSPA Supports grant, and for grant guidelines, visit www.sustainablepractice.org/cspasupports