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Thinking about environmental sustainability #6

This is the sixth in our ‘Thinking about environmental sustainability’ blog series and focuses on collaboration and place-based working.

Although there is no specific question about collaboration and place-based working in Creative Scotland’s Multi-Year Funding or other funding programme application processes, these ways of working are essential to strong action on climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions are the product of complex systems and ways of being that individuals and single organisations cannot fully change on their own – collaborative work is required.

Strong communities are a central plank of climate change adaptation policies around the world, including those of the Scottish Government, and cultural and creative organisations and practitioners can help build and maintain these strong communities through place-based working. This blog will provide some examples of existing work and routes to new areas of work for cultural organisations and practitioners.

Read blog #1 – introduction to the series.

Read blog #2 – on mitigation.

Read blog #3 – on adaptation.

Read blog #4 – on climate change and arts programming.

Read blog #5 – on climate justice.

In this blog:

The strategic background

Creative Scotland’s Climate Emergency & Sustainability Plan recognises the importance of collaborative working. As well as internally focused actions for Creative Scotland itself, the sub-action 16.3 on page 19 reads as follows:

‘16.3 Build a roster of culture and creative organisations working on climate change, EDI or other potentially relevant topics with whom partnership working might be appropriate or beneficial.’

And the broader description of the plan focuses (page 12) on the contribution that culture and creative organisations and practitioners can make:

‘Collaboration is a core skill in many cultural fields. Artists can facilitate difficult conversations and can elicit emotions, which are often squeezed out of more technical debates. Cultural organisations reach enormous and diverse audiences and can provide buildings and spaces for events, conversation and communal, collective thinking and learning. The declaration from the 2021 meeting of Culture Ministers from the G20¹ recognised the importance of culture in addressing climate change, whilst the UN’s Race to Resilience project includes culture as one of its official elements, demonstrating interest from the climate change side.

‘Climate impacts are felt differently across Scotland and strong communities are proven to be more resilient to the challenges that climate change is bringing. This aligns with our own collaborative and partnership work on Place and the community-building effect that strong cultural organisations have in villages, towns, regions and cities.

‘We will strengthen the role of culture and creativity and their role in addressing the climate emergency by actively seeking and supporting partnerships with people and organisations in other sectors who are working on climate change.’

Place-based working

Place-based working is nothing new to many of Scotland’s cultural organisations. Creative Carbon Scotland produced a report describing the thread from David Harding’s work as Town Artist for Glenrothes New Town in the 1970s through to organisations such as The Stove, North Edinburgh Arts, the Beacon in Greenock and others today. Culture Collective provides a raft of examples of community-focused and -led arts work during the pandemic.

Creative Scotland’s Climate Emergency and Sustainability Plan highlights the need for transformational change throughout society in order to meet the net-zero target and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Within the cultural sector, consideration of what place-based working might mean for an organisation may provide a route to successful transformational thinking about not only how it does what it currently does more efficiently, but what it does to achieve its artistic, environmental, financial and social aims. This will clearly mean different things to different organisations: an urban concert hall or large gallery in the central belt will have a different concept of place and relationships with a wider set of communities than a community-focused arts centre in rural Scotland.

There is also an intersection with EDI: Which are the marginalised communities in your area, and how will they be affected by climate change impacts and mitigation efforts – for good or ill? Is there an opportunity to extend your organisation’s relationships with communities that you don’t currently work with, building audiences and your usefulness to your local authority, with the support that goes along with that?

Local assemblies and 20-minute neighbourhoods

Creative Carbon Scotland’s Climate Beacons project and SPRINGBOARD local assemblies for creative climate action are ways in which we facilitate collaboration at a local level, bringing cultural, climate change, community and public organisations together to ensure that culture is included in the local climate discussion. If you want to join an existing group or host an assembly, get in touch.

We believe that culture has a valuable contribution to make to the development of 20-minute neighbourhoods. The Place Standard tool now has a climate lens and may be a useful resource for your organisation to use when collaborating with your community. The Place Standard says: ‘Good place-making is essential for designing a robust local response to the climate emergency, such as taking local action to cut emissions and to increase resilience to local climate change impacts. The climate lens can help you to consider how the impacts and influence of climate change will play out in a local area.’

