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title:  The Full Story

Sustainable theatres:
Julie's Bicycle & Theatres Trust - Energising Culture
Sustainable Abilities online
toolkit from Mo'olelo
EMERGENCE: creative practices and sustainable futures
new builds: Small World, Green Light Trust, Arcola

Editors' note: Here are guides and news stories for making theatre buildings, materials and practices more environmentally sustainable.

Kellie Gutman's full report on how to green your theatre is here.

Julie's Bicycle and The Theatres Trust publish 'Energising Culture'

Julie’s Bicycle, the creative industries sustainability advocates, and The Theatres Trust, the national advisory body for theatres, have published Energising Culture, a guide to planning a cleaner, more sustainable energy future for cultural buildings.

Launched at The Theatre Trust’s Conference 12, ‘Delivering Sustainable Theatres’, on 12 June, the guide is the first of a two-part publication. This first part aims to set out the issues around energy demand, energy supply and the implications of these for an organisation's business models. It is intended to help companies make informed decisions about a long-term energy strategy for arts buildings.

The second part, to follow, will take a more comprehensive long-term vision of environmental sustainability and how the cultural sector intersects with it, ranging across activities, business models, new technologies and emerging cultural values.

‘Energising Culture’ is available as a free download from Julie’s Bicycle and The Theatres Trust.

The guide considers how energy and climate policy and regulation, and the changing energy system are likely to impact on cultural buildings in the long term. It outlines voluntary schemes and standards which can help drive improvements.

The guide provides information on financial incentives, funding programmes and investment models to support initiatives. It provides a framework for developing an energy strategy, for improving energy performance and for moving towards a lower or even zero-carbon future.

Other key points in the guide include that:

    Cultural institutions can be in a proactive position to share expertise for greener energy use.

    The challenges of the evolving policy and regulatory environment, increasing energy prices, uncertainty over future energy supply and climate change adaptation - also are opportunities for organisations to rethink how they use energy in ways which can save money and reduce environmental impacts; which can improve the fabric of buildings and guarantee a secure supply of clean energy.

    The arts and culture are particularly vulnerable to reputational risk and it is critical therefore to address the concerns of patrons, artists, audiences and local communities.

The guide’s ‘how-to’ section addresses medium and longer term planning on issues including :
    • Increasing energy efficiency through:
    - awareness-raising and behavioural change
    - energy monitoring and evaluation
    - energy efficient appliances
    - smarter controls

    • Rethinking systems and services by
    - managing heat, ventilation and cooling
    - seasonal performance planning
    - making buildings more multi-functional

    • Rethinking energy supply by
    - generating energy onsite
    - community energy generation
    -sourcing low and zero carbon energy
    - looking at off-site and digital services

The 48 venues in The Theatres Trust's Ecovenue project contributed to developing ideas of how theatres and small venues can manage their energy better and have been front runners in achieving Display Energy Certificates.

Energising Culture is co-funded by Arts Council England and The Theatres Trust’s Ecovenue project supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

12 June 2012

Julie's Bicycle launches theatre plan and online measure for carbon impacts
June 2011

Julie’s Bicycle launches the Theatre volume of their 3-volume report 'Moving Arts: Managing the carbon impacts of our touring' on 22 June at the National Theatre, to coincide with the launch of their Green Theatre Programme.

The study investigates the carbon impacts of touring both in the UK and internationally by bands, orchestras and theatres, and is the result of 9 months' research with over 300 individuals and organisations.

The report measures the impacts of touring and presents practical solutions to help cut emissions. Volume 1 was launched on 17 June at the Royal Albet Hall, and Volume 3, on Orchestras, will be launched on 3 July at the Royal Festival Hall.

Mojisola Adebayo talks about the effects of touring from a writer's and performer's perspective on our DVD on climate change and theatre here.

The research, which focuses on the core elements of touring, looked at 97 tour leg samples in 2009 across the UK and internationally.

It estimates that approximately 13,400 toones of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent)emmissions were produced by touring theatre.

Touring bands produced 85,000 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) emissions, and orchestras produced approximately 8,600 tonnes CO2e emissions. The majority of touring emissions are from overseas tours, with personnel travel and freight accounting for the majority share of those figures.

The report recognises that there is concern about the environment within the industry, and whilst high profile names are speaking out, that concern is not yet being reflected in the practices of touring. A number of barriers have been identified including the perceived financial cost; the availability of low carbon equipment and vehicles; and audience and artist expectation for spectacular shows.

