HOW DO THE ARTS BRING AWARENESS TO CLIMATE CHANGE?

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Social awareness is needed to address climate change impacts. Climate Change is an issue everywhere and affects everyone in the world, however, it is more recognized in some places. Climate change needs to be an issue understood by all, not by the ones who are currently affected by it. A major problem is that everyday human activities create greenhouse gases that cause climate change. Through the interviews I have conducted, I learned that social awareness is an important part of addressing climate change issues. I believe that because the younger generation will soon be the next generation of decision-makers, there needs to be social awareness to emphasize the impacts of climate change. 

The Project:

To improve social awareness of climate change’s effects, I chose to create an art competition. Art sparks conversation and reveals different perspectives, consequently, I hope to bring more awareness to the artists of the competition as well as the viewers in Chicago about the issue of climate change. There would be several different art categories to be inclusive of all art forms. The important part of this competition is for teenagers, specifically in the Chicago area, to become more aware of the impacts climate change has and I hope that the art competition creates a sort of relationship to the environment. With the collaboration of the different organizations in the Chicago area, such as the Shedd Aquarium, Art Institute of Chicago, theater companies, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency Chicago office, we would create an educational opportunity so more Chicago teenagers would learn about climate change and the social impacts of climate change. The exploration of expressing climate change through art could spark awareness of the impacts people have from their daily activities and how as individuals and as communities we can help create a better future. Although the project is theoretical, I believe that it is a doable project and maybe in the future, it can be executed. 

Rules:

  • If the art is a performance, you should submit a video
  • If the art is 2D or 3D, it should be recyclable or contain recycled material.  There is no size limitation.
  • Roughly 400-word description of your project – Use self-motivation and explore different topics about climate change that interest you and in your description please reveal why the issue resonated with you.

Why art?

Art is a very important way to communicate information, awareness, and spark conversations. Art can be a personal expression of oneself which is very important, especially for the youth. Art has impacted and continues to impact, the culture and societies all around the world. The collaboration of art and science will and has helped bring awareness to a larger population about climate change. In my interview with Dr. Patrick J. Christie,  who is a professor at the University of Washington in the school of Marine and Environmental Affairs and the Jackson School of International Studies, has expressed that there is a need to include a larger audience for being an activist for climate change. Climate Change has an overarching theme that needs better representation and an overall need to be understood by the general public. He explained that many people believe that in order to affect change in addressing climate change that they need to be a scientist, however, he says “what we need is more dance and art majors in the environmental field” because of their different perspectives and different ways of communicating ideas and how they may reach a larger audience- essentially reaching more of society. He explained that biologists and scientist have heavily influenced the education of climate change, but there is a need to make social change and in order to do that there is a need for more people to study the way society interacts with the issues of climate change and how as a society we need to collectively direct our focus on the issues of climate change. 

Interested in learning more about art activism about climate change? Check out an article from the New York Times here!

Take away:

Diversity in who teaches society and brings awareness about climate change. Specifically, the arts help create the social change needed through the different perspectives presented, different interpretations and the social impact art has on society. The increased amount of education for yourself and others will help many people create a collective impact. I really hope that as people continue in their future endeavors that there will be the consciousness of climate change, and I believe through the creativity of art it will help diversify the conversation around climate change. 

The Podcast:

In the Climate Change and Global Inequality course work, the interviews I conducted were formed into a podcast. The two interviews have sparked my curiosity regarding the importance of social sciences, specifically in climate change. Here is a link to my podcast titled The Importance of Social Science in Climate Change. I hope you enjoy and learn more by listening to it!

Work Cite

4 Comments

4 comments

  1. Eli Brandt

    Maya, This is such an awesome project! I love how you connected art with climate change as a way to both raise awareness and educate! As someone also very interested in the arts, I think that this idea could definitely become a reality, not only in Chicago but in other towns in cities around the world! I think it makes Climate Change less statistics-based and more digestible, which is overall a good way to introduce the topic. Awesome job!

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    Hi Maya! I love that you are taking a different approach than many regarding climate change. As an Art teacher, I believe that art does have healing powers both in the making and as a viewer. There are so many ways to create art from recycled/upcycled materials that can become pieces people have intheir homes. At the same time, the reality that we don’t need to buy “more stuff” to create should be a way of thinking we all take on for our daily lives. Kudos to you for bringing this awareness!

  3. Isabella_237

    Hi Maya!
    I’m in abnormal psych, and I really enjoyed reading your page! I really like your approach to climate change, and I absolutely agree that we need to create more/better awareness in regards to global warming and climate change. I think that your page was really well thought out, and was very detailed and engaging. Thank you so much for sharing your work!!

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    Hi Maya! I also have a similar focus on design and creativity being combined with sustainability. Art is such a powerful tool for spreading information and engaging audiences. As people have such diverse interests, finding unique ways to bring attention to such an important issue is crucial. Great work!

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