Collaboration

Collaboration at a different level is at the heart of Creative Carbon Scotland’s culture/SHIFT work. We have worked with agencies and public bodies from the resilience charity Sniffer to NatureScot and Climate Ready Clyde – a consortium of eight local authorities, two universities and others. We embed artists in these climate change projects, usually employing freelancers but sometimes acting ourselves as the embedded artist as well as bringing arts organisations and practitioners into the project. The artists here are not employed to make art – this is not a residency, which organisations other than Creative Carbon Scotland are much better equipped to facilitate – but to bring their skills, knowledge, ways of working, contacts and creativity to the table alongside the engineers, economists, project managers and others who are typically here.

Our organisational plan includes an aim to make this sort of working normal, not just something that we do ourselves – building awareness within the climate change world of culture’s potential contribution, and at the same time building capacity and capabilities within the cultural sector to fulfil a growing demand. No-one really knows how to reach net zero or how to adapt to the impacts of climate change and these projects need culture’s help.

For more examples of this work, see our current projects Transforming Audience Travel Through Art and Creative Climate Futures. Note that this sort of project is nearly always funded not from limited culture funds but from the larger budgets of public bodies and climate change generally. Creative Ireland’s €3m Creative Climate Action fund was joint funded by the Irish government’s climate change and cultural departments (not the Irish Arts Council) and was extended to €5m owing to the success of a first round and the ambition and imagination of the climate/cultural partnerships that applied. Let’s make the case for an equivalent programme in Scotland!

(Top image ID: Wavy lines in varying shades of green with the text ‘BLOG SERIES: Thinking about environmental sustainability #6’.)


  1. See https://en.unesco.org/news/g20-agrees-first-declaration-culture

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Opportunity: Become a Board Member for Scottish Youth Theatre

Join us in our mission to collaborate with and develop young theatre artists across Scotland.

Scottish Youth Theatre is inviting expressions of interest to join our Board at a pivotal period of the company’s development.

We are seeking up to five new Board members to strengthen and diversify our current Board and succession plan for 2025, when our two longest serving members will have fulfilled their maximum tenure. This includes our current Chair, who is open to discuss the role of Chair with individuals who may have a particular interest in the position.

These are unpaid roles with reasonable expenses reimbursed. Previous Board experience is not essential and training will be offered if required.

First and foremost, we want to recruit Board members who are committed to the work and ambitions of the company and who will meaningfully contribute to our governance and strategic development. We particularly welcome expressions of interest from people with knowledge and experience in areas of:

  • Equity and inclusion
  • Environment
  • Finance
  • Marketing/PR
  • Legal

In our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion we want our Board to reflect Scotland’s diverse communities and therefore particularly welcome interest from:

  • Black and People of Colour
  • Disabled people
  • People under the age of 35
  • Those based or with a strong connection to areas of Scotland outside the Central Belt

To find out how to register your interest, learn more about Scottish Youth Theatre and the commitment expected of Board members, download the information pack via our website:

Deadline for expressions of interest: Monday 11 December 2023, 6pm

We are happy to accept written, audio or video submissions and offer reasonable adjustments to support people through the full recruitment process. If you have any questions about this, please get in touch.

(Top image ID: Three young performers look towards the sky with their arms outstretched, with dazzled/amazed looks on their faces. They wear different coloured knitted jumpers. There is a prop tree in the background, and wooden boxes surround them on the floor. [supplied])

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Opportunity: Print Clan Artists in Residence Programme 2024

Print Clan CIC are accepting applications for their fully-funded Artists in Residence 2024 programme.

Thanks to funding by National Lottery through Creative Scotland we’re delighted to be offering four artist residencies at the Print Clan studio in 2024.

We are looking for four Scotland based artists (three mid-career artists and one early-career artist) to undertake a fully-funded four week residency at Print Clan. Each residency will culminate with the delivery of one public output of their choice and a half-day workshop at one of our Print Clubs.

We are interested in artists using the residency to explore one or a combination of the following themes:

  • Eco consciousness and sustainability
  • Repeat pattern and/or reproduction
  • Surface, form, and colour

The four successful artists will receive one month’s access to our studio facilities, technical support and 4 one-to-one consultancy sessions. They will also be granted a budget to cover:

  • Print Clan membership
  • 3 x A0 screens – coated and exposed
  • 2 x A2 screens
  • Exclusive table hire x 5 days
  • Standard (shared) table hire x 13 days
  • Materials and sundries
  • In-house and external professional development courses workshops and courses up to £300
  • Access needs – this will be assessed on an individual basis but might look like accessible transport, accessible studio hire, contribution to childcare/PA/interpreter fees

In addition to the materials and studio budget, artists will receive payment for their four week residencies at Scottish Artists’ Union residency rates (2022): for the early career artist this will be £2139.92, and for the mid-career artists £2994.15. 50% will be paid in week two, and 50% will be paid upon completion of the residency. Each artist will also receive a further £38ph for delivering their Print Club workshop.