Julie’s Bicycle have identified 11 priority recommendations aimed at those responsible for all aspects of a tour - artists, managers, suppliers, promoters and venues. These involve environmental planning to sit alongside artistic and financial contributions, and sharing the data on emissions produced from a tour, as well as a range of other actions which reduce environmental impacts.

Alison Tickell, director of Julie's Bicycle says, 'The assumption that if we focus hard enough on celebrity, regulation or science we will effect behavioural revolution, has proved distinctly shaky. By understanding the science and deploying our creativity in the manner in which we consider best we are much more likely to shape our future in a manner befitting our business.'

Sustainable Abilities launched - an online resource for arts responding to climate change and resource scarcity

Missions Models Money have launched the website for their project Sustainable Abilities, a project to help drive forward transformative responses to climate change from individuals and organisations working in the arts.

The site provides the resources related to the project and contains:

    > a report by Hilary Jennings and Lucy Neal OBE on the UK arts and cultural sector’s response to climate change and resource scarcity
    > an interactive google map of the UK initiatives referenced in the report
    > the findings of a related survey of UK creative and cultural professionals
    > additional resources.
It is intended as another point of connection in the growing network of support designed to help the UK’s cultural and creative sector.

Sustainable Abilities is supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Toolkit for green theatre choices from Mo'olelo

Mo`olelo, the San Diego performing arts company, have completed their Green Theatre Choices Toolkit, information to help the theatre industry make choices that will cause less long-term environmental damage.

The toolkit lists the pros and cons of materials in these categories:

    wood products
    glass,ceramics, earthen materials
    textile treatments and colourants
    plastics and foams
    paint and adhesives
    lighting and electronis
    'audience interface materials' (marketing, mailers, playbills, food and beverage containers)

The pdf is downloadable here.

The toolkit was sponsored by a MetLife/TCG 'A-ha! Think It, Do It' grant. The reserach was partnered with Brown & Wilmanns Environmental Consulting and adopted their 'Green Choices' methodology.

EMERGENCE: Creative practice and sustainable futures

In 2010/11 the arts sector in Wales came together at three major conferences in Cardiff, Swansea and Caernarfon for EMERGENCE: creative practice for a sustainable future, to share ideas, ask questions and get practical tools for a more sustainable practice.

Emergence: the document!, is downloadable and features 20 talks in the field of sustainability and the arts.

Emergence focused on two themes: developing a low-carbon infrastructure and developing the role of the arts as a crucible of ideas and visions for a low-carbon sustainable Wales. The report compiled by Fern Smith and Rhodri Thomas documents the talks given at the conferences from:

    John E.McGrath, Artistic Director, National Theatre Wales
    Philip Roth, playwright
    Dr Jean Bolton, scientist and complexity theorist
    Axel Tangerdig, Architect, Director and founder of Meta Theatre, Munich
    Satish Kumar, Resurgence magazine
    Paul Allen, Centre for Alternative Technology
    Alison Tickell, Julie's Bicycle
    Lucy Neal, Transition Town Tooting
    Ben Todd, Arcola Theatre
    Eluned Haf, Wales Arts International
    Judith Knight, Artsadmin
    and more.
Emergence was a partnership between Volcano and Cynnal Cymru-Sustain Wales.

New-build green theatres

Going green in theatre can be difficult when dealing with an existing property, but a few companies have been able to build new spaces, which strive to be very green.

In Cardigan, Wales, the Small World Theatre has built the Small World Center, which tries to be as carbon neutral as possible. Some of the innovations they have included include a roof that is 30% green, planted with sedum, with the other 70% using recycled slate. The water from the roof is harvested and recycled and used in toilets, showers and for washing up. Six large Douglas Firs, from a locally managed woodlot were used to support the building and the oak beams came right from Cardigan.

Bricks in the lobby were fired 100 years ago, from clay dug right on the site; sand for the concrete came from only a few miles away, and the lath for the lime/clay walls was local willow used as a wattle and daub wall. The building insulation comes from recycled paper. The new technologies called for imaginative solutions in order to fit with the rigid building regulations.

Green Light Trust’s new headquarters and training centre in Bury St. Edmonds, The Foundry, is a ‘deep-green’ building, made of recycled timbers for the framing. The wood was given a lime wash before it was re-erected, to protect it from insects and fungus. Lime is also a fire retardant.

The Small World Center opened on 17 June 2008. A majority of Small World Theatre’s many projects are environmentally focused, from their school touring show ‘Merlin’s Coat’, which has to do with global warming prophecies, to their new show 'Coedeuwydd', which was commissioned by the forestry commission and looks at trees as carbon sinks.

