Human Impacts Institute: Creative Climate Awards

What Are the Creative Climate Awards?

Our Creative Climate Awards use the creative process as a tool to inspire audiences to explore the consequences of their actions, think critically about pressing issues, and to make the environment personal.  These events are an opportunity to creatively engage tens-of-thousands of people in positive action around the challenges posed by climate change, while having your work seen by our judges—some of the top artists, curators, and international leaders in the world.

Submit your work for this year’s Creative Climate Awards!  Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.   All applications must be received by May 31st to be considered for the current calendar year.  Applications received after May 31st will be considered for the following year.

Inspire climate action with your creativity!

Due Date: 11:30PM, May 31st, 2016!creative-climate-awards/cyup


  • $2,000 First Place Prize 
  • Month long exhibition on 42nd Street, Manhattan, NYC
  • Have your work seen by our amazing judges!

Thanks to the Taipei Economic Cultural Office in NYC and the Global Crisis Information Network, Inc. for their support.


Berndt Arell, Director of the National Museum, Stockholm, Sweden; Marcia Sells, Associate Vice President, Program Development and Initiatives & Associate Dean, Office of Community Outreach, Columbia University School of the Arts; Karen Boyer, Independent Art Advisor; Lawrence B. Benenson, Principal, Benenson Capital Partners, LLC, MoMa Board Member, Art Collector; Brooks Atwood, Founder & Creative Director of Brooks Atwood Design, TV Host at A&E, Adjunct Faculty at Parsons School of Design; James Hannaham, Associate Professor, Pratt Institute Writing MFA; Maureen Sarro, Owner, Fitzroy Gallery; Saisha Grayson, Assistant Curator of feminist art, The Brooklyn Museum; Brian Tate, President, The Tate Group/Co-Founder, Curate NYC; Althea Viafora-Kress, Independent art dealer; Randy Olson, Filmmaker, author of “Don’t Be Such a Scientist”, and science-story coach; Patrick L. Kinney, Sc.D., Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, Director, Columbia Climate and Health ProgramDepartment of Environmental Health Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University; Brice Lalonde, former Environment Minister of France; “No Impact Man” Colin Beavan, writer;  John Fiege, filmmaker; Lana Wilson filmaker and Film and Dance Curator, Performa; Michael Nieling Owner, Creative Director, Ocupop and Professor, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design; Amy BraunschweigerSenior Web Communications Manager, Human Rights Watch.


Yanli Shen, Susan Allbert, Alexandre Dang, Nika Ostby, Ruth Lyons, Diane Tuft, Resa Blatman, Ed Ambrose, Juha Metso, Madeline Cottingham, Leah Raintree, Kelsey Gallagher, Emily Schnellbacher,  Jaakko Heikkilä, Kwan Taeck Park, Jill Sigman, Meghan Moe Beitiks, Dion Laurent, FICTILIS, Catherine Young, and Carolyn Monastra, Thomas Marcusson, Robert Ladislas Derr, Eric Corriel, Sarah Cameron Sunde, and Natalia Bazowska, Susan Allbert, Neno Belchev, Joseph Erb, Miriam Simun & Miriam Songster, and Jody Sperling, Marie Christine Katz, Carl Landegger, Christina Massey, Carolyn Monastra, Jeremy Pickard and the Superhero Clubhouse, Marshall Reese & Nora Ligorano, Pamela Casper, Tara DePorte, Sarah Filipi, Susan Hoenig, Carolyn Monastra, Linnea Ryshke, Francesca Sigilli, Yanli Shen, Shin Yeon-Moon, Marina Zurkow, Una Chaudhuri, Oliver Kellhammer, Fritz Ertl, The Tree Veneration Society (founder Louise Fowler-Smith), Anthony May, Theater Three Collaborative, Mechthild Schmidt Feist, Environmental Justice Foundation, Sara Roer, Green Map System, Gregor Marvel, Lexicon of Sustainability, Mai Ueda, Anthony Heinz May, Tildon Widro, Lauren Mage, Open Skye Collaborative, Eve Mosher, Alex White, Douglas Gayeton, Laura Howard-Gayeton, Brian Whitley, Jacqueline Hall, Josephine Decker


