HeraldScotland: Theatres, Galleries and studios coming together against climate breakdown

Scotland's arts & cultural sector is coming together today to drive forward action against climate breakdown. Over 150 people are participating at the largest ever and sold-out Green Arts Conference, the annual conference on how and why Scotland’s cultural sector is addressing climate change with creativity and innovation.

Ready for the future

The Green Arts Conference, with an opening address from Scottish Government's division for climate action, this year has a major theme of adaptation to the effects of climate change with sessions on the specific challenges from the impacts of climate change - such as flooding from more extreme rain - and where opportunities may lie.


Climate Ready Clyde Project Manager, Kit England, who is leading a session for organisations from the West of Scotland commented:

“Climate change will continue to impact on all aspects of our economy, society and environment and so it’s incredibly important that we all start to adapt, and that we work out ways to accelerate this process.  

I look forward to using the conference to discuss practical ways forward for ensuring the arts and cultural sector is resilient to the impacts of climate change. However, arts and culture can also support us in creating the transformational change we need for low carbon, climate resilient places, in ways that traditional policy approaches often struggle with."


From bikes to mountain sides.

Alongside showcasing projects from members of the Green Arts Initiative like WASPs studios encouraging cycling through providing showers and secure bike parking and Summerhall installing electric car charging points there will also be examples of organisations working with artists to explore environmental issues through their work. Scottish Sculpture Workshop Director, Sam Trotman, who will be in conversation with artist Simone Kenyon to share some of the complexities of working in the Cairngorms National Park and what has happened in her "into the Mountain" project so far, said:

" We are looking forward to sharing insights into how we can better support artists in making work that is sensitive to and in relationship with landscapes"

The urgency of tackling climate change - highlighted repeatedly this year by extreme weather such as the 'Beast from the East' and - and realising the potential for creating a better world through doing so, requires everyone and every sector to play its role. The Arts & Cultural sector has a key role to play in this transition. This year the Green Arts Conference has attracted delegates from the Irish Theatre Forum in Dublin and Siam Satire, the home of Ireland's National Folk Theatre, based in Tralee on the west coast. They will join attendees from across Scotland including Comar from Mull, Pier Arts from Orkney, North Lands Creative from Lybster in Sutherland and Blueprint 100 from Dumfries.


Ben Twist, Director of the conference's organisers Creative Carbon Scotland, who is leading a pre-conference briefing for trustees, said:

"I'm delighted to see the conference growing year on year, demonstrating a deepening engagement from the cultural sector. It has an integral role to play in achieving the scale of transformation needed in society to deal with climate change and this requires leadership. It is essential that those responsible for ensuring the viability of our arts & culture understand the implications of climate change and how to start factoring these risks into their planning"

Creative Carbon Scotland

Creative Carbon Scotland is the arts & sustainability charity for Scotland. Creative Carbon Scotland was initiated in 2011  by Edinburgh’s Festivals with key partners the Federation of Scottish Theatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network. Supported through Regular Funding from Creative Scotland and by the City of Edinburgh Council’s Culture Service and Chief Executive’s Strategy and Insight team.


Green Arts Initiative

The Green Arts Initiative is Scotland's interactive community of over 200 arts & cultural organisations working to reduce  their environmental impact. Run by Creative Carbon Scotland and Festivals Edinburgh since 2013, the Green Arts Initiative supports Scottish arts organisations to be at the forefront of growing an environmentally sustainable Scotland.


Climate Ready Clyde

Climate Ready Clyde is an initiative to create a shared vision, strategy and action plan for an adapting Glasgow City Region.


Scottish Sculpture Workshop

Scottish Sculpture Workshop (SSW) is a making and thinking facility in the North East of Scotland that offers artists from all backgrounds the time, space, support and facilities to develop their practice.


Into The Mountain is a new place sensitive performance project by artist and choreographer Simone Kenyon, commissioned and produced by SSW. Inspired and informed by the lyrical and embodied prose of Nan Shepherd’s 1974 book, The Living Mountain, the project explores and celebrates women’s+ relationships with high and wild places.