Lime was also used for all the plaster and the floor, as it ‘breathes’, thus protecting other elements of the building. Hemp, grown locally, was used for insulation. All interior walls were made of wattle and daub from their own clay and hazel. Rainwater is recycled.

As for heating, there is solar hot water and locally-produced biomass for heating. As much as possible, all material and labour were sourced within twenty miles of the site. It won a prestigious RIBA Sustainability Award in 2006.

arcola future
London’s Arcola Theatre is in the planning stages for a new complex, Future Arcola, which they hope to begin in 2010 and which will be phased in. The center of the venue will be an expanded theatre, plus there will be studios, a cafè and bar, and an incubator for new technology. The official launch of took place on 15 December 2009. More information will be posted as the project starts.

title:  Headlines

»  New Perspectives Theatre Company looks for playwright for rural theatre research project
»  Nominations open for Nick Reeves Award for Arts and the Environment 2014 - by 12 May
»  Soil Culture Forum - 2 - 5 July
»  Applications open for 2014 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award
»  Green Drinks Whitechapel - 25 March, 29 April
»  Bodies in Land Film Festival - Abercych - 23-24 May 2014
»  Dark Mountain: Carrying the Fire event - 16 - 18 May 2014
and other Dark Mountain news
»  KAAI Theatre, Brussels, stages 'An Enemy of the People' on eve of Belgian elections
»  New productions:
Red Forest - 12 June - 5 July
»  Exhibitions:
John Curno - 13 Feb - 25 April
Ocean by Tania Kovats - 15 March-25 May
Fieldworks - 2-12 April
STRANGE WEATHER, Dublin 18 July-5 Oct
Edinburgh Art Festival - 1 Aug-19 Nov
»  The Anthropocene Project all year at HKW, Berlin
»  Opportunities & calls:
Public art on Glasgow's Canal - by 14 April
Forest residencies - Stour Valley
»  Folkstone Triennial - August - November 2014 - place, city, art and some ecology
»  Edinburgh Art Festival - 31 July - 31 August 2014 - the commons, nature and cosmologies
»  Blogs, networks, essays for performance and ecology
»  Common Ground celebrated on Open Country
»  Workshops & courses:
Helen Poyner workshops - March - July
Sandra Reeve workshops - April - Sept
»  COAL Prize - Paris theme
»  'Fissure' awarded at World Stage Design exhibition
»  14 ways to look at Scotland: 14 arts projects for Year of Natural Scotland
»  'How to Occupy an Oil Rig' wins Sustainable Production award at Edinburgh Fringe
»  New Green Canterbury Tales: call for storytellers to make a pilgrimage
»  TippingPoint starts crowd-sourced database of climate art
»  'Actipedia' - crowd-sourced database of activist art - goes online
»  'On Ecology' edition of Performance Research published online
»  'Environmentalism' edition of Research in Drama Education published online
»  New books:
The Oil Road
Dark Mountain 3
The Book of Barely Imagined Beings
Readings in Performance and Ecology
Beautiful Trouble. A Toolbox for Revolution
»  Creu Cymru partners with Julies' Bicycle to support sustainability of 42 Welsh venues
»  'Culture and Climate Change: Recordings' available as a book, as an online pdf and as podcasts
»  Arts Council England embeds environmental sustainability into funding agreements
»  CSPA Fringe Awards for Sustainable Production:
2012 - The Man Who Planted Trees
2011- Allotment
2010 - The Pantry Shelf'
»  Canadian Theatre Review focuses on 'Theatre in an Age of Eco-Crisis'
»  Sustainable theatres:
Julie's Bicycle & Theatres Trust - Energising Culture
Sustainable Abilities online
toolkit from Mo'olelo
EMERGENCE: creative practices and sustainable futures
new builds: Small World, Green Light Trust, Arcola
»  Listen, watch, read: podcasts, videos and essays
Latest additions:
> TJ Demos: on dOCUMENTA (13), gardens, biotech & on Art After Nature
> TippingPoint Newcastle
> Wendell Berry: 'It All Turns on Affection'
> David Abram at Sensory Worlds
»  Library:
'Survival of the Beautiful'
Mojisola Adebayo's collected plays
'Metaphors for Environmental Sustainabliity'
'Mediating Climate Change'
'Theatre Materials'
»  E-script online: 'The Last Cuckoo'
»  Recent productions, including:
My Last Car, As the World Tipped, SEVEN ANGLES, Fissure, The Heretic, Greenland, Earthquakes in London, 3rd Ring Out, PROTOZOA, Grasses of a Thousand Colours, The Contingency Plan, Zameen, Moj of the Antarctic ...
»  Exhibitions archive
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