Please visit our website for full info including how to apply.

Deadline: Monday 4 December, 2pm. Successful applicants will be informed on Monday 18 December:

The four residencies will run throughout 2024 and are currently scheduled to take place between January – August, however these dates can be negotiated with the successful applicants.

(Top image ID: Open Call: Print Clan Artist in Residence 2024 poster, with a Print Clan logo and a photo of a person working with a printing press. [supplied])

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Thinking about environmental sustainability #5

This is the fifth in our ‘Thinking about environmental sustainability’ blog series and focuses on climate justice.

There is no specific question around climate justice in Creative Scotland’s funding criteria, but applicants may find this blog useful for shaping responses to the questions generally.

A key climate justice consideration is to ensure that your work to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change impacts involves, and accounts for the needs of, disadvantaged and marginalised groups. Without rapid action these groups will face worse impacts. Climate change action taken by the cultural sector needs to be fair and equitable and should counter rather than worsen existing inequalities.

Read blog #1 – introduction to the series.

Read blog #2 – on mitigation.

Read blog #3 – on adaptation.

Read blog #4 – on climate change and arts programming.

In this blog:

Climate justice

Climate justice is centred on people, looking at climate change as a social, political and cultural issue as much as a scientific and technological one. The essence of climate justice is that the people worst affected by the climate emergency are the least likely to have contributed to its causes. Often, references to climate justice are about Global South countries that are hit hardest by climate change. Without diminishing international responsibilities in that region, we must remember that disadvantaged people and communities in Scotland and the UK are also affected disproportionately by climate change. And helping to address these more local inequalities is exactly where our cultural organisations can have more impact.

In line with the Scottish Government’s climate change policy commitment ‘to ending our contribution to climate change in a way that is fair and leaves no one behind’, Creative Scotland has embraced climate justice as a core theme of its Climate Emergency and Sustainability Plan.

Culture and creativity have an important part to play in this, helping society to think about difficult and challenging ideas, encouraging debate and challenge. Artists can make the invisible visible, involve different communities, and help imagine different futures, while cultural venues can provide spaces for debate and discussion, both through their artistic work and as venues in civic society. Cultural participation has a strong record in building engagement with people and broader society, increasing confidence and collaboration in tackling major issues.

(p9, Climate Emergency and Sustainability Plan)

Read our blog: Why does arts and culture need to think about climate justice?

Weaving in climate justice

We believe your climate change ambitions are made more effective when climate justice is woven into every aspect of your work, internal and external. As arts, cultural and creative organisations and individuals you have unique skills and bring new and imaginative approaches to tackling complex problems. You are in an exceptional position to tell the stories of our lives, good or bad, and to give hope and provide a space to think individually and collectively about the challenges and opportunities that the climate emergency has placed on our doorsteps.

A climate justice framing for your work can:

  • Highlight and help tackle local inequalities.
  • Provide new routes to participation.
  • Build trust and empower the community.
  • Influence decision-making.
  • Increase diversity of staff, volunteers and collaborators.

Read our two extensive guides on this topic: Climate justice for cultural organisationsand Climate justice for artists and collaborators.

Climate justice and EDI

Climate justice stands strongly beside EDI (equality, diversity and inclusion). It’s important that the sustainability measures taken for productions or exhibitions when, for example, aiming for theatre green book or arts green book compliance, are and are perceived to be fair.

Questions an organisation can consider are:

  • Do your sustainability and EDI plans complement each other?
  • What are our opportunities to improve EDI and access? For example, sustainability measures like adjusting parking space in favour of people with limited mobility (to decrease car travel by others), or more local touring to areas with less access to the arts.
  • Do your sustainability actions avoid harm to underprivileged groups? For example, measures like a plastic straw ban and removing parking access can have an adverse effect on people with disabilities.
  • Who can you work with on climate change projects and whose voices need to be represented or platformed? Who do you need to work with? Remember that some people can take more climate action or in different ways so while some audiences should be encouraged to make changes to their behaviours, others (disadvantaged groups) may need to have a voice in climate decision-making.
Mitigation through a climate justice lens

You should always consider that anything you do to reduce your emissions may impact disadvantaged groups unintentionally. For example, disabled people may find it challenging to travel in more sustainable ways so compelling people to use sustainable travel may make them less able to work with you or attend your performances. On the other hand, touring to smaller venues might both reduce audience travel and enable more people living in remote areas to access high-quality artistic work.

