Cultural Organizations

Daniel Bye’s How to Occupy an Oil Rig receives 2013 Award for Sustainable Production at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe #edfringe

Daniel Bye receives the 2013 award for Sustainable Production from Creative Carbon Scotland's Ben Twist.

Daniel Bye receives the 2013 award for Sustainable Production from Creative Carbon Scotland’s Ben Twist.

Creative Carbon Scotland and the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, in partnership with the List, presented Bye with Award at Fringe Central on August 23rd.

In a ceremony in the concourse at Fringe Central on Friday, August 23rd at 4:00 pm, Ben Twist of Creative Carbon Scotland awarded Daniel Bye the 2013 Award for Sustainable Production at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe after presentation by Ian Garrett of the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts and Sholeh Johnston of Julie’s Bicycle. This was the fourth year of the award’s presentation. Applicants and fringe participants alike enjoyed complimentary beverages and snacks with support from Vegware, producers of compostable food containers.

The Sustainable Production Award is an annual celebration of performance that’s working for an environmentally sustainable world. Open to all Fringe Festival productions by application, the award assesses all aspects of a production’s sustainability, from design to content. This award ceremony recognizes the best in this year’s sustainable productions, alongside inspiring presentations from Creative Carbon Scotland, the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, and Julie’s Bicycle. The Sustainable Production Award is presented this year in partnership with The List, which is reviewing all shortlist shows and promoting the awards events.

The award is determined by the submission of a questionnaire about how the show was produced, and how environmental and sustainable themes were considered along the way. Assessors selected a short list of 23 productions, which appeared in the weekly editions of The List. These 23 shows were reviewed based on their questionnaires and the assessment team voted for the production which most aligned with the priorities of the award. Five finalists–Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer, The Garden, and Garden O’ Delight, How to Occupy An Oil Rig, Sacred Earth–were identified as outstanding entries before the winner was selected last week.

How to Occupy an Oil Rig was selected due to its conscientious production and themes related to sustainability in our present world. In their assessment  the reviewer for the show said,”It tells stories of journeys through environmental activism engagingly, wittily, movingly… It’s all about sustainability, and is making very bold points about the scale of the problem and the necessity of radical solutions.” Also praised by the press, the Financial Times said that How to Occupy an Oil Rig was, “The real thing. Clever, engaging and important.” The Guardian said it is, “Fantastic work. Invigorating and playful. Both beautiful, and wants to change the world.” Accepting the award, Bye said “It’s great for the work to be recognized for its impact outside of the theatre itself, in the wider world.”

“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 CSPA Director Ian Garrett.

The award for Sustainable Production on the Fringe was first launched in 2010 at the Hollywood Fringe and Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Previous recipients include:  The Pantry Shelf (Edinburgh 2010), a satirical comedy that takes place in any ordinary pantry shelf, produced by Team M&M at Sweet Grassmarket; Presque Pret a Porter (Hollywood 2010), produced by Dreams by Machine; and Allotment (Edinburgh 2011) by Jules Horne and directed by Kate Nelson, produced by nutshell productions at the Inverleith Allotments in co-production with Assembly. Last year recipients were D is for Dog by Katie Polebaum and the Rogue Artists ensemble, directed by Sean Calweti (Hollywood 2012) and The Man Who Planted Trees (Edinburgh 2012) adapted from Jean Giono’s story by Ailie Cohen, Richard Medrington, Rick Conte and directed by Ailie Cohen, produced by the Edinburgh’s Puppet State Theatre.

Ian Garrett and Miranda Wright founded the CSPA in early 2008. 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 Theatre, Diverseworks Artspace, Indy Convergence, York University, LA Stage Alliance and others.

