Inspiration

ASEF Report now available: “Linking the Arts to Environment and Sustainable Development Issues”

This post comes to you from Cultura21

In 2010, ASEF commissioned research to investigate good practices connecting the arts to initiatives tackling environmental sustainability issues in a number of Asian countries. Titled Linking the Arts to Environment and Sustainable Development Issues,  the research project aimed to carefully document case studies that can not only provide inspiration for networking and collaboration between Asia and Europe in this area but also aid policy making and planning.

The researchers examined initiatives by the cultural sector as well as by civil society organisations working on environmental issues in nine Asian countries: India, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Mongolia.

Direct link to the final report (PDF file): Click here

Read more on the ASEF (Asia Europe Foundation)  website: 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

Art show partners creation with science

ASU Sustainability contest inspires paintings, sculpture and multimedia

Fertilizer is rarely an inspiration for an art show, but on Feb. 5, at the Desert Botanical Garden, sustainability, fertilizer and phosphorus scarcity will provide fertile fuel for creative vision.

The art show, a juried exhibition with more than 20 works by artists from Phoenix, Chicago, Portland and Houston, was created in partnership with scientists engaged in the Sustainable Phosphorus Summit, to take place Feb. 3-5, at ASU. The exhibition will include paintings, photography, sculpture, multimedia and innovative approaches to portraying sustainability through dance and music.

Free and open to the public, the art show starts at noon, with the top prizes awarded at 6:30 p.m. An RSVP is required to attend: sustainablePsummit+DBG@gmail.com.

The Sustainable Phosphorus Art Show is scheduled to take place from noon to 7 p.m., Feb. 5, at the Desert Botanical Garden, in Phoenix. Cash bar and reception will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

If you miss the exhibit Feb. 5, the art show will move to ASU’s Step Gallery, in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, in Tempe, from Feb. 14-18.

Additional information on the scientific program of the Sustainable Phosphorus Summit can be found here. For more information on phosphorus sustainability, visit sustainablep.asu.edu/p-info.

Peggy Coulombe, Margaret.Coulombe@asu.edu
(480) 727-8934
School of Life Sciences

Art show partners creation with science | ASU News.

New opportunity to make green theatre

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the summer!

We’ve been planning things for the future of the Green Theatre Project and we are very excited to announce our next project and our new name!

We are excited to announce a new, small-scale project that will take place in September. We hope to announce an even bigger project for the autumn taking place around October to December time. So if you can’t participate in this project, hopefully you can be involved in our autumn one.

We’ve received a bit of funding from V volunteer organisation to do a small devised outdoor performance around principles of the Olympics, namely culture and environment. Unfortunately, the funding stimulates the participants must be volunteers between the ages for 16-25. (Sorry to all our more seasoned performers, but the autumn project should be open to everyone.)

The Project:

We will be devising a piece to be performed at King Henry’s Walk Garden (www.khwgarden.org.uk) in Islington for their Flower and Produce Show on September 25th. It will be an interactive piece, spread out in the garden and forest space. It will look at celebrating the work of KHWG and urban gardening in general as well as looking at issues of food production, localism, biodiversity, beekeeping and the history of green spaces in London. We are keen to take inspiration from a variety of places including songs, games, stories, history, literature and real life accounts. We will also be experimenting with unconventional forms of theatre for this piece to really play and have fun with the audience. King Henry’s Walk Garden is a really interesting and beautiful space with loads of potential. It is all run by volunteers and set up as a community green space where people can grow their own food or just enjoy nature. This is a unique opportunity to work on an intimate but exciting new piece and explore relevant issues in a fun way.

We are looking for 5 performers/devisers as well as 3 creatives (designers, dramaturgy, etc.).

We will be able to pay travel expenses (a travel card a day) and provide refreshments at rehearsals. We also have a small set/props/costume budget as well as marketing and rehearsal space budget.

The rehearsals will be the following:

  • Thursday, Sept. 2 6:30-9:30pm at KHWG
  • Saturday, Sept. 4 12-3
  • Tuesday, Sept. 7 6:30-9:30
  • Thursday, Sept. 9 6:30-9:30
  • Tuesday, Sept. 14 6:30-9:30
  • Thursday, Sept. 16 6:30-9:30
  • Tuesday, Sept. 21 6:30-9:30
  • Thursday, Sept 23 6:30-9:30
  • Performance 25th September, 11-6pm

Most of the rehearsals will take place in a meeting room at KHWG, or a location in the Islington/Hackney area.

If you are available and would like to be involved, please email us at greentheatreproject@gmail.com by FRIDAY, AUGUST 27 by 5:00pm.

In other news….

To match our new phase of development we have a new name: Green Stage! Look out for a website soon!

Thanks!

-Lisa and Rosie

Think It, Do It, Blog it: What is the Next Link in the Sustainability Network?

What is the next step after the Co-op? Where do resources go after the Austin Scenic Co-op [Collaboration between Salvage Vanguard and Rude Mechs] can no longer use them? I found inspiration this week from two community service volunteers that were helping me to organize the shed where we house the Austin Scenic Co-op stock. Community service volunteers are court appointed by the city of Austin to complete a certain number of hours with a local non-profit.

