About the MOCA Environmental Council
On October 14, 2020, The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) announced the creation of an Environmental Council, the first for a major art museum in the United States. The Council is focused on climate, conservation, and environmental justice in furtherance of the museum’s mission. In development since 2018, the museum will unfold important initiatives made possible by the Council within the first year, including financial commitments and expertise to work toward institution-wide carbon negativity, carbon-free energy, environmentally-focused museum-quality exhibitions, educational programming, related artist support, and reductions in emissions and consumption. MOCA plans to publicly share the Council’s efforts and progress as a platform for public dialogue and engagement on this urgent topic. To read more about the Environmental Council's founding, click here.
MOCA Environmental Council Founders and Co-Chairs are David Johnson and Haley Mellin. Founding Council members are Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Tim Disney, Aileen Getty, Agnes Gund, Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and Brian Sheth. Expert advisors to the Council include Klaus Biesenbach, Karl Burkart, Illina Frankiv, Dan Hammer, Lisa P. Jackson, Lucas Joppa, Jen Morris, Calla Rose Ostrander and Enrique Ortiz. MOCA Executive Director, Johanna Burton, and MOCA Deputy Director, Advancement, Samuel Vasquez will be ex-officio members of the Council and assure continuity and communication between the Council’s priorities and the museum’s activities and operations.
The Council will support artists working on critical environmental issues by financially supporting meaningful exhibition and educational programming. As the creative work of artists is pivotal to both awareness and action, the museum looks forward to this programming on climate engagement and pressing ecological issues in Los Angeles and globally. In an initial step forward, MOCA's upcoming exhibition Pipilotti Rist: Big Heartedness, Be My Neighbor, the first West Coast survey of the internationally renowned Swiss media artist, will be carbon neutral.
Expert advisor Klaus Biesenbach said, "I am grateful and excited MOCA will be the first U.S. museum to have an Environmental Council supporting the museum’s meaningful understanding and engagement on environmental issues that have been a priority of mine since I joined the museum."
Environmental Council Co-Founder David Johnson said, "MOCA–through this new Environmental Council–is committed to institutional environmental responsibility and with an understanding that art is a force for global discourse, to support artists who channel that force for the environment. I couldn’t be more delighted to work with my co-founder Haley, the other founding members and advisors."
Environmental Council Co-Founder, artist, and conservationist Haley Mellin said, "Art and conservation are about legacy and permanence. Our actions today are a method of committing to the long-term wellbeing of our planet."
MOCA Deputy Director, Advancement Samuel Vasquez said, "The founding of MOCA’s Environmental Council cements our commitment to climate awareness and responsibility. We look forward to leveraging the transformative power of art to protect our world and museum for future generations."
Founding Council and Initiators:
Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani is the Chairperson of the Qatar Museums, Doha Film Institute, Reach Out to Asia, and Qatar Leadership Centre. She serves her country in multiple fields – among them education, culture, leadership, and philanthropy – and facilitates conversations across borders. As a public servant, Sheikha Al Mayassa’s objective is to invest in Qatar’s local community and celebrate the country’s diversity using the visual arts as a vehicle for communication. Through her public work and support of the Qatar Vision 2030, she is building an exciting creative future for the country.
Njideka Akunyili Crosby is a Nigerian-born artist currently living and working in Los Angeles. She was a participant in La Biennale di Venezia, 58th International Art Exhibition, May You Live In Interesting Times, curated by Ralph Rugoff (2019). Recent solo exhibitions include Njideka Akunyili Crosby: “The Beautyful Ones," The National Portrait Gallery, London (2018-19) and Counterparts, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX (2018-19), Baltimore Museum of Art, MD (2017-18). She is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Art from Swarthmore College in 2019, a 2017 MacArthur Fellowship, and was awarded Financial Times' Women of the Year in 2016.Z
Tim Disney is an artist and entrepreneur. A graduate of Harvard University with a degree in Fine Arts, Tim currently serves as a Trustee of The Southern California Institute of Architecture, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of California Institute of the Arts. Tim lives on a hill in Los Angeles.
Aileen Getty established the Aileen Getty Foundation (AGF) to support a wide range of endeavors around the world that enhance the environment, communities, and the lives of individuals. In recent years, Aileen shifted the foundation’s focus to organizations and individuals committed to responding to the climate emergency and treating our planet and its inhabitants with kindness and respect. As an extension of Aileen’s climate-focused work, in 2019, she co-founded the Climate Emergency Fund (CEF) to support activists who are pushing for urgent climate action. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of CEF. Aileen devotes her energies to addressing the climate emergency and has served for several years on MOCA’s Board of Trustees.
