Artists are taking the lead on climate change. Within the context of ArtCOP21, a Professional Workshop was supported by IFACCA and co-organised by COAL; Julie’s Bicycle, On the Move and La Gaité lyrique in Paris on 3-4 December 2015. The workshop aimed to support the leadership of the cultural sector with regards to sustainable development by reinforcing cross-sectorial dialogue between various types of actors through an exchange of best practices.
ArtCop21, launched ahead of the UN climate talks, connected hundreds of thousands of people to the climate challenge through an extensive global programme of over 500 major events plus a whole range of people power gatherings and demonstrations – taking place right across Paris and worldwide.
With the message #FightForTheFuture, all ArtCOP21 events highlighted the need for governments meeting in Paris to support strong climate action and signal the end of the fossil fuel era – making climate change a people centred issue.
A report published last year by IFACCA and written with Julie’s Bicycle, ‘The arts and environmental sustainability: an international overview’, set the background for the two intensive days of the professional workshop which involved 150 inspirational leaders and experts in environmental sustainability from the arts field.
The first plenary session, moderated by Dr Diane Dodd, European coordinator for IFACCA, was entitled, ‘The Policy Context: Conditions for Change’, and looked at how funding agencies can inspire arts organisations to be more energy efficient and communicate more effectively on climate change. The session included Jean-Pierre Lalaut, Ministry of Culture and Communication of France; Soren Krogh, Danish Agency for Culture; Rosemary Mangope, National Arts Council of South Africa; Ian Rimington, Arts Council England; and Alison Tickell, Director of Julie’s Bicycle, UK.
At the conclusion of the workshop, during which many projects were shared, participants evaluated the event and made suggestions for a common declaration and a roadmap to support the mission for a sustainable future.
Dr Dodd stressed that there is an urgent need to communicate environmental messages through the arts and that this requires strong leadership. Many more creative champions for sustainable living are needed if we are to make the important and urgent impact that is needed.
She also noted that cultural leadership is the theme for the next IFACCA World Summit on Arts and Culture, 18-21 October 2016 in Malta, and invited participants to continue the dialogue there.
For more information on the arts and ecological sustainability see IFACCA’s topic page http://www.ifacca.org/topic/ecological-sustainability/ or the release of the overview report at http://www.ifacca.org/announcements/2014/12/04/international-review-government-action-arts-and-en/
For more information on the 7th World Summit on Arts and Culture visit: www.artsummit.org