Generally, small, medium and regional organisations have fewer assets and resources than their larger counterparts. Larger cultural organisations can support smaller organisations and independents by offering materials and resources for reusing and repurposing, or by sharing and providing access to assets.

Also read blog #2 – on mitigation.

Adaptation through a climate justice lens

As we’re already seeing with the cost-of-living crisis, people may struggle to support culture financially if climate change impacts on infrastructure or agriculture are making daily essentials more expensive. We can also expect to see health impacts with older and younger people more vulnerable to hotter temperatures and people finding it harder to move around in icy and stormy conditions. Practically speaking, as long as they’re physically accessible, cultural venues can be useful and appreciated places to stay cool in summer and warm in winter, so there’s potential for a community hub aspect to come to the fore.

In terms of how organisations’ work relates to the communities they are based in or work with questions to ask could be:

  • What risks does the neighbourhood or community face, and could the organisation help reduce these risks or help address any problems when they arise?
  • How does the organisation increase any risks and what could change to avoid this?

Also read blog #3 – on adaptation.

Programming through a climate justice lens

If you are thinking of programming content about climate, it’s vital to incorporate climate justice. Global climate justice issues are important, but also think about what matters locally, as this may be where you can have the greatest influence. Telling bold stories about climate change impacts on marginalised communities, and commissioning projects from and with people who are experiencing the effects of climate injustice directly, are ideas to think about. Who is most adversely affected by climate change in your area?

Programming can also show how climate change is connected to other important social issues like fuel poverty or access to transport.

Examples from our website:
Eco-anxiety among children and young people is on the rise worldwide so programmes such as Rowanbank’s creative climate education project – Positive Imaginings – can provide invaluable space and time for this group to have a voice on climate change.

In Banchory, near Aberdeen, artists and a cultural venue work together with the community to create an apple orchard to deepen relationships with and understanding of the natural world. At its heart, The Far Orchard is about creating community and connecting people to nature and environmental issues.

Also read blog #4 – on climate change and arts programming.

Finance and sponsorship

When thinking about climate justice on a more global scale, these sorts of questions may be helpful:

  • Does your organisation’s bank invest in fossil fuels or other products that may lead to negative climate change impacts like deforestation?
  • When seeking sponsorship, do you talk to companies about the environmental sustainability of their work?
More resources

(Top image ID: Wavy lines in varying shades of green with the text ‘BLOG SERIES: Thinking about environmental sustainability #5’.)

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Job: Development Officer at Edinburgh Art Festival

We are recruiting for a new development officer at EAF.

Job title: Development officer
Responsible to: Director
Salary: £26,000 pa
Start date: January 2024
Application deadline: midnight, Sunday 3 December 2023
Interviews will take place on Friday 8 December 2023 online, via zoom

Type of contract: Full time
Hours of work: 37.5 hours per week
Holidays: 20 days, plus 8 public holidays

Probation period: Six months
Notice period: Two months

INFORMATION ABOUT THE ROLE

We want to recruit a new development officer to work with us. The new role will work closely with the director and development associate to generate new income streams for EAF, with an emphasis on growing support from Trusts and Foundations, corporate sponsors and individual giving. This role is ideal for someone who wants to grow with EAF, and is designed to develop a person in line with our mission.

They will support a refreshed strategy, story of change, case for support and strategic communications to develop relationships and secure investment in the organisation.

HOW TO APPLY

We really want to recruit in a different way. We know that there are many barriers for people applying for jobs, especially in the cultural sector, and we want to make this process as open and supportive as possible.

Please send a current CV, cover letter (2x A4 Max) or a video/voice mote (3 min max) and the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form to jobs@edinburghartfestival.com using ‘Development Officer Application’ as the subject heading. The cover letter should be no more than two sides of A4 and should outline your interest and suitability for the role and highlight relevant experience.

TIMELINE

The closing date for all applicants is: midnight, Sunday 3 December 2023.
Interviews will take place on Friday 8 December 2023 online, via zoom.

Find out more and download the full job pack.