Agnes Gund is president emerita of the Museum of Modern Art and chair of its International Council. She is also chair emerita of MoMA PS1. Ms. Gund is founder and chair emerita of Studio in a School, a non-profit organization she established in 1977 in response to budget cuts that virtually eliminated arts classes from New York City public schools. A philanthropist and collector of modern and contemporary art, Ms. Gund serves on the boards of the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies, and the Morgan Library & Museum. She is co-founder and chair of the Center for Curatorial Leadership. In 2017, she launched the Art for Justice Fund in partnership with the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors to support criminal justice reform. Ms. Gund received the National Medal of the Arts from President Clinton (1997), the J. Paul Getty Medal (2018), and the inaugural Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Woman of Leadership Award (2020).
David Johnson is the founder of Act 4 Entertainment, a film entertainment and new media content company. He lives in Los Angeles. In the environmental field, David executive produced Company Town and is currently in production on Canary, a documentary about the life of climate scientist Lonnie Thompson. He was previously a partner of the international law firm of White & Case. David is a Life Trustee and former Board of Trustees Co-Chair of MOCA. David is a board member and former Chair of Public Counsel Law Center and serves on the boards of California Institute of the Arts, Demos, Human Rights Watch (California), the Smithsonian National Board, Voices of a People’s History of the United States, and the Yale School of Drama.
Haley Mellin is a painter and conservationist based in California. She founded the Art into Acres initiative, which connects single artworks in conserving large-scale forests for climate and biodiversity, supporting the conservation of 22 million acres of new protected areas. The initiative supported the first carbon-neutral exhibition in a US museum at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in 2019, and the first carbon neutral full-museum exhibition at the Guggenheim in 2020. Recent solo exhibitions include The Journal, New York and Bischoff Projects, Frankfurt. She attended the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, is the recipient of a Doctorate of Art from New York University, and received a New Museum Rhizome grant.
Brian Sheth is a first-generation Indian-American, is a leader in business, philanthropy, and private equity. Brian applies the same systems-driven strategies that have yielded billions of dollars of value for investment partners to the charities and programs he supports. His breakthrough strategies and leadership resources foster operational excellence and measurable impact in programs that support the resilience and well-being for all life on earth. He believes in building strong coalitions with business leaders, other process-driven NGOs, and citizens to ensure that no one stands alone while protecting life in a changing world.
Ex-Officio Members of the Council:
Johanna Burton is the Maurice Marciano Director of The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). She was previously the Executive Director of the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio, where she concentrated on developing and expanding initiatives actively engaged with the most pressing cultural issues of our times, in addition to overseeing an expansion of the center’s education, outreach, and public programs. Burton’s past posts also include Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement at the New Museum, New York; Director of the Graduate Program at Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies (CCS), New York; and Associate Director & Senior Faculty Member at the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program (ISP), New York. She holds an M.A. in Art History from Princeton University (Ph.D., ABD), an M.Phil from New York University in Performance Studies, and an M.A. in Art History, Criticism, and Theory from the State University of New York, Stonybrook.
Samuel Vasquez is the Deputy Director, Advancement at The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Previously, Samuel oversaw the opening of The Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA) and established it as the first fully solar-powered art museum in the US. He is committed to establishing equitable communities and sustainable practices for arts organizations and the cultural sector at large and believes that art is a catalyst for change.
Specialists/Advisors to the Council:
Klaus Biesenbach will be Director of Neue Nationalgalerie and Director of the future Museum of the 20th Century, Berlin in 2022. Biesenbach is the former Maurice Marciano Director of The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). He co-initiated the Environmental Council at MOCA, the first sustainability support group in a United States art museum, and will continue on as the Council's artistic advisor while in Berlin. Biesenbach was previously Chief Curator-at-Large at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and Director of MoMA PS1 in New York City. He founded Kunst-Werke (KW) Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin and the Berlin Biennale. He co-founded MoMA's Department of Media and Performance Art. Throughout his career, Biesenbach has organized programs and exhibitions addressing environmental topics, including the large-scale ecological festival EXPO 1 and rescue efforts and art programs after Hurricane Sandy in Rockaway, New York with the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy.
