Welcome to our Spring newsletter!
Each of our quarterly newsletters is planned around the solstices and equinoxes of the year. The recent Easter equinox on March 20th represents a moment of balance between day and night. We find ourselves poised at a point of hope for many things, not just for summer weather, but also that the Covid-19 vaccine will help recovery, and that the upcoming UN conferences on Biodiversity and Climate Change this Autumn will help bring about the systemic change we desperately need.
Our Winter newsletter looked back over 2020 and forward to 2021. This one just aims to give you a Spring-y update of where we are now.
United in Biodiversity
A New Direction
We’ve been working with A New Direction, a London-based non-profit that generates opportunities for children and young people to unlock their creativity. We’ve delivered two projects for them. One is a teaching resource on Colonialism and Climate, along with a training video. The other was a Listening Project, consulting with a range of people to ask ‘With young Londoners in mind, how should culture and creative learning respond to the Earth crisis?’. Both the resource and the report will be published soon.
Creative Climate Workshops for Lewisham
Supported by Lewisham Local, we ran a series of free workshops between January and March for people in the London Borough of Lewisham. Workshop themes were: Future Archaeology Lab, Acts of River Kindness, Climate Museum at Home, Acts of Tree Kindness and Creative Writing to Explore the Earth Crisis.
We still have some funds to organise bespoke sessions for Lewisham-based groups, so we’d be grateful if you can share this opportunity with any Lewisham folk you know, or get in touch if you’re from the area. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Acts of River Kindness workshop series were co-run by James Albridge, Beckie Leach and Lucy Carruthers, all bringing our different creative practices relating to rivers. To prepare for our reflections on our local rivers, Beckie led a guided meditation and James led us in making a sketchbook while we discussed our watery connections with the participants. The week in-between we each had various encounters with our rivers before we met up again to share what we had discovered or made in our sketchbook. We are looking to continue our research and engagement with rivers so please get in touch with us if you would like to be involved.
Tools for Regenerative Culture
Sign up for this free 4 week learning journey to explore the possible tools for a regenerative culture. Facilitated by Bridget McKenzie, we will be exploring topics such as positive deviancy, food sovereignty, ecological economies, horizontal organisations and imaginative world-building. Join us on Wednesdays throughout April.
Yarmouth Springs Eternal
New Associate Genevieve Rudd is running a project between the Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice this year, Yarmouth Springs Eternal, a community arts, walking and nature project in Great Yarmouth on the Norfolk coast, exploring overlooked and everyday experiences with the natural world through contemporary arts. She has written a blog for Norfolk & Norwich Festival on the research, concepts and ideas that have inspired the project. The public programme in May and June will also include CMUK associate James Aldridge and CMUK displays.
July looks to be a busy month as we will be:
- Running a course in environmental creative education for arts practitioners and gallery workers from Poland. Please get in touch if you’re a London organisation who might host a visit.
- Creating a Wild Museum with visitors to Timber Festival (2nd-5th July), led by four animal curators.
Projects and plans
Three things we’re fundraising for in 2021
- A Young Associates group for 16 to 25 year olds to lead their own programmes in their own localities and benefit from mutual support and mentorship.
- Future Us: a narrative workshop for young people to meet their future selves, future objects and to imagine hybrid, planet-friendly careers and lives.
- Core funding for administrative, digital and marketing work.
If you have any thoughts on where we might apply, we’d be really interested to hear.
We’re also working to develop
- Climate Museum UK in a temporary space potentially in Canary Wharf or Lewisham. This would allow us to reach more people with creative conversations. Our idea is that we would create a participatory installation, through a range of creative activities to play, make, think and talk about the Earth crisis.
- Training & consultancy for museums. We’ve been delivering a number of training sessions, with two coming up for museum staff in Yorkshire and London. We’re starting to have conversations with several museums on how we might support them to develop more climate and ecology interpretation. to put an Eco Lens on Things in their collections.
Get involved in our digital projects
- #EverydayEcocide – collecting incidents of eco-blindness & denial in media & culture.
- #ExtremeWeatherStories – collect experiences of people in the frontline of climate breakdown. See this for more
- #ClimateBooks – inviting you to write reviews of books, or films or games, shared on our blog.
We have a distributed model, where associates build their own collections and activities in their area. This helps us have maximum reach and relevance to localities, while reducing our footprint. We actively seek the involvement of creative planet-kind activators who can bring diverse perspectives and practices to our team.
You can see the current creative enquiry by associate James Aldridge at Queer River, exploring how we can alter our perceptions of and relationship to rivers, through dialogical, visual arts practice.
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