Top image ID: People at an exhibition, looking at art and talking. [supplied])

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Job: Civic Curator at Edinburgh Art Festival

Job title: Civic curator
Responsible to: Director
Salary: £28,000 pa
Start date: Jan 2024
Application deadline: midnight, Sunday 3 December 2023
Interviews: 11 December 2023 online, via zoom (with second interviews where applicable)

Type of contract: Full time
Hours of work: 37.5 hours per week
Holidays: 20 days, plus 8 public holidays

Probation period: six months
Notice period: two months

INFORMATION ABOUT THE ROLE

We want to recruit a new civic curator to work with us. The successful candidate will lead a programme of projects and events, with a focus on working at the intersection of art, social justice, and civic and community engagement in Edinburgh. Applicants should have experience of delivering partnership projects at scale, project management and should be comfortable building and nurturing relationships in a broad range of settings.

HOW TO APPLY

We really want to recruit in a different way. We know that there are many barriers for people applying for jobs, especially in the cultural sector, and we want to make this process as open and supportive as possible.

Please send a current CV, cover letter (2x A4 Max) or a video/voice note (3 min max) and the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form to jobs@edinburghartfestival.com using ‘Civic Curator Application’ as the subject heading. The cover letter should be no more than two sides of A4 and should outline your interest and suitability for the role and highlight relevant experience.

TIMELINE

The closing date for all applicants is: midnight, Sunday 3 December 2023.
Interviews: 11 December 2023 online, via zoom (with second interviews where applicable).

Find out more and download the full job pack.


Share your news, events and opportunities!

This opportunity was posted by the Edinburgh Art Festival [opens in a new tab], a member of the Green Arts Initiative. Creative Carbon Scotland is committed to being a resource for the arts & sustainability community and we invite you to submit news, blogs, opportunities and your upcoming events.

(Top image ID: People sitting and standing around a table crafting, talking and laughing. [supplied])

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Thinking about environmental sustainability #4

This is the fourth in our ‘Thinking about environmental sustainability’ blog series and focuses on climate change in arts programming.

The blog relates to this question that Creative Scotland asks in its Multi-Year Funding application process: How will the climate emergency be considered in your programme and the ways it is delivered? It will also be relevant to other funding streams.

Read blog #1 – introduction to the series.

Read blog #2 – on mitigation.

Read blog #3 – on adaptation.

In this blog:

The power of culture to influence society

Artists and cultural organisations have an enormous opportunity to use their powerful influence to shift society’s thinking about climate change. We reach a far broader population than almost any other field. Cultural organisations often have loyal and repeat audiences who understand and like an organisation’s values, meaning that they are ‘trusted messengers’ that can help shift opinions and bring about change.

Does that mean you should programme work that specifically addresses climate change? ‘Issue-based’ work has become unpopular in recent years but in fact there is a great history in Western art, at least, of great art with a purpose, from Joan Baez’s protest songs to religious music, and the plays of Bertolt Brecht to paintings like Picasso’s GuernicaMargaret Atwood has written powerful novels about post-climate crisis society. Composers John Luther Adams and, closer to home, Karine Polwart have written music directly focused on environmental themes. The key is that it must be goodart.

The point: There is good artistic work that’s addressing climate change, and there are artists in all disciplines who want to take on this big challenge of our age.

The stories we tell

In 2021 Creative Carbon Scotland worked with major cultural bodies to produce a film, Climate Action Needs Culture, highlighting cultural organisations’ ability to change the narrative about society. Cultural organisations tell stories – in the work they produce and present, and in the work they don’t produce and present. They can tell stories that, in direct or indirect ways, include narratives of a positive future in a climate-changed, zero-carbon society. They can tell stories that directly reinforce existing ways of being. And, simply by not touching upon or considering the climate emergency, they can reinforce current ways of being that are the cause of the problem. One thing I learned as a theatre director is that audiences notice and take account of everything you present to them. Our stories are never neutral.

Cultural organisations also tell stories in the way they work. This is not so much about programming, but it is impossible to disentangle the work presented from the way in which the work is delivered. This is reflected in the question in the Multi-Year Funding application, and applies to other funding streams as well: How will the climate emergency be considered in your programme and the ways it is delivered?

Programming work using the climate lens

It isn’t necessary – although it may well be a good thing to do – to make or programme work that is about climate change.

Climate change is happening all around us. It’s an integral part of our lives. It’s changing what we eat and where we go on holiday, the ways in which we travel, farm, heat our homes and more. It’s prompting international migration. It’s causing wildfires and travel disruption. It has caused protests and policies to address it have led to riots. It features in the news every day.