This week I worked with two young men to get rid of some of our stock that had not been used since it was donated. Most of these were odd shaped platforms that are very show specific and therefore not used readily by many people. We were hauling these out to the dumpster making way for a new batch of standard 4×8 platforms –by far our most popular item to loan out. To me these old platforms –some of which have not been touched by anyone for three years–were just trash, but the guys that were helping me out asked if they could use some of the lumber. They informed me that they had friends that would break down things like what I was throwing away. If they got the things for free they could turn just enough profit to make it worth their while.

This reminded me of an essay I read recently, “Ecology and Community” by physicist and systems theorist Fritjof Capra. In it he argues that communities should turn to ecosystems to learn how to be sustainable. Capra insists that lessons learned from ecosystems aren’t mere suggestions, but are laws for how communities must organize themselves. The laws of sustainability are “just as stringent as the laws of physics . . . If you go up to a high cliff and step off it, disregarding the laws of gravity, you will surely die. If we live in a community, disregarding the laws of sustainability as a community, we will just as surely die in the long run.”

Capra identifies five laws of sustainability: interdependence, recycling, partnership, flexibility, and diversity. I think the most fascinating argument he makes in the article is when he writes, “you can define an ecosystem as a community where there is no waste.”

In establishing the Austin Scenic Co-op we have been very concerned with getting donations–making sure people know about us so that they don’t throw away set pieces that others could use. We have been working to establish networks to recycle theatre companies’ sets and we still have a lot of work to do in this regard. Now that our stock is starting to grow we are encountering a new problem–one that I did not foresee. What is the next step in the network? What do we do with those things that aren’t useful anymore to theatre companies?

Now that we have to be more selective about what we can accept and are starting to have to cull some of our less useful stock we need to establish another link in the network. Another level of recycling. I am excited about establishing another partnership one that is interested in using lumber that we cannot. And getting closer to our goal of zero waste.

–Thomas Graves, Austin Scenic Co-Op & Rude Mechs

via Think It, Do It, Blog it: What is the Next Link in the Sustainability Network?.

How About Garden Eco-Art For Your Corporate Campus?

Looking to green your company/organizations’s grounds? How about something intriguing, restorative and educational? Impossible?? No, just look to Sonoma’s Corner Stone Gardens for inspiration. I was on my way to taste wines in the Russian River, but became enchanted by the Corner Stone Gardens, which feature  micro-climates of inspirational and educational faire.  If you can’t get there, check out “corner stone – new frontiers in modern gardens.” www.cornerstonegardens.com

Go to Eco-Catalysts

Hey World (Don’t Give Up)

Need a dose of inspiration when the sustainability going gets tough? Try listening to this musical video by Michael Franti, Hey World.

It is a call to roll up your sleeves, to shake off apathy: “I didn’t come here to chill, I came here to rock … You got to let go of the remote control.” Watch an inspiring music video about civic participation, set to the backdrop of Jamaican reggae rhythms of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare.

Go to Eco-Catalysts

Living Life in Real Time

slow-london-banner2Today, 4 May, is the final day of Slow Down London – a ten-day festival to get people to slooooow dowwwnnnnn. Personally, I walk fast, talk fast and do stuff fast, but that’s because I love things that are intense – but that is not truly at odds with the premise of Slow Down London, which is a good one:

 Slow Down London is a new project to inspire Londoners to improve their lives by slowing down to do things well, rather than as fast as possible.”  

The point is to consciously and deliberately appreciate stuff – all stuff. From our bodies, minds, creativity, each other, life itself, the world around us and establish a deeper appreciation of time itself. 

And it got me thinking.  … doing things well requires rigour and thought and that takes time… But political, social and environmental changes happen relatively fast and need practical responses.

So here is a problem that faces me and probably you too: how do we as individuals and a society get a strong balance between this point ‘to slow things down so you can do them well’ and the political point ‘philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways, the point, however, is to change it?’*

The arts need to consider this as much as ever before – perhaps more. How can the soft skills and soft power of the arts be shared more widely and do they have practical application? What do the arts do well? What could the arts do better? For example, should visual art be more democratic and what would cultural democracy look like? 

It’s not a problem if you missed the Slow Down London festival – because it is a campaign that highlights that London is full of brilliant slow things…  

The Slow Down London campaign will hold a festival (24 April – 4 May 2009) offering activities and inspiration, through working with a range of partners. It will give Londoners a chance to explore slow music and arts, to try meditation and yoga, to sample slow food and crafts, to discover ’slow travel’ in our own city, to debate ideas about time and pace, and to find our own ways to challenge the cult of speed and to appreciate the world around us. You can view the full event programme here: slow-down-london-events-programme

 I heard this Marx quote again yesterday, when my iPod shuffled to an old version of the BBCs In Our Time (2005) featuring Karl Marx as winning the ‘greatest philosopher’ vote, here’s the link.
 

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology