Fort Collins, Colorado
As exhibited by record-breaking and devastating wildfires, drought, heat waves, and massive coastal storms, climate change remains one of the most urgent issues of our time. As the world transitions out of the COVID-19 pandemic, many see this as an opportunity to create a more just, equitable, and sustainable future. #WeAreStillHere, a remote reporting project created by photographer Alex Basaraba, highlights climate change scientists, activists, artists, journalists, and practitioners from across the world who have been impacted by the pandemic. Many have found unique, innovative ways to continue their important work despite a vast array of challenges, from loss of funding to loss of loved ones.
Image Credit: We Are Still Here participant Jamie Margolin, photo by Alex Basaraba.
Agile Rascal is a theater company that intersects theater and cycling, including tours of original plays on bicycle, and immersive, site-specific pieces that put the audience on two wheels. Their mission is to make innovative theater accessible; promote cycling as a viable means of transportation; inspire reverence for the natural landscape; and foster creative connections between artists, activists, and cyclists.
Image Credit: Photo courtesy Agile Rascal.
Angels Gate Cultural Center
San Pedro, California
Since December 2021, artist Taylor Griffith has collaborated with Angels Gate Cultural Center and AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles to engage the intersection of art and the ocean. One of 16 Artists At Work fellows in the Los Angeles region, Griffith is focused on an 8-mile region of the southern California coastline from San Pedro to Palos Verdes. These rocky shores are home to a three-dimensional kelp forest ecosystem that is essential to tackling climate change. Throughout his residency, Griffith held panel discussions between local artists and scientists, art making workshops that will result in a community sculpture, and two art exhibits that offered multiple ways of experiencing an underwater forest.
Image Credit: Courtesy artist Taylor Griffith.
Sara Dean, Beth Ferguson, Marina Monsonís
San Francisco Bay Area, California, and Barcelona, Spain
Tools for a Warming Planet is a living archive of tools—from historical to speculative—for adapting to a changing world. New tools are needed for understanding, building, and adapting together through climate change. This crowd-sourced collection bridges design, activism, and science. Collectively it highlights a range of work needed to respond to the urgent environmental, material, and community needs of our near future.
Image Credit: Photo by Beth Ferguson, University of California Davis.
Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse
Tarpon Springs, Florida
Balance of Water highlights artists Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse whose collaborative work raises awareness of the effects of climate change on our waterways. As this delicate ecosystem nears a tipping point, they explore ways to alleviate the warming of our waters and reveal the consequences of the rapidly changing climate with a sense of mindfulness and urgency. This series of monumental paintings tells the overarching story of the effects of global warming.
Image Credit: Currency: Climate Exchange, 2008 & 2021. Watercolor, acrylic, charcoal, and ink on paper mounted on canvas, 118" x 180", photo by Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse.
Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA)
CBCA hosted two Arts + Environmental Sustainability Forums exploring the intersection of science, creativity, culture, and community action to foster awareness and engagement to combat climate change. Statewide artists, scientists, businesses, educators, performers, media, advocates and more were invited to share and learn in the dialogue. The discussion explored how arts can spark vital conversations, bring communities together, tackle issues of environmental justice, partner with business and civic leaders to achieve shared goals, and stimulate real action.
Image Credit: Photo by Amanda Tipton Photography.
Since November 2017, Adriene Jenik has been offering free “climate future readings” in public settings utilizing her customized deck of ECOtarot cards. The ECOtarot deck revises tarot archetypes to reflect contemporary actors, values, and symbols from our climate drama. Interpretations pull from current climate science, ecological values, and the work of environmental justice heroines. The ECOtarot deck’s beauty and power is derived from original artwork screen-printed on handmade paper, hand-painted with natural pigments. The project engages the complex human emotions surrounding climate change—in the interest of moving beyond hopelessness, fear, and denial toward communal action and a just transition.
Image Credit: Photo courtesy Adriene Jenik.
Office for Public Art
Through the Office for Public Art’s multiyear Environment, Health, and Public Art Initiative, three artists collaborated with environmental health advocacy organizations to launch three public artworks that speak powerfully about environmental health issues critical to the Pittsburgh region. Ginger Brooks Takahashi’s Nine Mile Run Viewfinder created a portal into a fragile underground waterway; Mary Tremonte’s Dirt is Beautiful taught soil remediation through a hands-on, mobile education cart, and Aaron Henderson’s How Did This Happen? projected personal stories from an at-risk community fighting a battle against air pollution and fracking.
Image Credit: Nine Mile Run Viewfinder by Ginger Brooks Takahashi, 2021, photo by Office for Public Art.
Atlantic Center for the Arts
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Young Sound Seekers (YSS) helps blind and partially sighted students, ages 13-22, overcome barriers to access by creating a safe, undistracted outdoor space and encourages their appreciation of natural sounds. The students are contributing to the community in new ways because of the program’s rigorous environmental curriculum. YSS is a five-year initiative made possible by funding from the National Park Service Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division. Atlantic Center for the Arts has partnered with Canaveral National Seashore, Stetson University, the Conklin Davis Center for the Visually Impaired, and the Florida Department of Education Blind Services.
Image Credit: Photo courtesy Atlantic Center for the Arts.
The Arlington Art Truck brought From Our Waist to Waste: Is Fashion Sustainable(?) by Baltimore artist Laure Drogoul to the streets of Arlington. Visitors experienced a fanciful sculptural tent made from hundreds of colorful garments spanning various decades and styles. A unique label system detailed textile content and lifespan. At eight weekly activations, the artist and staff were on site discussing fun facts about clothes, Mid-Atlantic textile industry history, “close the loop” recycling, and other sustainable solutions for discarded garments. Participants received a free artist-designed riso-graph printed zine exploring these issues.
Image Credit: Photo courtesy Elman Studio for Arlington Arts.
New York, New York
Create a fresh perspective of home—a Green Map—and activate your community in support of climate health and well-being! Join people in 65 countries who have charted local nature, culture, social justice, and green living resources with Green Map Icons. Artists, changemakers, educators, and groups can use Green Map System’s open source mapping platform for free—it’s easy and designed to engage diverse voices in the process. Or make a printed Green Map, mural, video, or experience. Share your viewpoint on local climate challenges and opportunities by highlighting and linking exemplary places and projects on a Green Map!
Image Credit: Photo courtesy Green Map.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
I AM WATER is an annual billboard exhibition organized by ecoartspace and Our Humanity Matters. This year’s exhibition included 12 billboards in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and another six billboards in Western Massachusetts. The selected artists are making work that addresses water quality, water scarcity, sea level rise, drought, flooding, and the channelization and damming of water. The billboards are meant to subvert consumer culture to create an ecoconsciousness. We ARE water.
Image Credit: DROUGHT by EJ McAdams in Flatbush Brooklyn.
The Nine-Year Rituals have been performed at sites around the United States and Canada from the desert of Death Valley to Green Point, Newfoundland. During these rituals, Shaffer communes with the space and uses movement to address everything from global warming to the disappearance of old-growth forests. From 1995-2003, the rituals focused on a unique concern each year, including the living conditions of planet life; the premature death of the planet due to global warming; the preservation of the disappearing old-growth forests; the plight within the oceans; and the preservation of wetlands, an endangered habitat, and an ecological system.
Image Credit: Photo by Othello Anderson.
ArtPlace America and Helicon Collaborative
New York, New York
Farther, Faster, Together: How Arts and Culture Can Accelerate Environmental Progress, written by Helicon Collaborative and commissioned by ArtPlace America, shares how place-based arts and culture interventions are helping to advance environmental sustainability in communities around the country. The investigation covered areas of energy, water, land, waste, toxic pollution, and climate resilience and adaptation. Across these areas, the research showed that arts and culture interventions can radically amplify and accelerate progress in five areas that environmental leaders say are essential for a future that is more sustainable—and more just.
Image Credit: Photo by Jamie Hand.
What would happen if we created safe spaces for people on the right and left to talk about how they identify with the climate crisis? Could this help bridge the social and political divides we’re experiencing right now? That’s what
Image Credit: Image courtesy Aaron Colverson.
EcoArts Connections (EAC) collaborated with Science On a Sphere (SOS) to co-commission the creation of HOLOSCENES / Little Boxes, a climate change-inspired short arts/science film by artist Lars Jan/Early Morning Opera and his creative team of Pablo N. Molina and NightLight Labs, with advisors from across the country; including climate scientists, educators, SOS docents, a film producer, and mobile home park youth. Housed in science centers, museums, and other facilities across the world, SOS is a 6 foot in diameter globe and visual display system that uses computers and video projectors to display planetary data.
Image Credit: Photo courtesy EcoArts Connections.
Jamestown Arts Center
Jamestown, Rhode Island
Wrack Line: 2050 is a confluence of art and science; a collaboration that uses an artwork to convey climate data. The temporary 400-foot outdoor artwork installation by Melody Drnach, Janie Harris, Anne Kuhn-Hines, and Mary Meagher, is also a call to action that was created to draw attention to the strategic, practical, and urgent reality of living with sea level rise. The installation is one of 13 outdoor artworks selected for the 2022 Biennial at the Jamestown Arts Center in Jamestown, Rhode Island.
Image Credit: Wrack Line 2050 by artists Melody Drnach, Janie Harris, Anne Kuhn-Hines, and Mary Meagher, 2022, photo by Maddie Van.
Louisiana Division of the Arts
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Since 2019, Louisiana Division of the Arts' Folklife Program has partnered with Louisiana Folklore Society's Bayou Culture Collaborative to help sustain Louisiana’s traditional cultures in the face of climate change and migration. Online Bayou Culture Gatherings are a hub to address the human dimension in environmental planning, including preparing receiving communities to welcome newcomers. The Folklife Program funds Passing It On workshops for tradition bearers to teach their traditions and offers Sense of Place and Loss workshops to help the arts and culture networks become involved in the climate change dialogue about community resilience.
Juneteenth For Joy
Greater Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Building Black Utopias: Transforming Redlines into Green Spaces is an interactive storytelling project developed by filmmaker Nerissa Street and her team of creative players that changes the narrative about Black neighborhoods through a focus on Black joy and play. By using technology to amplify Indigenous healing practices during the annual Juneteenth for Joy festival, the Building Black Utopias project creates a felt experience of power and joy that reconnects residents to the green spaces within their communities jeopardized by climate change gentrification.
Image Credit: Photo by Orit Ben-Ezzer.
Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD)
Providence, Rhode Island
The Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) and NOAA Fisheries Art + Science Fellowship provides a hands-on opportunity for a recent graduate of an AICAD member school to apply their art & design education to ecological and social concerns and address them by connecting communities around challenging resource issues. Past Art + Science Fellows have addressed challenges surrounding the conservation of Killer Whale habitats in the Puget Sound, the looming extinction and rehabilitation of central California’s Chinook Salmon, and have developed interactive art exhibits currently installed at the Seattle Aquarium.
Image Credit: Submerged Meadow Interactive Art Exhibit at the Seattle Aquarium by AICAD/NOAA Fellow Isabel Beavers, photo courtesy AICAD.
Craft in America Center
Los Angeles, California
The first of its kind, the Artist Studio EcoGuide is a tool that offers pragmatic and meaningful solutions for the logistical operations and design of art spaces. This accessible resource, for all artists, across media, provides adoptable ideas for improving the eco-footprint of art making. The EcoGuide is a crowdsourced document that was created with the involvement of the craft community and artists, who have shared how they are making effective actions that impact the natural world. Craft in America’s hope is to expand the EcoGuide over time with additional input from artists, experts, designers, and the broader community.
Image Credit: Photo courtesy Craft in America Center.
City of San Antonio Department of Arts & Culture
San Antonio, Texas
To enhance local parks and greenways with public art, the City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture worked with San Antonio artist Leticia Huerta on the Bloom series, which are now featured in eight area parks. These radiant, oversized metal flower sculptures are part of a collection created from elements that, up close, resemble larger-than-life bicycle parts. Each installation takes inspiration from its location and the native wildflowers nearby. Bloom also serves as trailhead connectors, wayfinding markers, and some even have silver rings on the flower stems to indicate various water levels when San Antonio receives rain.
Image Credit: Photo courtesy City of San Antonio Department of Arts & Culture.
Project North is a music, art, and sustainability festival held in collaboration between ArtStart, WXPR Community Radio, The Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce, and Nicolet College. The event captures the spirit of a community event with the vibe of a music festival and adds contemporary art experiences and a commitment to sustainable practices and education. With a goal of being a zero waste event, no single-use plastic is allowed and an eco village hosts a demo stage, sustainable vendors, and panel discussions on topics like water quality and fibersheds.
Image Credit: The People's Brothers Band, photo courtesy Project North.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Initiated by an NEA competition for a safe highway crossing, The Draw at Sugar House expanded into the first flood-control system designed as art. Floodwater pools in the bowl of a “Sego Lily,” flows under an eight-lane highway, down “Echo Canyon,” floodwalls and spillway for the dam, and into a creek. In dry weather, it serves as a public park, amphitheater, seating, climbing walls with native plants and animals, connecting trails, and a wildlife corridor. Sculptural forms explore local cultural and environmental history: a canyon traversed by Mormon pioneers and the “Sego Lily” whose edible bulb allowed settlers to survive.
Image Credit: Photo by Patricia Johanson.
Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The Isle de Jean Charles Band of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians of Louisiana’s Indigenous home is located in Terrebonne Parish, where climate change is incredibly pronounced in the form of land loss and high tides. It has been estimated that 98% of the landmass has been lost to saltwater intrusion and erosion. Shishmaref, Alaska, a native Iñupiaq Village, is also considered to be an extreme example of global warming on the planet. Both communities have acknowledged that relocation for the survival of not only their people, but also their culture, is tantamount. Local activists Chantel Comardelle and Dennis Davis have taken matters into their own hands by developing a photography series entitled Preserving Our Place.
Image Credit: Photo courtesy Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge.
For almost two decades Madison, Wisconsin, artist Helen Klebesadel has been sharing her artistry via artworks that celebrate the force of nature, advance climate awareness, and suggest actions we can take to sustain the world we love. Her efforts extend to a collaborative project with artist Mary Kay Neumann entitled The Flowers Are Burning: An Art and Climate Justice Project. Since 2015, their project has encouraged us to make true connections with nature, understanding we are more likely to work to save that which we love.
Image Credit: Where Are The Bees?, watercolor, 30" x 22", by Helen Klebesadel, photo by artist.
Stranded Astronaut Productions
Los Angeles, California
Presented by Stranded Astronaut Productions, Climate Mental Health Network, and YEA! Impact, the short documentary Gen Z Mental Health: Climate Stories focuses on climate emotions, featuring perspectives from Gen Z’ers across the globe. This documentary finds a balance between actualizing the very real climate anxiety of Gen Z’ers while also highlighting the ways in which they find emotional resilience by having conversations about climate change, getting involved in their community, and taking direct collective action.
Image Credit: Photo courtesy Stranded Astronaut Productions.
How must our culture adapt to the impacts of climate change? And how can culture and creativity help create a positive future? Adaptation to climate change, along with mitigation and just transition, are key to addressing climate change. Cultural Adaptations is an action-research project seeking to find creative, innovative, and place-based methods to adapt to climate change. It brought together the arts and culture sector in four European Cities with city planners and sustainability teams. Lead partner Creative Carbon Scotland commissioned an independent evaluation report, Cultural Adaptations Lessons Learned Evaluation.
Image Credit: Photo courtesy Creative Carbon Scotland.