For all these reasons, we at Creative Carbon Scotland argue that it is essential, simply to keep up with the times, to view your programming through the climate lens. What does, or could, this work of art, this exhibition, this novel, say about climate change and how it is affecting our society? This might lead to work that is specifically about environmental themes (see for example the work of artist Patricia MacDonald) or includes them (Karine Polwart’s Wind Resistance). It might lead to works directly about climate change:

  • John Luther Adams’ Vespers of the Blessed Earth is a good example.
  • Don’t Look Up got mixed reviews but there is no doubt it garnered attention and delivers some good laughs.
  • Ian McEwan’s Solar is perhaps a more successful foray into climate change comedy.
  • In Scotland, Robbie Coleman’s and Jo Hodges’ The Museum of Climate Futuresshows how terrific work directly addressing climate change can be moving, fun and powerful.
The counterfactual: what if you don’t use the ‘climate lens’?

It may not be necessary to produce or present work directly about climate change; the problem arises if you don’t consider it. Hollywood constantly pumps out stories of high-carbon lifestyles – and has been very successful in promoting American values and aspirations across the world for decades. If we ignore climate change and continue to tell stories in which it doesn’t register, we are authorising audiences to ignore it too, promoting the same values as the oil companies. If you’re not doing the right thing, you’re doing the wrong thing.

‘Authorising’ artists to work on this theme

Why not co-create work touching on climate change? An organisation that states that it’s seeking artists who want to work on climate change, in whatever way, will be attractive to those artists, and may well licence artists who have wanted to do so but have felt reluctant to say so. Creating work that makes an argument while also being artistically successful generally needs the craft, skills, experience and knowledge of established artists. Seek out top-level artists wanting to make this work and make clear your intentions. Scotland is ahead of most other places in the cultural sector’s practical and operational work on climate change; this is our opportunity to take the lead artisticallytoo.

Climate justice and programming

Could you take into account voices that are currently unheard in climate discussions or decision making? Are there specific topics that, by being relevant to your locality or communities, might attract new or different audiences, readers, visitors or users to your work? Can works from abroad where people have already experienced the impacts of climate change provide insights for people in Scotland? Climate lens programming can help make visible the connections with other social issues like fuel poverty or inequality. Look out for our climate justice blog, due to publish on 12 October, for more examples and thoughts on this topic.

Delivering the work

Creative Scotland asks: How will the climate emergency be considered in your programme and the ways it is delivered? [our bolding] There are other ways of using your assets to:

  • Provide a framing for non-climate-related work that highlights the connections with climate change.
  • Promote your organisation’s own choices and behaviours to encourage others to emulate them.

Perth Theatre & Concert Hall’s project Transforming Audience Travel Through Art is a good example of using the organisation’s influencing role – and the work of an artist, paid for by non-arts source Paths for All – to work for change with their audiences.

Greenwich Dance’s ArtsUnboxed initiative is another way of using your assets differently. They aren’t the only ones touring ideas rather than stuff and people, but this is a good blog about the concept. See also Headlong Theatre’s A Play for the Living in a Time of ExtinctionKatie Mitchell’s work with Theatre Vidy-Lausanne and Pippa Bailey’s Biding Time.

And again, failing to apply the climate lens to how you deliver the work as well as to the programme you are delivering may lead to reinforcing current beliefs, practices and behaviours.

Changing the narrative

When discussing programming around climate change there is often an assumption that the aim is to bring about individual change: an audience member, a viewer, reader or participant has a transformational experience leading them to change their lives. For example, maybe they see an exhibition and decide to stop flying or become a vegan! In fact, evidence shows that this is very rare. Normal life intervenes. Habits, work, family and peer pressure make change difficult. People revert to their usual ways of being. The infrastructure isn’t available. However, it is proven that if there are safe cycle lanes or effective kerbside recycling, more people ride a bike or more people recycle their waste. See Complexity theory, cultural practices and carbon reduction policy for more on this topic.

Thus, what’s more important is the ability of the arts and culture to change the narrative in society more broadly – to focus not so much on the individual as on society.

(Image ID: Wavy lines in varying shades of green with the text ‘BLOG SERIES: Thinking about environmental sustainability #4’.)

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Opportunity: Producer Accelerator course

This course is for new and emerging producers based in Scotland.

Producer Accelerator is aimed at producers at the start of their careers who are looking to take that next step into the industry, but may need support in furthering their knowledge of the industry or expanding their skillset.

This course aims to inspire and invigorate the most dynamic, promising new producers in Scotland. The course will take place across four days in the form of two two-day workshops on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 of January, and Friday 1 and Saturday 2 March 2024.

Short Circuit will select up to eight applicants who will develop their producing skills and industry knowledge through in-person development workshops, masterclasses and one-on-one mentoring sessions. Participants will take part in training and networking sessions from industry speakers and will be matched with a carefully selected mentor that they will work over three months. There is no cost to participate in the programme.

Sessions include masterclasses on:

  • Understanding the development process.
  • Working with writers and directors.
  • Managing talent relationships.
  • Budgeting and financing.
  • Legal and distribution.
  • The lifecycle of a project from inception, through to physical production and delivery.

Producer Accelerator is now open for applications, the deadline is 10am on Tuesday 21 November 2023Apply now!

Producer Accelerator is an inclusive programme and we are aware that within the screen industry that Disabled and D/deaf people, people of the global majority, women, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex people (LGBTQI+) and those who have been socially and economically disadvantaged by their circumstances and upbringing are disproportionately marginalised.

We encourage applications from individuals who are currently under-represented within the sector and seek to foster equal opportunities for new and emerging talent from diverse backgrounds, with support on hand for those who need it.

(Top image ID: Producer Accelerator poster with a photo of people shooting a video. The text reads: ‘Deadline: 21st November 2023’. [supplied])

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Choir flash mob highlights importance of sustainable travel

Passengers on the number 8 bus from Oakbank into Perth city centre on Thursday 5 October were treated to a pop-up performance in the form of a flash mob by Craigie Community Choir as part of a project highlighting sustainable travel.

Users of the 19:26 Stagecoach service from Oakbank Community Centre were left ‘feeling groovy’ and probably ‘all shook up’ after choir members morphed from passengers to performers to belt out a medley of contemporary songs whilst en route to Perth Theatre.

Conceived by Helen McCrorie, the embedded artist in Perth Theatre and Concert Hall and Creative Carbon Scotland’s Transforming Audience Travel Through Art project supported by Paths for All, the Flash Mob was recorded as part of a new film exploring buses for communities. The film will be screened at a free, drop-in Ticket to Ride event, at Perth Concert Hall on Saturday 11 November, which will also feature the Travelling Gallery exhibition on a bus on Perth Concert Hall Plaza, as well as exhibitions from creative workshops, performances, expert speakers and roundtable discussions around sustainable transport.

Craigie Community Choir leader, Debra Salem said:

‘Craigie Community Choir has always enjoyed being part of interesting projects and this one is no exception. Having connected with Helen through singing and knowing about her film work she told me about her project and the opportunity for us to get involved by providing a flash mob on the bus, became a possibility. It made us think of the joy of singing on bus journeys when you are with people you know, and spontaneously burst into song. The choir is really delighted to be involved in this project and be able, in our own way, to support getting the message across about sustainable travel.’

Artist Helen McCrorie said:

‘I am excited to collaborate with Craigie Choir on this flash mob and film to celebrate the potential of buses as a social form of transport that should serve the whole community. Audiences have been telling us they want more and cheaper services, so that they can travel by bus. A good bus service that is well-used benefits the whole community. We missed social spaces during the pandemic – let’s break out of our car bubbles and travel by bus!’

In addition to Ticket to Ride on 11 November, Helen is looking for people to help create materials for the event through banner making, set painting or sound recording at a Sustainable Travel Creative Workshop in Perth Theatre on Saturday 21 October.

For info on Ticket to Ride or to book a free Sustainable Travel Creative Workshop space visit perththeatreandconcerthall.com.


Perth Theatre and Concert Hall’s Transforming Audience Travel Through Art project with Creative Carbon Scotland is funded by Paths for All’s Smarter Choices Smarter Places programme.

(Image ID: Group of people on a bus, waving – inside a bright green frame. On either side are organisational logos on a cream background.)

The post Choir flash mob highlights importance of sustainable travel appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

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Thinking about environmental sustainability #3

This is the third in our ‘Thinking about environmental sustainability’ blog series and focuses on adaptation. 

Applicants to Creative Scotland’s Multi-Year Funding stream may find this blog useful for shaping responses to: How will you manage the impact of the climate emergency on your organisation to ensure long-term business sustainability?

For individual and shorter project fund applications it is also important to consider whether there are climate-related risks that could affect your ability to deliver your project, such as travel disruption, and think through how you could manage these risks.

Read blog #1 – introduction to the series.

Read blog #2 – on mitigation.

In this blog:

Climate change adaptation

Often when we first think about responding to climate change we think about how to reduce our emissions and wider environmental impact (mitigation) but over the past few years global climate statistics from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) as well as tangible recent weather events in the UK and abroad have driven home the fact that our climate is already changing, and we must adjust in response. The adjustments we need to make are what is generally known as adaptation.

The UN defines climate change adaptation as ‘adjustments in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities‘. In the arts, screen and creative industries this means ensuring that our buildings are physically equipped to deal with the weather and protected against risks of flooding, and thinking through our activities to understand where climate-related problems might arise so we can plan to reduce the risk. We can expect weather in Scotland to get warmer, wetter and wilder so buildings need to be able to withstand both hotter and colder temperatures as well as faster changes in weather – all the while without consuming more fossil fuels. We also need to look beyond physical risks to the opportunities that different weather patterns might provide, and build strong relationships with the communities we work in and with.

From 2018 to 2021, Creative Carbon Scotland led a Creative Europe project – Cultural Adaptations – working with cultural and adaptation partners in Glasgow, Ghent, Gothenburg and Dublin. It resulted in two useful toolkits: Adapting our Culture is for cultural organisations wanting to develop an adaptation plan, whilst our Embedded Artist projects for adaptation toolkit helps develop projects that involve artists in work with non-cultural organisations working on adaptation.

Creative Scotland is required by law to contribute to the Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme (SCCAP2 is the current version). Although few cultural organisations that we know of currently have a climate adaptation plan, Creative Scotland’s guidance for applicants on their Environmental Sustainability criterion for all funding programmes states: ‘Sector organisations should include climate risks and plans to mitigate those risks in corporate and major project risk registers and work towards the development of a climate adaptation plan if this is not yet in place [our emphasis]. This will help to minimise risks that staff, artists and audiences may not be able to attend activity or events being cancelled due to weather events.’

Local matters

Unlike mitigation, adaptation is something that will be different for each organisation: it is local and depends on very individual circumstances. Local authorities will have information about other local adaptation efforts and will know the changes expected in their area. Working with local communities and environmental groups will therefore be helpful to gain local knowledge and keep abreast of what’s going on in your area. If you’re looking for ways to connect in your local area you might like to find your nearest Climate Beacon, come along to one of our SPRINGBOARD local assemblies, or get in touch to organise one.

Risk

Creative Scotland now asks applicants to its main funding streams questions about their plans to respond to the impacts of climate change. Partly this is about risk, and this could apply to applications for longer-term support such as Multi-Year Funding or those for short-term, one-off projects. Questions an organisation could consider are:

Buildings

  • Is your building (or land) at risk of flooding from rivers or sea level rise?
  • Is your building at risk from heavy rain, snow or high winds?
  • Is your building at risk of being unusable in very cold or very warm temperatures?

Events

  • Could severe weather events (rain, snow, heatwave, cold snap etc) disrupt a performance or touring schedule?
  • Could severe weather events hinder staff, artists or audiences from reaching an event or venue?

Supplies and supply chains

  • Are your supply chains vulnerable to climate-related risks – either because the goods cannot be produced or because transport routes could become disrupted? Remember that severe weather or climate-related changes a long way away can impact on your activities at home.
  • Will you be able to get artworks and goods that you supply to where they are needed on time?

These issues should be addressed in an organisation’s risk register or a project risk assessment with appropriate responses planned. These might be things that can be done in advance – taking out the right insurance, undertaking capital works to improve the building or shifting the timing for a project so that inclement weather is less likely to cause problems. Or, it might involve developing a plan to respond if the problem arises, such as knowing availability of back-up venues or researching where to get temporary equipment.

Opportunities

When it comes to longer-term planning, there might be opportunities to shift schedules or change types of events along with any changes and trends in seasons. Tourist seasons might change with new weather patterns. There might be the opportunity to hold outdoor or indoor events depending on how weather patterns change.

Building strong, cohesive communities is an important part of adaptation policy across the world. Cultural organisations can play a part in bringing communities together, developing narratives for a positive future in a climate-changed world. Cultural buildings can even provide a source of information and, in an emergency, a place of gathering and safety for local communities. Strengthening relationships with communities can increase cultural organisations’ social value and their support in times of decreasing funding.

Preparing for the future

We know that thinking about climate adaptation is a developing area for everyone across the cultural sector. We’ll soon be bringing together interested organisations in peer groups to learn more about adaptation and implement and review tools. Please contact us if you’re interested in learning more about this together. A good starting point might be our guide to adapting to climate change. For a deeper look, other resources include those developed and shared by Adaptation Scotland.

There are also climate justice considerations for adaptation. These will be covered in our blog on 18 October.

The post Thinking about environmental sustainability #3 appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

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