Karl Burkart is the Deputy Director of One Earth, and formerly the Director of Media, Science & Technology at the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. One Earth supports academic institutions and NGOs working on the cutting edge of climate and energy science, biodiversity mapping, and sustainable food systems. Through grantmaking and development capacity, the program is particularly focused on scaling innovative applications in big data, remote sensing, and artificial intelligence to accelerate land and ocean conservation efforts. Karl also oversees the production and distribution of content across One Earth’s website and social media properties, along with award-winning initiatives such as We Love the Earth and the Global Safety Net, which was just named a "World Changing Idea" by Fast Company. Karl is co-author of “A Global Deal for Nature: Guiding Principles, Milestones, and Targets”, a groundbreaking paper published in Science Advances in 2019 that sets out the evidence base for an ambitious conservation agenda.
Illina Frankiv is a Global Senior Energy Program Manager at WeWork, where she created their first Energy Program. She specializes in energy management, renewable energy, and sustainability reporting for large corporations. With a strong belief in the clean energy future, she contributes to the movement by sitting on the Advisory Board, chairing the Supply Chain and International Committee, and acting as Faculty at the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA). She summited Mt. Everest without a guide in 2018; becoming the 4th Canadian female to summit Mt. Everest via Tibet.
Dan Hammer is a founder and Partner at Earthrise Media and a Climate Fellow and Senior Advisor at X. He is the winner of the inaugural Pritzker Environmental Genius Award. Dan earned his PhD in environmental economics from U.C. Berkeley, where he was a Fellow at the Berkeley Institute for Data Science and won the 2019 Mark Bingham Prize for Excellence by a Young Alumnus. He previously served as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Obama White House and a Presidential Innovation Fellow at NASA. Dan was the Chief Data Scientist at the World Resources Institute, where he co-founded Global Forest Watch. He has been a National Geographic Fellow, a Watson Fellow, and a Lang Opportunity Scholar.
Lisa P. Jackson is the vice president of environment, policy, and social initiatives at Apple, where she leads the company's work to address climate change and other environmental issues along with programs on education, policy and accessibility, and their Racial Equity and Justice Initiative. From 2009 to 2013, Lisa served as Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency. Appointed by President Barack Obama, she focused on reducing greenhouse gases, protecting air and water quality, preventing exposure to toxic contamination, and environmental justice. She serves on the boards of Tulane University, SF Film, The American Film Institute, Conservation International and Emily’s List.
Lucas Joppa leads sustainability efforts at Microsoft as the company's first Chief Environmental Officer. He works to advance Microsoft’s core commitment to sustainability through ongoing technology innovation, program development, policy advancement, and global operational excellence. With a combined background in both environmental science and data science, Lucas is committed to using technology to help transform how society monitors, models, and ultimately manages Earth’s natural resources. He founded Microsoft’s AI for Earth program in 2017—a five-year, $50 million cross-company effort dedicated to delivering technology-enabled solutions to global environmental challenges.
Jennifer Morris is Chief Executive Officer of The Nature Conservancy, a global conservation organization working with partners around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Jennifer leads nearly 4,000 global staff whom seek to transform business practices, shape government policies, and leverage rigorous science to prove and scale on-the-ground conservation work. Jennifer brings more than 25 years of conservation leadership experience to her role as CEO. Previously, she was president at Conservation International, where she developed some of CI’s most enduring programs, partnerships, and innovative strategies using business development as a tool to protect nature for the well-being of humanity. Jennifer is a passionate storyteller, avid outdoors enthusiast, and mentor to the future generations of conservation leaders.
Enrique Ortiz is a tropical ecologist (Princeton University), born and raised in Peru. Enrique is perhaps better known for his activism and leadership in Latin America on the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems. He has published extensively and is a frequent contributor to newspapers and environmental journals. He is a founder and board member of several innovative and successful Latin American NGOs. Enrique currently serves as President of the board of Amazon Conservation-ACCA, a leading Peruvian NGO. For over two decades he has worked for private philanthropy foundations supporting biodiversity conservation in the Andes and the Amazon regions, resulting in over 30 million acres of protected areas. He is currently the Senior Programs Director of the Andes Amazon Fund.