Nectar Nomad Productions
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Nectar Nomad Productions is the brainchild of Melanie Margarita Kirby—a BIPOC professional beekeeper, consilience researcher, and extension educator for the Institute of American Indian Arts. The bees have guided her around the globe, and with their keepers, have inspired her to develop creative methods for communicating the importance of our interconnected lives, landscapes, and dreamscapes as they support pollinator conservation and changing climate adaptation. Check out the Nectar Nomad video, “A Nectar Nomad in the Land of Enchantment” article, and It Takes a Community: The Importance of Place, Power, and Purpose in Landscape & Pollinator Conservation.
Image Credit: Photo by Melanie Kirby.
Redwood City, California
The San Mateo County Youth Ecopoetry Project was launched by commissioner and county poet laureate emerita Aileen Cassinetto in 2021 with support from the Academy of American Poets, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the County of San Mateo. High school students participated in poetry workshops and short ecopoetry films to encapsulate their lived experiences of climate change and ideas for climate action. Two of the ecopoetry films were official selections in the Lift-Off Filmmaker Sessions and the Nature & Culture Film Festival in Copenhagen.
Image Credit: Photo courtesy Aileen Cassinetto and and Midpen Media Center.
Arts Council Santa Cruz County
Santa Cruz, California
Partnership with artist, activist, and educator Ome Garcia and Esperanza Community Farms to offer a free family art class series, "Pintando Verduras," outdoors at the farm. Esperanza provides affordable organic produce to 150 local families through a biweekly Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, while aiming to promote healthy eating, sustainability, and economic justice in the Pajaro Valley. The classes were taught bilingually, alongside fellow artist Josefina Rocha, with participants painting freshly-harvested produce. For some participating youth, it was their first exposure to food growing on a farm and art made it a fun learning experience for participants of all ages!
Image Credit: Photo courtesy Arts Council Santa Cruz County.
Las Vegas, Nevada
On August 16, 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced the first official shortage declaration for the Colorado River. For the seven U.S. states along its course, this means new restrictions and a changed relationship, not only to the river but also to each other. Along the Colorado, curated by Nevada artist Sapira Cheuk, includes paintings, mixed media, and video works that explore the water crisis faced by the desert Southwest, the nation, and the planet. The exhibition explores issues around water—its scarcity, use, commodification, conservation, legality, and politics.
Image Credit: Photo by Alexander Heilner.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Poetry Pollinators is a new project from Santa Fe, New Mexico, that combines poetry, sculpture, and ecological education in a free-standing installation and native pollinator bee nesting habitat on the banks of the Santa Fe River. Founded and directed by Elizabeth Jacobson and Julie Chase-Daniel, the installation is a gathering place for poetry readings, environmental talks, and eco-poetry workshops. The sculpture designed by Peter Joseph holds educational information and a panel to display the work of New Mexico poets, which will change seasonally.
Image Credit: Photo courtesy Poetry Pollinators.
New York, New York
The Blued Trees Opera is an experimental opera about ecocide and climate change vs. habitat conservation. It is based on a 2015 mock trial to establish protection for the artist’s project, The Blued Trees Symphony, a series of GPS located trees in a linear configuration that corresponded to an aerial score across miles of forested private land in the path of proposed natural gas pipelines. The trial resulted in an injunction against the corporations on the basis that copyright protection for art of “standing” pre-empts eminent domain takings for private profit. The opera explores art's role in protecting Earth rights.
Image Credit: Photo by Aviva Rahmani.
Takoma Park, Maryland
Dance Exchange's Future Fields is a multi-year, cross-disciplinary performance and community engagement project that cultivates communal exploration of climate change and agriculture. Led by Cassie Meador, Dr. Jamē McCray, and Christina Catanese, the project takes place in rural, suburban, and urban communities with partner organizations and farms across the U.S. Future Fields offers a pivotal moment for artists, farmers, and audiences to bring together the strength of our diverse experiences, invest in dancemaking and storytelling as future-making practices, and catalyze climate action.
Image Credit: Moving Farm Tour photo by Stephen Clapp.
