New artist-led project will explore how audiences travel to Perth venues

Creative Carbon Scotland is partnering with Perth Theatre and Concert Hall on a new project with artist and filmmaker Helen McCrorie to explore and address how audiences travel to and from the venues.

Created through funding from sustainable and active travel organisation Paths for AllTransforming Audience Travel Through Art is a 12-month project that seeks to address challenges around audience travel with a view to identifying more sustainable options.

An artist and filmmaker based in Perth & Kinross, and an activist with Climate Action Strathearn, Helen McCrorie collaborates with community groups to make work that explores radical human ecologies, including outdoor learning and community buyouts.

The project will see Helen organising, researching and conducting workshops with repeat attendees of Perth Theatre and Concert Hall, to learn about their transport methods and travel experiences.

Helen will use her creative methods to document how audiences travel to and from the venues, build a community of interest, and co-create artistic work that will showcase the benefits of, and barriers to, sustainable travel and promote a positive attitude to sustainability. The project will culminate in two sharing events with Perth Theatre and Concert Hall audience members and staff, along with local decision-makers.

This will work alongside and feed into a promotional campaign delivered by Perth Theatre and Concert Hall, highlight events that will promote sustainable travel choices and advocate for local policy decisions that will facilitate these choices.

Calculations show that for Perth Theatre and Concert Hall – and equivalent organisations – audience travel to and from the venues is one of the largest sources of emissions associated with their work. The organisation does not have direct control over how people travel to their buildings, but they can facilitate and encourage more sustainable travel choices.

Helen McCrorie said:

“I live in a rural community in Perth & Kinross and the bus service is a lifeline, but it’s woefully inadequate. Regular, affordable public transport is essential for climate and social justice. I’m an activist with local group Climate Action Strathearn. We have been responding to council and government climate pledges and consultations and we are seeking urgent momentum for sustainable transport. I’m excited to be able to combine my art practice with activism in this project.”

Ben Twist, Director of Creative Carbon Scotland, said:

“If Scotland is going to reach net zero, we need to fix transport, which is now the country’s biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions and the only one that’s growing. If this innovative project can help transform the ways audiences travel to shows that’s a step, not only towards reducing a major source of a venue’s emissions, but to reducing the country’s transport emissions overall. We’re very pleased to be involved and hope this project will provide a model for venues elsewhere in Scotland looking to make change locally.”

Nick Williams, Chief Executive of Perth Theatre and Concert Hall said:

“As an organisation that is working to improve the environmental impact of our operations and influencing broader decarbonisation efforts in the area, it is important to take notice of how our audiences travel and the alternative options available to them. Transforming Audience Travel Through Art is an opportunity to talk directly to visitors to our venues to identify the challenges and barriers they face when attending events. We’re delighted to be working with Helen McCrorie to deliver the message in a creative and collaborative way.”

The project will run from May 2023 until March 2024, starting with a survey to audiences about how they travel to the venues. You can find more information on our Transforming audience travel through art project page.

Visitors to Perth Theatre and Concert Hall venues are invited to complete a short survey about travel options and choices.

Transforming audience travel through art is funded by Smarter Choices Smarter Places, which is Paths for All’s programme to increase active and sustainable travel throughout Scotland. The programme is grant-funded by Transport Scotland.

Paths for All is a charity and is the champion of everyday walking in Scotland. Paths for All’s vision is for a happier, healthier Scotland where physical activity improves quality of life and wellbeing for all. 

This project is being run as part of our culture/SHIFT programme, which promotes how the arts and culture can transform society in response to climate change.

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