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

More Info

Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts: http://www.sustainablepractice.org  

Creative Carbon Scotland: http://www.creativecarbonscotland.com/

CSPA Fringe Initiatives: http://www.sustainablepractice.org/programs/fringe/

2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe Questionnaire: http://bit.ly/cspafringe13

The List’s Edinburgh Coverage: http://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk

Call for Submissions: Cultural Mapping as Cultural Inquiry

Cultural mapping, which spans many academic disciplines and methodologies, is informed by the observation that cultural phenomena are distributed spatially and that people experience the symbolic resources of their communities in spatial terms. While cultural mapping is firmly grounded in the world of academic disciplines and inquiry, it has a pragmatic dimension as well. In the Creative City Network of Canada’s Cultural Mapping Toolkit, for example, Cultural Mapping is defined pragmatically as “a process of collecting, recording, analyzing and synthesizing information in order to describe the cultural resources, networks, links and patterns of usage of a given community or group.” Cultural mapping is generally regarded as a systematic tool to identify and record local cultural assets—and these assets are thought of as “tangible” or quantitative (physical spaces, cultural organizations, public forms of promotion and self-representation, programs, cultural industries, natural heritage, cultural heritage, people, and resources) and “intangible” or qualitative (community narratives, values, relationships, rituals, traditions, history, shared sense of place). Together these assets help define communities in terms of cultural identity, vitality, sense of place, and quality of life.

Cultural mapping, then, is a theoretically informed research practice and a highly pragmatic planning and development tool.  But cultural mapping can also be viewed as a form of cultural production and expression. Mapping can itself be cultural—that is, animated by artists and artistic approaches to mapping collective and competing senses of place, space, and community. The Folkvine project in Florida (and the work of the Florida Research Ensemble generally); the memory mapping work of Marlene Creates and Ernie Kroeger; the storymapping of First Nations experiences in small cities documented by the Small Cities CURA; Map Art and Diagram Art from the Surrealists to the Situationists to the work of contemporary artists; Sound Mapping, sonic geographies, and acoustic ecology research: these alternative approaches to mapping culture and community are helping to expand and refine the possibilities for mapping as a form of cultural inquiry.

The editors of Cultural Mapping as Cultural Inquiry seek submissions that address cultural mapping in all its forms and applications. Abstracts and inquiries should be sent by March 30, 2012 to Dr. W.F. Garrett-Petts, Faculty of Arts, Thompson Rivers University: petts@tru.ca

Editors for the refereed book publication (to be published jointly by the Centro de Estudos Sociais at the University of Coimbra, Textual Studies in Canada and the Small Cities Community-University Research Alliance): David MacLennan, W.F. Garrett-Petts, and Nancy Duxbury.

Centro de Estudos Sociais: www.ces.uc.pt

The Small Cities CURA: www.smallcities.ca

Museum 2.0

From Nina Simon at Museum 2.0

This is the reason that many museums and cultural organizations decided they needed websites in the late 1990s and early 2000s. We recognized that people were increasingly turning to the Web as a source of information–for content knowledge but also for trip planning. I believe that the primary reason most museums started their websites is about planning visits. Marketing departments realized that a large percentage of people were using online search engines to find interesting things to do, and they wanted to be there.

Now, things are changing again. Whereas the Web of the 2000s was dominated by search, we are entering a time when more and more people are using social media as their gateway to the Web. Ask a college student what her homepage is, and you are likely to see Facebook, not Google, pop up on her screen. The worldwide market reach of social networks and other “member community sites” (as Nielsen research deems them) is growing rapidly, and it seems likely that Facebook and other social networking sites will continue to attract older, more mainstream audiences.

This means that more and more people are “entering” the Web via social context. Last week, Susie Wilkening wrote a blog post expressing that Facebook has replaced her newspaper as the go-to place for relevant news in her life. It’s not hard to imagine a near future where Facebook (and sites like it) also replace a lot of the ways we use atomized search. This already happens for me with professional research. When I’m looking for a resource on something, my first stop is Twitter, where I can send my research question to my professional network. Then I use Google to track down the references they mention. People often ask me how I find out about interesting projects going on at different museums. I’m not constantly googling “visitor co-created exhibits” and searching blind. I find out about these things in my social networks–via blogs, professional communities, Twitter, and socially-selected content feeds, which contextualize and direct me towards information of interest.

About Nina:

And what about me? I do consulting work and research for a variety of museums (and I’m available!). Previously, I curated The Tech Virtual Test Zone at The Tech Museum, designed virtual experiences with the Electric Sheep Company, and worked as the Experience Development Specialist at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. I live in beautiful Santa Cruz, CA, pursuing museum (and virtual) experience design from the mountains. If you would like to discuss opportunities for collaboration, consulting, or wild projects, contact me.

via Museum 2.0.