Arts and Environmental Sustainability

10 October 2018, International

The arts and its connection to environmental sustainability has been a topic of interest for IFACCA for several years. In the context of global debates on climate change and the role of government and international agencies in setting targets and strategies, it is appropriate to consider the role of government agencies with responsibility for supporting arts and culture.

In December 2015 we worked with COAL, Julie’s Bicycle, On the Move and La Gaité Lyrique on the delivery of a professional workshop as part of ArtCOP21, a global festival of cultural activity on climate change that launched ahead of the United Nations climate talks in Paris, France.

The workshop was designed to drive cultural sector leadership on issues relating to sustainable development, and was informed in part by D’Art Report 34b: The arts and environmental sustainability (see below). The workshop brought together 150 leaders and experts in environmental sustainability from the arts and culture sector; discussions included a plenary on policy contexts surrounding key issues, and how funding agencies can inspire arts organisations to be energy efficient and engaged in conversations about climate change. The workshop concluded with a proposed declaration and roadmap to supporting a sustainable future. 

In 2012-2014, Julie’s Bicycle and IFACCA worked in partnership to develop resources aimed at informing international arts leaders about global developments in policies and programmes related to culture and environmental sustainability, and how these impact on national arts and cultural organisations. The report is below:

D’Art Topic No. 34b: The arts and environmental sustainability: an international overview (Full Report)

D’Art Topic No. 34b: The arts and environmental sustainability: an international overview (Executive Summary)
D'Art Topics in Arts Policy no.34b, November 2014

En español: Informe D’Art 34b - Las artes y la sostenibilidad medioambiental: una perspectiva internacional

En français: Rapport D’Art 34b : Les arts et la viabilité environnementale : un aperçu international


D’Art Report 34b was the result of surveys and interviews carried out by Julie’s Bicycle and IFACCA between November 2013 and May 2014 and supplemented with desk-based research. The report provides a snapshot of national policymakers’ level of engagement with environmental sustainability with an emphasis on policies, not on artistic content or wider arts practice.  A draft of the report was discussed at the CEO Leadership Seminar in Santiago in January 2014.

In 2009, Arts Council England and IFACCA worked together to collate examples of good practice in supporting artists or arts organisations with creative and practical responses to ecological concerns such as environmental sustainability and climate change. Arts Council England also hoped to identify potential partners with whom to develop work in this area.

See D'Art Topic No.34: Arts and ecological sustainability
D'Art Topics in Arts Policy no.34, February 2009

See the question here. The question is also available in Spanish: Pregunta D’Art 34: Las artes y la sostenibilidad ambiental