In 2007, CIWEM launched a major new strategic programme on Arts and the Environment with the formation of the Arts and Environment Network (AEN).
The programme includes leading and influencing national policy dialogues on the subject, and building strong new alliances for an increasingly shared agenda. Key advocacy messages and recommended actions are directed at broadening these efforts, and at seeking greater cross-sectoral coherence of policy thinking.
In November 2018, Clive Adams wrote on behalf of the AEN to Sir Nick Serota, Chair, Arts Council England to raise the importance of support for artists to engage with issues of climate change and wider environmental threats. The letter, together with Sir Nick's response, may be found below:
The AEN and its associates has for some time wished to declare its diverse interests, beliefs and intentions. This has now been realised in the production of WE ASSERT! A Manifesto. Taking its inspiration from historic manifestos of political and artistic intent, this collection of texts and images presents the intensely personal, the deeply philosophical, and the clearly articulated ideas, frustration, anger, love, pain and hope for our futures.
The Network is particularly keen to help spread the word about interesting case experiences of using the arts to address environmental issues in the UK and overseas. We will feature work from all arts disciplines, in order to help promote creative approaches to the environmental challenges we all face.
Please let us know of examples of projects and initiatives you have come across, or been involved in, which offer useful experiences and inspiration for others, including ‘lessons learned’.
Below are some case studies and experiences of using the arts to address environmental issues in the UK and overseas.
Artistic licence – A review of the Forestry Commission’s involvements in the arts, and options for the future
Cartoons for conservation by Alan J. Hesse
Environmental resources for the arts by Julie’s Bicycle – An overview of the approaches, standards, awards, certifications and resources available to help arts organisations become more environmentally sustainable.
Environment Agency – Public art on Cockshaw barn
High Tide – A major inter-disciplinary art/science climate change project, taking place during Liverpool’s ‘Year of the Environment 2009’ and beyond into 2010
Reflecting on water – Article in CIWEM’s magazine on the Reflecting on Water workshop by Amanda Ravetz, Paul Simkins, Laura Harrington and David Haley.
Reflections on water and interdiciplinary practice – Notes from the Reflecting on Water Exeter Workshop, held on 27-28 September 2009 and organised by CIWEM, CCANW and Arup.
Society for Ecological Restoration – Creative Resistance? Resilient Futures? An audio recording of the SER 2015 Arts public international panel discussion, The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, UK.
Sutton saltmarsh defence – A low impact erosion control solution
Textus – A Collaboration between Arup Director Mark Fletcher and Artist Peter Coates
The AEN has also launched a high-profile Arts and the Environment Award, in association with the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW), to recognise innovation and excellence in work by arts practitioners or environmentalists engaging with arts practices. The award was previously named the AWEinspiring! Award. For further details and past winners, please see the Nick Reeves Award page.
The Arts and Environment Network Steering Group meet every few months to discuss how CIWEM can bring creativity into the heart of environmental practices and actions. We wish to include all CIWEM members and stakeholders in this process, so if you would like to get involved please email firstname.lastname@example.org. In July 2018 the AEN convened a meeting held at CIWEM to instigate a national discussion on the evolving frontiers of arts-led responses to the ecological issues of our time. Read notes of the meeting here.
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