Calla Rose Ostrander is an independent Strategic Advisor dedicated to the well-being of people and planet. She specializes in climate change and agricultural policy, science communications, and movement building. Since 2013 she has worked to support the advancement of carbon farming, compost production and climate beneficial material economies in California, Calla has supported the successful scaling of regenerative agriculture to the state scale. Between 2008-2013 Calla served as the Climate Change Projects Manager for the City & County of San Francisco where she created and managed internal sustainability and GHG reporting systems and inventories, the San Francisco Carbon Fund, and community-wide climate planning.
MOCA Receives Grant From Frankenthaler Climate Initiative
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) is honored to have been selected to receive an award from the Frankenthaler Climate Initiative, a new grant-making program established by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation that seeks to catalyze climate change action in the visual arts. It is the first program of its kind supporting energy efficiency and clean energy projects for the visual arts in the U.S. and is the largest private national grant-making program to address climate change action through cultural institutions. The grant will help The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA to achieve its goal of becoming a solar-powered museum.
"On behalf of MOCA’s Environmental Council, we deeply appreciate the generous support of the Frankenthaler Climate Initiative to help achieve our urgent goals for the Museum’s sustainable future, as climate, conservation, and environmental justice are critical and existential issues for us all," said MOCA Director Klaus Biesenbach.
The Frankenthaler Climate Initiative was launched in 2021 by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation as a multi-year grant program to support visual art museums and collecting institutions in achieving carbon neutrality and catalyzing climate change action. The 79 grant recipients from the 2021 grantmaking cycle represent a broad cross-section of collecting institutions across more than 25 states, ranging from smaller specialized museums, to regional powerhouses, to major encyclopedic institutions.
"As an artist, Frankenthaler saw the ecology of making a lasting mark. The Frankenthaler Climate Initiative will have a significant impact on museum sustainability," said artist and MOCA Environmental Council co-founder, Haley Mellin.
Stewarded by MOCA’s Environmental Council, founded in October 2020 as the first council of its kind for a U.S. museum, the technical assistance grant will support a transformational solar energy project at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. Shifting to renewable energy will make the greatest impact on the museum’s energy consumption, yielding an estimated 68% savings in annual energy costs and moving to carbon-free energy for a healthy climate. The grant will support the technical phase in transitioning MOCA Geffen to solar energy. This follows scoping work conducted as part of the Low Carbon Leaders pilot program with the U.S. Department of Energy and the L.A. Better Buildings Challenge (LABBC) to demonstrate pathways to low or zero net carbon in buildings.
"Art is about pushing boundaries, opening ourselves up to new ways of thinking and being. That’s the kind of vision and creativity we need right now to address the climate crisis. Will we do the harder thing and build back better, or go back to business as usual? MOCA is choosing the harder path, and I’m excited to embark on this journey with them," said David Hodgins, Executive Director of the LABBC.
One of many initiatives of MOCA’s Environmental Council, "Greening the Geffen" encompasses converting to renewable energy; improving efficiencies in exhibition space and design; and creating a publicly accessible green space through ecologically conscious landscaping and the construction of a community garden. This aligns with a long history of energy efficiency at MOCA, as MOCA Grand was built to be sustainably minded in the 1980s and frequently renovated to enhance sustainability.
About the Frankenthaler Climate Initiative
The Frankenthaler Climate Initiative is the first nation-wide program to support energy efficiency and clean energy use for the visual arts and the largest private national grant-making program to address climate change action through cultural institutions. Its grants provide critical support to visual art museums in the United States seeking to assess their impact on the environment and to lower ongoing energy costs, which are among the highest fixed costs faced by museums. The Frankenthaler Climate Initiative builds on the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation’s commitment to social impact philanthropy, catalyzing change across critical issues in the arts. The Frankenthaler Climate Initiative was launched and is managed in association with RMI, an independent nonprofit that engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs in accelerating the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future, and Environment & Culture Partners, a nonprofit that creates relationships and leads collaborations that engage the cultural sector in broader climate action.
About the L.A. Better Buildings Challenge
A local affiliate of the U.S. Department of Energy Better Buildings Initiative, the Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge (LABBC) is a network of L.A.’s best buildings, committed to reducing energy and water use in line with the science-based goals outlined in the Sustainable City pLAn and the Paris Climate Accord. With more than 100 million square feet of buildings participating, the LABBC is one of the most significant sustainability initiatives in the world.
Pipilotti Rist: Climate Impact Report
Pipilotti Rist and MOCA are committed to a climate-conscious future. For the exhibition Pipilotti Rist: Big Heartedness, Be My Neighbor, MOCA worked with Rist's studio to ensure an environmentally-responsible exhibition and achieve a low carbon footprint by sourcing local recycled material, shipping works by ocean freight, reducing post-exhibition waste and serving a climate-conscious menu for the opening night dinner. The exhibition was assessed with a carbon audit and emissions that could not be reduced were offset. Meanwhile, The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA is in the process of shifting to solar thanks to a grant from the Helen Frankenthaler Climate Initiative, which will help move the museum to a low-carbon future. To better understand the project's climate impact, and to foster a culture of transparency, the artist-led collective Artists Commit and MOCA Environmental Council co-founder Haley Mellin published a Climate Impact Report, detailing the sustainability of the exhibition.
The full report is available to read here.
MOCA Sustainability Reports
At MOCA, we are thoughtfully considering how to drive the shift towards a more sustainable art and cultural sector. Embedded in our ten goals is the potential to positively impact the environment and climate through actions taken within our institution. We strive to create a model that supports our global partners across the sector, and expands the platform for knowledge sharing and collaboration to advance our collective progress in minimizing negative impacts.
The full 2022 Sustainability Report is available to read here.
The full 2021 Sustainability Report is available to read here.
MOCA published the first all-staff Environmental Newsletter in October 2021 and will continue to send them out quarterly. The newsletters communicate the museum’s environmental and sustainability progress to staff, as well as inspire collaboration on initiatives.
The full newsletter is available to read here.
The full newsletter is available to read here.
The full newsletter is available to read here.
December 7, 2022
The Art Newspaper
Two recent initiatives seek to turn art world sustainability pledges into action
By Annabel Keenan
September 7, 2022
Artists Discuss Sustainability and Eco-Activism at MOCA Los Angeles
By Adrianne Ramsey
April 22, 2022
Hauser & Wirth
Instant Diamonds: A Conversation between Pipilotti Rist and Johanna Burton for Earth Day
April 1, 2022
The Art Newspaper
Artist-led campaign urges climate action across California
By Annabel Keenan
January 14, 2022
The Art Newspaper
Exhibitions’ Carbon Footprints Come Under Growing Scrutiny
By Annabel Keenan
August 2, 2021
The Art Newspaper
Moca Los Angeles follows success in halting solar farm near Heizer Earthwork with announcement of Frankenthaler grant to support solar energy project
By Annabel Keenan
February 15, 2021
GIRLS 9: Save The Planet, Save The World
By Adrianne Ramsey
January 22, 2021
Leaders of Climate Change Awareness in the Institutional Art World
By Annabel Keenan
January 22, 2021
The Art Newspaper
Can Biden's inauguration galvanise the US art world into finally taking action against climate change?
By Tess Thackara
October 15, 2020
Art Industry News: Shakespeare’s First Folio Just Sold for $10 Million, Making It the Priciest Piece of Literature Ever Auctioned + Other Stories
By Artnet editors
October 14, 2020
Can an art museum drive sustainability? Q&A with MOCA’s Klaus Biesenbach
By Dave Martin
November 8, 2022
Pioneer Works: Perspectives on a Changing Earth
This panel brings together three individuals - an artist, an environmentalist, and a physicist - for a discussion on the global impact of human-made climate change, and the possibility of building a sustainable and equitable future through culture, activism, and education. Dustin Yellin is an artist who balances a sculptural practice visualizing the catastrophic impact of the anthropocene, with a social practice to build community through accessible, transdisciplinary education and engagement, as a catalyst to provoke societal change. David de Rothschild is an ecologist and activist whose global exploration and adventuring have brought widespread attention and innovative solutions to urgent environmental issues. Theoretical astrophysicist Janna Levin considers life and environments on exoplanets and how the climate crisis impacts not only our planet, but the universe around it. Together with moderator Adrianne Ramsey, an arts curator and writer, the panel will discuss why climate change is the most pressing issue of our time, how education and innovation can unlock solutions to political inertia, and how the actions we take today can forestall the direct impact of this looming crisis.
October 7, 2022
Planning For Sustainable Exhibitions With Simone Paz, Associate Director of Sustainability, The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
Integrating sustainability into exhibitions requires a thoughtful re-evaluation of exhibition systems and processes. Building climate considerations into the early design and planning stages is imperative, and team member partnerships and collaboration are one of the most important aspects of achieving this goal. In this session, Simone Paz, Associate Director of Sustainability at The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), discusses how to make exhibitions more sustainable through applying alternative strategies to the design and planning process.
