22 April is Earth Day and this year marks its 53rd anniversary, where billions of individuals from all over the globe come together to take action towards a greener, more equitable future for our planet. This year’s theme is Invest in Our Planet. Looking after the future of our Earth is really important to us here at Activate. We believe in protecting the environment and our planet’s precious natural resources.
Training our staff
Earlier this year, some of our team took part in Carbon Literacy training with The Carbon Literacy Project – a project based on the key aim that if we are to cut our carbon emissions by the kind of reductions demanded of us by science, then we will need to change culture alongside technology. The training took place online, in three two-hour sessions. At the end of the course, we were tasked with writing a meaningful pledge to reduce our carbon emissions. These included pledges as individuals and as a team – actions that we can take in our work with Activate.
Training others (and ourselves)
We are partners of LAND (Land Stewards and Artists) and we have recently been part of a training programme within this project. It brought together artistic directors, artists, scientists and land stewards. We led the UK delegacy and brought Subathra Subramaniam (Akademi) Lorna Rees (Lorna Rees Company) and members of the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty team, Tom Munro and Sue Dampney, to training events with partners from France, Norway, Slovakia and the Netherlands.
Culture Declares Emergency
As well as our new carbon-reducing pledges, we continue to be part of the Culture Declares Emergency movement. This is a growing movement of people in arts and culture declaring a climate and ecological emergency. We acknowledge that in the cultural sector we have immense potential to be generators for transformation.
Inside Out Dorset festival
In 2021 we presented Luke Jerram’s Gaia at Moors Valley Country Park and Forest and Symondsbury Estate, as part of our Inside Out Dorset festival. This artwork measures seven metres in diameter, and features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface. It provided festival visitors the opportunity to see our planet like never before, floating in three-dimensions. The artwork also acts as a mirror to major events in society and audiences often experience a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.
This year’s Inside Out Dorset will also acknowledge our collective responsibility for the planet through unique performances and installations. As ever, we will be working to transform amazing rural and urban locations across Dorset to highlight our natural landscape and sense of place. Stay up to date as we announce our programme.
How we work
We are committed to providing a quality arts programme in a way that ensures safe and healthy workspaces, events and gatherings for participation, and minimising our impact on the environment.
Things we’re currently doing include: keeping our energy use to a minimum, loaning event kit for free to artists and partners to cut down on consumption, opting for battery or mains-powered sound and lighting at events (rather than diesel powered generators), providing water stations at our events and asking people to bring their own bottles.
Things we plan on doing include: reducing our print marketing materials whilst remaining inclusive and accessible, creating additional budget to support greener travel for artists, using environmentally friendly products at our events e.g. reusable cable ties.
Whatever you’re doing to mark this year’s Earth Day, know that we are determined to do our bit to help beat the climate emergency, too. It’s time to Invest in Our Planet.
Image: Luke Jerram’s Gaia at Moors Valley Country Park and Forest, Inside Out Dorset 2021, photo by Roy Riley.