This quarterly newsletter comes to you at the Spring equinox, a moment of hopeful anticipation in distressing times. The vicious war in Ukraine reminds us how entangled conflict and migration arise from nationalistic and extractive systems of power, and fossil fuels in particular. There’s a new IPCC report out that emphasises adaptation and vulnerability. Covid-19 is still prevalent, amongst our associates and beyond.
There’s never been a greater need for expanding our imagination to care, to prepare and to stop harm. All our collective members work with shared principles. One of them is to be Possitopian – an approach that helps expand our imaginations to face realities and explore possible alternative ways to live. This newsletter shares some projects and events that are in this Possitopian spirit.
Mending and Healing workshop
Saturday 30th April, Beckenham Place Park, Lewisham
Come and find us at Love Beckenham Community Day to learn how to mend clothes in creative ways, and to use scrap materials to express voices of the animals and to protest on behalf of the plants.
Once Upon a Planet
We are collaborating with Tullie House in Carlisle to deliver Once Upon a Planet, a community engagement project with their collections to explore food, farming and climate. We will soon be recruiting for an emerging practitioner to carry out this work, to be mentored and trained by us, and to join ongoingly as an associate.
Engaging younger people
Two MA students from Goldsmiths have joined us to develop work to engage young audiences. Katherine is developing an Emerging Associates programme, so that we can support younger practitioners across the UK to work with us. Erica Kawabata is creating visual illustrations for our printable display and social media.
Teatro Vivo: Artists of Change
Teatro Vivo have joined Climate Museum UK as associates. They are a Lewisham-based site-specific theatre company, awarded the role of Artists of Change for the Climate theme of Lewisham’s Borough of Culture. Bridget from CMUK delivered some training for their volunteer ushers in how to have conversations about climate. Watch this space for news of a performance this summer.
The Right Environment to Engage?
We are part of a webinar on 6th April 4-5.30, hosted by St Andrews University Museums on museums, public audiences and pro-environmental behaviours. How can we rethink audiences for culture in relation to the citizenship and activism that is needed?
Bridget McKenzie and Jaime Jackson facilitated a pop up to consult people in Camden on their responses to extreme heat, and its increasing incidence. We were working with researcher Chris Pearson (University of Liverpool, Heat in the City) and Bryony Benge-Abbott.
You can also see Bridget’s news here on how she is focusing on being a Regenerative Culture leader, inviting you to support different aspects of her work, including buying her new book, Find Your Flow and Change the World, or the toolkit Culture Takes Action.
‘Kirsty, Kirsty, how does your garden grow’
‘Kirsty, Kirsty, how does your garden grow’ is a participatory performance led by Hayley Harrison with ‘weeds’ taken from and returned to urban pavements. These often medicinal pavement plants were introduced to house plants, planted around a domestic space and in audience members’ palms. By seeing the forgotten non-humans that surround us can we reawaken our ecological bond? Watch the video here
hubRen is a mobile hub of community resilience, helping us to imagine and create together the beautiful, regenerative future that is possible.
On Saturday 26th of March, Amy Scaife will be taking the bike to Transition Leytonstone’s Community Garden. More on hubRen here
The Hub in Bromley
Tamasin Rhymes has been working with Greener and Cleaner to open The Hub in Bromley, reaching out to shopping centre visitors to invite them to opportunities to see us living a greener life now. With volunteers of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds helping to normalise putting the planet first and showing it is fun. The hope is that by showing them what their neighbourhoods could be, we can inspire them to get on board.
Community projects in Great Yarmouth
Genevieve Rudd has been developing two community arts projects in Great Yarmouth that connect with and explore our relationship to the natural world. As a facilitator, Genevieve creates spaces for people to gain an understanding about the impacts of the climate and ecological emergency, whilst creatively nurturing a deeper relationship with the nature and people
Yarmouth Springs Eternal
For the second year, Yarmouth Springs Eternal will be blooming! This year, supported by Creative Practices for Transformational Futures (CreaTures), the project will contribute to research into the impact of creatively engaging with nature with diverse communities and challenging our definition of ‘nature’. In May, the group will lead their own programme of events for the public.
Facebook, Twitter & Instagram @YarmouthSprings
Under Open Sky
Through her social enterprise, Under Open Sky, Genevieve is leading Women Walking Wild with eco-therapist Beth Stephens. The project has been funded by the National Lottery Community Fund. In the sessions, we take part in mindful and arts-based nature connection activities.
Facebook, Twitter & Instagram @UnderOpenSkyLtd
Amateur Ancestor tours
Justine Boussard has been awarded an Arts Council grant to develop her Amateur Ancestor tours, which she first ran as part of the CMUK EcoArt Action Lab last October. Starting with the V&A, Natural History and Science museums, she is experimenting with using museums as environments to practise thinking and behaving like good ancestors, and their collections as springboards to expand our capacity to care across species, chronologies & places.
A Space to Be – Scarborough Art Gallery
Victoria Burns is legacy consultant for Scarborough Art Gallery project ‘A Space To Be’. A community space will be created in Gallery A within Scarborough Art Gallery based on principles of a regenerative culture where community visitors are regarded as co-creative participants. The projects will explore the interconnectivity of individual, community and systemic wellbeing. The cultural doughnut model for regenerative culture above was used as a tool in the planning of the project and development of evaluation and legacy.
For info email email@example.com
Living By the Ash Tree Waters
This month James Aldridge starts work on a new project with Andover Trees United, which builds on previous work on Ash Tree Stream, only this time focussing more closely on Andover’s relationship with its river, The Anton.
Living by the Ash Tree Waters (LATW) will see James working with school children and community groups, to develop backpack based portable artworks/interactive interpretation, which in turn will support local people to experience their local rivers (particularly chalkstreams) in new ways.
Collection viewing and reviewing
As part of her ongoing practice of research, Lucy Carruthers has been reviewing her collection and considering the role these objects could play as tools to imagine alternative futures and see from multiple perspectives. She has been working through conversations with students on the V&A / RCA History of Design MA who are researching the process and practise around the CMUK and associates collections.