Clark County Parks and Recreation
Las Vegas, Nevada
The Winchester-Dondero Cultural Center, an urban oasis for wildlife and people, is the only cultural center for Clark County Parks and Recreation. Art, music, and culture intersect in the gardens, where the Center has collaborated with Red Rock Audubon Society (RRAS) to bring people closer to urban nature. This year, RRAS revitalized four empty garden beds by planting native Mojave Desert plants like desert sunflowers, whose seeds attract birds like lesser goldfinches. The Center’s biodiversity inspired bird art workshops and violin meditation sessions under the mesquite and palo verde trees. RRAS works with the community to teach how creating an urban oasis can help wildlife and people.
Image Credit: Photo courtesy Clark County Parks and Recreation.
The Art of Mass Gatherings is an experiential learning event that uses festivals as classrooms for an arts-focused approach to community resilience and emergency preparedness. Four key pillars—Safety, Sustainability, Community Engagement, and Accessibility—when integrated, lead to successful mass gatherings and expert event preparedness. These comprise the core framework of the Art of Mass Gatherings. “Producing over 120 festivals over 12 years led to the realization that people who set up festivals are skilled at creating temporary cities with all of the necessary infrastructure such as water, waste, power, security, transportation, and structures,” explains Majestic Collaborations Co-Founder Matthew Ché Kowal.
Image Credit: Photo courtesy Majestic Collaborations.
Colorado Creative Industries (CCI)
With project funding from CCI’s Arts in Society grant to Maureen Hearty and Kirsten Stoltz, the Prairie Sea Projects is an art initiative that builds across disciplines and imagines new space for rural communities to thrive. Located on the Benton Family Homestead, west of Grassroots Community Center, between the liquor store and old church in the small community of Joes, Colorado, the space serves as a laboratory and incubator for cross-disciplinary projects, including experimental agriculture, filmmaking, visual art, and music. It is home to the Prairie Futures public artwork and agriculture landscape installation, which aims to cultivate cross-disciplinary approaches to climate compassion through art practices on the Colorado High Plains.
Image Credit: Photo courtesy Prairie Sea Projects.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Artist and photographer Diane Bush created Global Swarming after seeing An Inconvenient Truth, the 2006 film about climate change, then called global warming. Like Bush’s Warheads series, these images are taken off the TV screen at close range, using a macro lens. The “swarming” refers to human overpopulation, which has contributed to climate change through deforestation, overfishing, air pollution, fracking, and generally wreaking havoc on the environment. The texture in the images is from the TV screen, pre-High Definition. Bush also used a macro lens to make that texture more dominant, like when an artist uses a palette knife to add texture.
Image Credit: Photo by Diane Bush.
Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at Appalachian State University
Boone, North Carolina
Guest-curated by April Flanders, Altered Environments/Tidalectics showcases a collaboration between artists and scientists studying bio-invasive species. Altered Environments features 23 international printmakers utilizing a diversity of styles and print techniques to speak to the many ecosystems currently threatened by marine bio-invaders. Tidalectics is an art-science project to create an oceanic worldview. The project includes 10 international printmakers collaborating with marine biologists to create a print based on the research from the scientists. Artist Marilee Salvator will create a site-specific installation that examines the natural world through micro-biology while pushing the boundaries of printmaking.
Image Credit: Invading Familiars and Strangers by Eveline Kolijn, etching and linocut, 2022, photo courtesy Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, Appalachian State University.
Creative Carbon Scotland
The Library of Creative Sustainability is a resource from environmental arts charity Creative Carbon Scotland, offering a database of inspiring case studies demonstrating the benefits of collaborating with artists to achieve environmental sustainability outcomes. It provides a practical resource to inform sustainability organizations and campaigns on how to work with ‘embedded artists’ over extended periods through examples of successful past projects. Each article includes detailed information on partners and stakeholders, sustainability outcomes and funding, as well as tips and links to further resources.
Image Credit: Illustration by Phoebe Jones.
Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs
The Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) launched the Arts Resilient 305 program in 2019 to increase awareness through the arts about the impact of climate change and the importance of resiliency and environmental sustainability. Arts Resilient 305 focuses on information, resources, and action opportunities. The program engages cultural organizations, artists, and audience members as powerful partners in helping to implement creative solutions. Most recently, DCA presented 14 temporary public art and performance projects to highlight issues related to climate change, in conjunction with the City of Miami Beach during the Aspen Ideas: Climate conference, May 9-12, 2022.
Image Credit: Numinous Land by Brigid Baker, photo by Monica McGivern.
City of Cuyahoga Falls
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
Stacy Levy was commissioned by the City of Cuyahoga Falls to create a public art installation to focus on the ecological ramifications of having a river run through the city’s downtown. Her installation is part of the city’s public art project, River in the City, funded in part by an NEA-Our Town grant. Levy installed “Topo Swale,” in which she cut 12” topo swales into an asphalt parking lot and planted native vegetation. The vegetation will filter impurities from rainwater before returning it to the Cuyahoga River.
Image Credit: Photo by Stacy Levy.
Justice Dance Performance Project
In the Presence of Trees is a seasonal series of site-specific, outdoor, in-person and virtual dance theater performances exploring the human relationship to trees and environmental justice. Audiences are invited to enter an imagined world of the tree: slow down their sense of time, feel the movements that emanate from stillness; and understand trees’ significance in the urban, suburban, rural, and wild landscape and their potential to heal our planet and ourselves.
Image Credit: Photo by Tiana Correa.
Walnut Creek, California
Commissioned in 2022 by Washington, D.C., Public Schools for the Randle Elementary School in Southeast D.C., Vespa is a colorful, abstract hornet designed to appeal to people of all ages. Made entirely from repurposed scrap steel propane tanks, this eco-friendly sculpture is intended to be enjoyed for its aesthetic qualities as well as foster climate awareness, and hopefully inspire young minds to consider new ways to reuse materials.
Image Credit: Photo by Colin Selig.
Designed to support healthy communities through artistic civic engagement, Artists At Work (AAW) is a workforce resilience program in the spirit of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Artists are paired with a participating cultural organization and paid a living wage salary to make art and be embedded in a local social impact initiative that will benefit from their skills and creative thinking. THE OFFICE performing arts + film has joined forces with ArtsBuild and the Lyndhurst Foundation to undertake an Artists At Work activation in the Thrive Region focused on climate resilience and comprised of 16 counties across northeast Alabama, northwest Georgia, and southeast Tennessee.
Image Credit: Photo by Juno (aka Tanqueray Harper)/True Capture Studios).
Halley’s Sky News: alienation, law & the environment re-uses part-completed tapestries from a disability service to articulate influences that become access points from which people can rethink relationships to the commons. Part of a series, this work traces the alienating effects of capitalism through core world events that includes and extends Hannah Arendt’s discussion on this theme. The tapestry is further connected to corresponding laws and actions that have determined relationships with the environment, both protective and destructive.
Image Credit: Photo by Jenny Brown.
Existing relationships are key to responding to and garnering resources following a disaster, and to building resiliency for future crises. NCAPER’s Crisis Analysis & Mitigation Coaches Program takes advantage of “Blue Sky” times to train arts and culture leaders as coaches. Coaches engage local emergency managers and civic leaders to inject creativity and the value of the arts sector into crisis mitigation and response—one community at a time, but through a networked national cohort. The existence of these networks can make a critical difference in how quickly and significantly the arts are addressed in times of need.
Image Credit: Photo courtesy NCAPER.
Xavier Cortada Foundation
Palmetto Bay, Florida
Using a public art piece as the heart of an eco-art project, artist Xavier Cortada gave away wildflowers and ceramic wildflower sculptures to the first 200 families who agreed to plant the flowers in their yards and install the ceramic sculptures outside their homes, thereby joining the Flower Force. Through this process, a community-wide public art installation of wildflower sculptures and gardens radiated from the central flower sphere and extended to the rest of the Village. By activating the sculpture with community members, discussions were generated about saving pollinators, conserving water, decreasing the use of pesticides, and protecting ecosystems across Miami.
Image Credit: “Flower Force” by Xavier Cortada, hand painted ceramic and tile, 8′ x 4′ x 4′, 2021, photo by Adam Roberti.
