Public Forum: Arts, Local Government & Climate Change, Arts Talk, Melbourne, May 2011

Exploring ways that local councils are using the arts to address issues of environmental sustainability, especially climate change, through the arts.

Arts Talks 2011: Presented by the Cultural Development Network and the City of Melbourne

Issues explored: How councils are using arts initiatives to engage communities around issues of environmental sustainability and climate change? What contributions artists can make in spreading the sustainability message? What factors have helped ideas get traction? What kinds of initiatives can be undertaken without a lot of resources? How can arts projects be developed with environmental sustainability in mind?

On Tuesday 3 May, 100 people came to the Melbourne Town Hall to discuss the issue of climate change in relation to the arts and local government. Councillor Cathy Oke from the City of Melbourne opened the forum followed by five outstanding speakers: Dr. Martin Mulligan, Senior Research Fellow, Global Studies, Social Science & Planning, RMIT University, Angharad Wynne-Jones, Curator/Director, Lloyd Godman, Ecological Artist, Amanda Owen, Cultural Liveability Officer and Project Manager of Green Expectations, Latrobe City and Andrea Ebsworth, Cultural Planner, Arts and Culture, Mornington Peninsula Shire.

Martin Mulligan argued that local government authorities needed to think of climate change as an emerging condition rather than a future problem and that we needed to focus on cultural adaptation as much as mitigation. Angharad Wynne-Jones spoke about her association with Tipping Point and the various projects she has been involved with that focus on climate change and sustainability including the City of Melbourne’s Home Art Climate Commissions 2011-12. Amanda Owen explained the unique sponsorship programs which the Latrobe City Council has initiated with energy companies in the Latrobe Valley in order to create cultural and arts projects. Andrea Ebsworth outlined the various community projects she has initiated through the Mornington Peninsula Shire with limited resources, and the outcomes. Finally, Lloyd Godman gave the audience insight into his unique ecological arts projects and described how they were integral to the issues of climate change and sustainability. Following the presentations there was the opportunity to network, exchange ideas and meet the speakers.

Download the flyer

Martin Mulligan, Globalism Research Centre, RMIT – Presentation
Andrea Ebsworth, Cultural Planner, Arts and Culture, Mornington Peninsula Shire – Presentation
Angharad Wynne-Jones, Curator/Director, Tipping Point – Presentation

Amanda Owen – Presentation | Green Expectations
Home Arts – Presentation

Other References:
ARC Yinnar
Lloyd Godman, ecological artist