GALA – The Green Art Lab Alliance is a partnership between 19 European cultural organisations which aims to explore what environmental sustainability means for the visual arts and design. All partners believe that it’s time for culture and the arts to take responsibility in their own innovative and artistic ways.
This ambition has been acknowledged by the European Commission, which co-finances the GALA project in the framework of the EU Culture programme 2007-2013. During the two years of collaboration (May 2013-May 2015) the partners want to find out what the arts can do to promote sustainability. Together with designers, artists and scientists, the GALA partners investigate the challenges and opportunities that environmental sustainability implies for artists and art institutions. The overall aim is to share knowledge and raise awareness amongst artists, citizens and policy makers.
The participating organisations have a variety profiles. This, and the different geographical backgrounds of the participants, gives a diverse approach to the various aspects of sustainability. The artist residencies offer a space for experimentation and the exploration of the role of sustainability within the arts. Other partners are European cultural networks and government related institutes that have impact on (national) policy. Lastly, educational institutes and organisations are involved, stimulating the exchange of scientific knowledge with the creativity of artists.
The exchange of ideas with the local (artists’) community takes place in the framework of eight workshops and eight seminars, each tailor-made and organised by the GALA partners.
The artist labs addresses key components of environmental sustainability through artistic work, research and debates. The aim is to come up with methodologies and innovative, experimental and artistic approaches to address sustainability in the visual arts and design. How do artists engage in the discourse of sustainability?
The workshops aim to disseminate tools, guidelines, resources and shared knowledge across the wider EU cultural community. How can artists and cultural organisations work in a more sustainable way? The workshops are about environmental impact measurement, reduction, technology and innovations for cultural organizations and artists. Each workshop will be adjusted to fit local requirements. Julie’s Bicycle is the core partner in the organisation of the workshops, because of their long-term experience and huge expertise around these issues. They provide support and guidance to the GALA partners and are interpreting environmental sustainability specifically in the context of the various arts and cultural communities.
Next to the GALA partners organising events, the project also includes three media partners, Trans Europe Halles, Asia Europe Foundation/culture360 and Imagine2020. The media partners are in place to share the outcomes and results from the project activities to their networks and members, by way of their media channels and platforms. They are chosen strategically as they are networks that are experienced in environmental sustainability and the arts.
To share and exchange experiences, resources and knowledge three GALA partner meetings are organised in the Netherlands, Sweden and Scotland. All partners gather at these meetings to monitor the project, discuss the budget and planning of the activities, and also to create a better understanding of the differences in culture and approach to environmental sustainability. These meetings are essential to build up a strong, yet informal network.
Through knowledge exchange in the form of workshops, labs and partner meetings, the GALA project aims to create a Europe-wide network of individuals and organisations engaged in linking the arts with environmental sustainability. The European Knowledge Alliance will advocate for legacy and standards within the arts and the cultural sector on environmental sustainability in the longer term.
Want to know the vision and mission of this project ? Have a look here.
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- Report of the kick-off meeting in Maastricht (pdf) and link to notes of the first partner meeting in Maastricht/The Netherlands (May 2013) – on TransArtists.org.
- Report of the second partner meeting in Visby (pdf) and links to notes/videos of the second partner meeting in Visby/Sweden (May 2014) – on Riksutstallningar.se
- Report of the third partner meeting in Glasgow/Scotland (March 2015)
- For more information read here (on TransArtists.org)