New York, New York
UN Sustainable Development Goal 12 concerns responsible consumption and production. It argues for achieving economic growth while reducing ecological footprint through changing production and consumption methods and encouraging closing the loop. A helpful way to understand consumption and production is to consider an ingredient label for an organization’s products and services. We’re used to seeing labels on food or clothes, but less so on other goods, most especially sculptures or works of art. The Artwork Ingredients List is a partnership between artists, clients, and makers to produce carbon-neutral works of art and a commitment to sustainability in art manufacturing.
Image Credit: Photo courtesy Chris Roque, Rachel See, UAP | Urban Art Projects.
DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities
In 2022, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities presented our inaugural juried exhibition, Fragile Beauty, focused on environmental justice. The exhibition included 50 artworks by 33 District-based artists as well as robust programming on topics including photography, film, and flood resilience; sustainable fashion design; climate activism; and moving from art to social action.
Image Credit: Celeste by Werllayne Nunes, 2015, Oil and gold leaf on canvas, 60" x 72", photo courtesy DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
Superior Watershed Partnership and Land Conservancy
The Superior Watershed Partnership (SWP) engages Lake Superior coastal communities and K-12 students in science-based climate adaptation projects combined with empowering, hands-on art projects. After more frequent and more severe storm events caused coastal erosion and littered local beaches with debris, local artist Stella Larkin and volunteers conducted a beach clean-up and used the washed-up plastic to construct the Lake Superior Shield. Working with school groups, Larkin talks about how we can work together to “shield” the Great Lakes from climate-related environmental impacts by working with local organizations like SWP on community climate adaptation and coastal resiliency projects.
Image Credit: Photo courtesy Superior Watershed Partnership and Land Conservancy.
The Studios of Key West
Key West, Florida
With support from First Horizon Foundation and FIRM (Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe), The Studios of Key West was proud to present Sea Level Stories by Jane Lawton Baldridge in the Sanger Gallery, October 6-27, 2022. Baldridge’s work shines a light on the mounting threat of sea level rise. By sharing her art, she hopes to inspire communities to come together to address climate change. Large abstract seascape paintings were displayed alongside sculptural figures covered with elevation maps reinforcing the immediacy of the crisis at hand.
Image Credit: Photo by Jane Lawton Baldridge.
New Jersey State Council on the Arts
Trenton, New Jersey
The NJ Department of Environmental Protection was awarded funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to partner with the NJ State Council on the Arts to develop and implement a Community-Based Art Grant Program. The program is entering its third year, addressing the need to involve and inform the public about coastal hazard impacts and risk reduction. Community-based organizations (CBOs) are selected through a competitive process, and work with the DEP and Arts Council to develop the call for artists. Selected artists work with the CBOs to create and exhibit temporary art projects, engaging the community in new ways.
Image Credit: Photo courtesy New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
City of Boulder Office of Arts and Culture
Harm to Table is a mobile dining experience with a metamorphosing dining table and focused menu in which each item features an ingredient anticipated to be extinct in the next 20-40 years due to climate change. Born in Boulder, Colorado, the home of the highest quantity of federal labs that track the changing climate, the project is traveling the country to stimulate conversation by serving food made of plants and natural resources of the area that will be in major decline or extinct. Created by artist Matthew Mazzotta and part of Experiments in Public Art, support for this project comes from the City of Boulder Office of Arts and Culture.
Image Credit: Harm to Table by Matthew Mazzotta, photo courtesy City of Boulder Office of Arts and Culture.
Terena Elizabeth Bell
New York, New York
Terena Elizabeth Bell's book Tell Me What You See (in stores from Whiskey Tit Books) is a short fiction collection of 10 stories dealing with climate change and other topics. Its title story is a New York Foundation for the Arts City Artist Corps winner. The Missouri Review has called work from the book “timely, relevant, and interesting” and The McNeese Review says it's “inventive and topical and fresh, emotional, chaotic, and important.”
Image Credit: Tell Me What You See book cover, photo courtesy Terena Bell.