Can arts organisations help to deliver meaningful environmental change?
Is strong leadership from the cultural sector the key to changing attitudes and behaviours in relation to the environment? This paper articulates the challenge faced by those working in cultural organisations to raise awareness of the issues surrounding climate change, and to generate programmes of work that can make a real difference to the ways in which we live our lives.
Changing behaviour requires constant, consistent messages. It relies on highly targeted communication. It needs to tackle the consumer at every stage of their daily life. And cultural organisations are perhaps in a unique position to help achieve precisely this. How is that? Well, artists and cultural organisations are used to communicating to diverse audiences – it’s a core part of their business. They have ready-made audience development strategies; they’ve developed two-way communication between public and organisation, and they have the skills and the physical spaces to communicate with. These so-called ‘soft skills’ are essential in creating cultural change, and in making the environmental message an integral part of life.