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Friday Feature: Artists Climate Collective
How art intersects with activism
When Artists Climate Collective agreed to meet with me this past week, I was excited to learn about their art-as-activism work and the projects that they have created. As someone who enjoys seeing the various aspects of the environmental movement and how people can be involved in many different ways, I couldn’t wait to talk with Charlotte Nash, who is both a professional ballet dancer and a co-founder of Artists Climate Collective (ACC).
ACC began in 2021 when the three co-founders (Charlotte Nash, Keaton Leier, and Madeline Bez) wanted an outlet where they could combine their artistic creativity with social change in the climate movement. Since this was during the pandemic, they decided to create a virtual arts platform that could be viewed from home. ACC has initiated many interesting projects, including Art 2 Action, a film series that brings together choreographers and dancers to express ideas surrounding climate change. Other inspiring projects include an ODC Lobby Night, a ceramics campaign, and more.
While this is all exciting work in and of itself, profits that ACC receives from sales from these projects goes to ACC’s three sponsored nonprofits: Grid Alternatives, the Sunrise Movement, and Coalition for Rainforest Nations. Additionally, ACC uses money from fundraising campaigns to commission artists to create climate change focused work. In this way, they are supporting artists and their work, while also encouraging donations to climate change causes.
One thing I admired most about the Artists Climate Collective is their commitment to anti-racism and intersectional activism. When I asked Charlotte to elaborate on how this goal presents itself in their work, Charlotte explained that ACC prioritizes commissioning artists of diverse backgrounds who are often excluded from certain artforms based on their race, ethnicity, sexuality, etc. Not only this, but ACC is committed to the goal of fundraising enough to ensure that artists are paid fair wages for any art that they are commissioned to make. Something Charlotte pointed out is that while fundraising is hard, ACC learns from it and improves each time. As parts of the environmental movement are shifting more and more to represent people of all backgrounds with a focus on environmental justice, it is exciting to see that equity and inclusion is a central part of ACC’s goals.
As the Artists Climate Collective moves forward with new projects, Charlotte explained that a next step might include moving towards live performances – so keep an eye out! If you are interested in getting involved with ACC, they emphasized that they are open to trying new things and would love to hear from you on their Instagram. To support ACC, you can donate, follow them on social media, and spread the word about the work that they are doing. Perhaps you might even be inspired to create your own climate-movement related art!
Learning about the Artists Climate Collective was another exciting reminder of how many ways there are to take climate action, and I hope it encourages you to find your space in the movement too using our Climate Action Explorer. Thanks for reading!