Please, prepare the following and submit them via our online submission form.  We will only accept submissions via our online submission form.  You will need to prepare the following and have it available via an online format that is viewable to anyone with the link (i.e. google drive, dropbox, personal website, blog, etc)

  • Responses to the following questions:

    • Artist(s) name, address, phone number, website (as applicable), email address

    • Description of your work(s)/concept

    • What do you intend to convey to the public through your proposed artwork?

    • How does your concept/work address “making climate change personal and practical”?

    • How does your concept/work inspire your audience to take action to address climate change?

    • Do you have a proposed/ideal location for your piece?

  • Resume (maximum one page). If working with a team, include a resume for each team member.

  • Photographs, sketches, images, video, or sound file that clearly convey your proposed concept or existing work:

    • Provide no more than five samples of the proposed work and/or previous, related work completed (This can be in the form of image, video or audio, as relevant to your work);

    • Each example should clearly state what we are viewing/listening to and how it related to your proposal;

    • Please keep audio and video files to five minutes each

Artist is responsible for:

  • Communicating with HII staff as needed before, during, and after event;

  • Acting in a timely and professional manner;

  • Providing all materials, transportation, lodging, installation costs, and staffing needed to implement work;

  • Being available and onsite on the assigned day of artist’s piece/installation

HII is responsible for:  

  • Notifying selected artists, if selected, in a timely manner;

  • Publicizing selected artists through press releases and on HII website, Facebook, and Twitter;

  • Providing HII educator for interpretation and educational component of pieces installed in NYC (NOTE: international artists are responsible for providing volunteer educators; however, HII will provide curriculum);

  • Connecting selected artists’ pieces and locations with other events/participants during Climate Week; and

  • Providing individual write-ups, photos, and a video interview of selected artists’ works for the HII blog.


Our Creative Climate Awards are an annual series of events

that showcase artists creating climate-inspired, public works and actions.  

In an effort to inspire us to think more critically about our actions and their impacts, the Creative Climate Awards program uses the arts and creativity

to share knowledge, broaden the climate conversation, educate, and incite action. 

Artwork and Interviews

See more in-depth into each participating artists’ work and interviews with them about the impacts of their work 


We are open to diverse creative media, including: performance art, dance, spoken word, films (feature length and shorts), 2D works (painting, drawing, collage, prints, etc), music, and theatre pieces.   All exhibits and/or performances must be free and open-to-the-public and artists must be able to come to NYC during the exhibit times to perform.  Artists are responsible for the transportation costs and permitting requirements for their works to and from NYC, as appllicable.  Works that do not require permitting or already have necessary permits are given a strong preference.


Selection of artists will be made by HII staff and an advisory committee comprised of scientists, policy makers, artists, media experts, curators, and others.  We will evaluate three main components of each submission:

  • Strength of messaging and connection to climate change;

  • Artistic merit and impact; and

  • Feasibility of project (in terms of permitting requirements, materials, etc.).

Submissions will also be selected based upon an artist’s work samples and written explanation of the intended message and impact of a proposed piece.  Works that inspire action to address climate change are given high priority.


  • All submitted pieces must address the theme of  “making climate personal and practical” and creatively engage audiences in positive action on climate change.

  • Work/performance must be suitable for a public setting (all locations will be coordinated by HII and limited indoor settings will be available);

  • No admission fee may be charged;

  • All concepts, ideas, and artwork must be original work of artist submitting proposal;

  • Work/performance must be safe for artist and the public;

  • Artists/artist team must have a proven track record of creating work in a timely and professional manner;

  • Artist will pay for all art and personal transport fees to NYC


We accept works on a rolling submission.  All applications must be received by May 31st to be considered for the current calendar year.  Applications received after May 31st will be considered for the following calendar year. Creative Climate Awards take place in September and October of each year.

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