Act Now: Climate Action through the Arts

Virtual workshop with Ryan Elliot Drew
Music Theatre Dance Workshops Visual Arts Storytelling


Ages 12-18

Offered in English only

How can the arts respond to the climate emergency?

This interactive virtual workshop positions artists as agents of much needed environmental change. To begin the workshop, students will explore the work of various global creators who reflect upon, interact with, and bring awareness to climate change and other environmental processes through music, poetry, dance, photography, film, and other art forms. Students will brainstorm innovative ways that artists might advance sustainable practices and perspectives through their work. Additionally, students will learn to create their own biodiversity collage — a snapshot of life within a defined area — involving visual arts and wildlife observation. This workshop is designed for students in Grades 7-12.

The notion human activity is innately damaging to the natural world is rooted in colonial conception. Stewards of the land now referred to as Canada, Indigenous Peoples have long coexisted with the natural world in ways that promote sustainability and respect for the environment. This workshop reflects the theme of “Listening to the Earth” presented as part of NAC Orchestra’s SPHERE Festival in Fall 2022.

Objectives: Music, Dance, Theatre, Visual Art, Media Arts, Geography, Social Studies

Key Words: Critical Thinking, Creative Process, Collaboration, Communication

An in-school version of this workshop is available for schools in Prince Edward Island.

Learning and engagement at Canada’s National Arts Centre is made possible through the support of many generous individuals and organizations from across the country. The Music Alive Program is made possible thanks to the leadership support of National Partner, The Azrieli Foundation, and Major Supporters, The Slaight Family Foundation and TD Bank Group. Thank you also to Grant and Alice Burton, Canada Life, A Donor-Advised Fund at the Community Foundation of Ottawa, Friends of the NAC Orchestra, Donors to the NAC Foundation's Future Fund, The Janice and Earle O’Born Fund for Artistic Excellence, and the donors and sponsors of the NAC’s National Youth and Education Trust, the primary resource for youth and education funding at the National Arts Centre.