Symposium to Explore Intersection of Art and Environmental Justice


The Mural Arts Institute is hosting a two-week series of events from September 12 through 22, looking at the transformative work happening at the intersection of community-based cultural practice and environmental justice. The 2022 Arts & Environmental Justice Symposium invites local, regional and national artists, activists, cultural workers, environmental justice advocates, organizers, scientists, scholars and government officials for conversations, workshops, film screenings and events that highlight cultural practices and participatory public art that shifts ecological, political and social experiences of frontline communities.

The virtual keynote session kicking off the symposium on September 12, 2022 features Dr. Mia Charlene White, assistant professor of Environmental Studies and Geography at The New School in New York City, where she teaches courses on race, geography and space-making practices in communities of color. Dr. White will use her positionality as a radical geographer to provide generative ideas for linking embodied, place-based organizing to theoretical ways-of-knowing. Other hybrid events will be hosted in Austin, Bakersfield, Philadelphia, and Santa Fe from September 12 through 22 and will be streamed to conference participants.

There will then be an in-person event held on September 14: a full day of in-person programming at the Free Library of Philadelphia that will begin with a land acknowledgement by Denise Bright Dove Ashton-Dunkley, artist and member of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Nation, and opening remarks by Jane Golden, executive director of Mural Arts Philadelphia, and Helen Gym, Philadelphia councilmember-at-large. A series of panel discussions will follow exploring the power of public art to tell stories about the causes and effects of — and solutions to — the climate crisis. There will be a film screening and Q & A with artists, cultural workers and activists from California, New Mexico and Texas who have been working with the Mural Arts Institute for the past two years as part of the Art & Environment Capacity Building Initiative.

While most events during the two weeks are virtual and free, pre-registration is required for all events, and the September 14 in-person event requests sliding scale admission to ensure access to the full symposium, lunch and a rooftop networking event. For more information and to register, visit Art & Environmental Justice Symposium.

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