Theater Communications Group presented their inaugural Climate Action and Environmental Justice Summit livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 22 April 2021 at 10 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 12 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).
Covid-19 has demonstrated that the foundations of prosperity are precarious. Disasters long talked about, and long ignored, can come upon you with no warning, turning life inside out and shaking all that seemed stable. The harm from climate change will be slower than the pandemic but more massive and longer-lasting. If there is a moment for leaders to show bravery in heading off that disaster, this is it. They will never have a more attentive audience.
“Countries should seize the moment to flatten the climate curve”, The Economist, May 21, 2020
"Action on behalf of life transforms. Because the relationship between self and the world is reciprocal, it is not a question of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the earth, the earth heals us."
- Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass
We’ve all heard about the interconnected crises of our time: systemic racism and the pervasiveness of white supremacy, economic recovery in the face of an ongoing pandemic, and the existential emergency of climate change. The new U.S. administration is boldly addressing this perfect storm, but how is our field confronting it—not as separate, parallel phenomena, but as branches of the same, ancient tree? While we are beginning to address the first two branches with a necessary urgency, the third—climate change—remains elusive and overwhelming to many. Though the climate crisis falls hardest on underrepresented communities across the country, though we’ve already begun to see many theatres sustain debilitating damage from environmental disasters, and though there’s been a mighty force for climate justice growing within our field—responsive actions from theatres remain disconnected and disparate. On Earth Day this year, April 22, 2021, TCG will host an inaugural Climate Action and Environmental Justice—A TCG Summit in partnership with Groundwater Arts, Broadway Green Alliance, and HowlRound as a step toward bringing conversations on climate into theatre’s mainstream. In this moment of reimagining, we have the opportunity to holistically consider our habits and practices of putting art into the world, and to collaboratively develop new, regenerative ones that can benefit both the field and the planet. At this Summit of arts industry leaders and practitioners, we’ll examine the roots of that tree our converging crises are springing from, center the wisdom and experience of BIPOC leaders in this work, and transform ourselves in taking action on behalf of life.
At the Summit we will:
Develop shared understanding about the interlocking nature of the crises we face
Gain insight into current climate science and what it means
Commit to taking action steps at your institutions
Envision the long term version of your theatre’s commitments, and how we might formalize the work of sustainability in reopening plans
Read more about TCG's commitment to Climate Action, here.
TCG is grateful to the following partners and supporters of the Climate Action and Environmental Justice Summit.
If you would like to participate in a private conversation with the panelists from 3:15pm to 4pm EDT, register here with TCG.