August 25, 2022
Approaches to Sustainability: A Conversation with Artists Engaging with Environmental Issues
As creative thinkers, artists are uniquely positioned to establish a framework for sustainable practices and reflection on the broader systems around us. This panel explores the work of various artists engaging with issues of sustainability through environmental and social justice, community activism, and climate-related content, representing a wide variety of approaches to the broad notion of “sustainability.” The breadth and diversity of their work can help us better understand the nuances of sustainability. Madeline Hollander explores group patterns and behaviors in response to environmental and social crises. Jonah Jacobs uses his art to discuss waste, proposing creative approaches to re-use or up-cycling. Patty Chang considers the intersection of art and science and the possibilities of collaboration to support ecological solutions and protection. Finally, activism is at the core of Andrea Bowers’ work; Bowers is involved in social, environmental, and political activist movements and is currently looking at greenwashing. With their vastly different practices, these four artists demonstrate a handful of the many paths to sustainability, both within the art industry and for all of us as global citizens. The panel is organized by Annabel Keenan, who reports on contemporary art and sustainability for various publications including The Art Newspaper. Keenan will moderate the conversation to shed light on these four artists’ approaches to sustainability.
June 8, 2022
Rewild: how humans help rebuild the fabric of nature
This panel discussion brings together artists, conservationists, and activists to discuss how the recovery of wildlife and ecosystems can support global objectives for biodiversity, climate, and people. It will explore the role of large mammals in triggering the recovery of ecosystems around the world, the impact of reforestation in urban areas, and the ways art can engage living ecosystems and invite viewers to participate in the protection of the natural world. Participants include Doug Aitken, Karl Burkart, Elise Van Middelem, and Carly Vynne. The panel is moderated by independent curator Temple Shipley. The 2022 series is made possible by Nora McNeely Hurley and Manitou Fund.
June 3, 2022
Strategic Climate Funds: Community Meeting Strategic Climate Funds With Haley Mellin
Learn how U.S.-based galleries and museums first calculated and identified key ways to reduce their carbon emissions, and how they compensate for carbon emissions they can't eliminate through Strategic Climate Funds. San Francisco-based artist Haley Mellin shares her process of supporting institutions and the art community in walking various paths in their calculations, public communications of their actions and their Strategic Climate Funds versus offset decisions. Mellin founded the nonprofit Art into Acres, which helps artists and institutions support the conservation of large-scale landscapes, preserving biodiversity and historic carbon stores in the process.
April 14, 2022
Pollution, Policy, and Art
This panel discussion brings together a range of artists and advocates to discuss the multithreaded hydra that is plastics pollution and how we can get our hands around it. Participants include Melissa Aguayo, Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Reusable LA coalition and US Coordinator for Break Free From Plastic; installation artist and sculptor Liz Larner, whose deep, research-based practice explores problems such as the pervasive and exponential presence of plastic in the world; artist Hugo McCloud, whose mixed-media works addresses issues of class, labor, geopolitics, and the environmental impact of plastic; and Erica Montelongo, a local climate justice and youth advocate, artist, and community composter working to support communities that are the most impacted by pollution and climate change. The panel is organized and facilitated by activist and organizer Calla Rose Ostrander.
Jan 26, 2022
What Can We Do? Arts Organizations and Climate Sustainability
Artists have been on the front-lines of environmental and climate activism for decades. Could this be the moment when arts institutions pick up their cue? Join us to hear from longtime leaders in campaigns to build a sustainable art world and learn about Bay Area initiatives helping our arts organizations meet the challenges of the climate crisis. Art + Climate Action is a California-based collective uniting nonprofit art spaces, commercial endeavors, art workers, patrons, and artist studios in the fight for environmental justice. Art + Climate Action helps organizations (large and small) take account of their carbon output and provide strategic solutions for achieving zero-emissions practices.
December 4, 2021
PHI Sessions 2021: Emergent Commitments and Responsibilities of the Cultural Institution
PHI Sessions 2021 is a two-day gathering of a range of voices concerned with the arts and culture milieu on sustainability and other factors. This keynote address explores new opportunities for institutional agency and action in the face of emerging societal forces. The intent is to explore the role and potential of the cultural institution writ large (public galleries, museums, artist run centres, collectives, independent initiatives, etc.) within the climate of our rapidly evolving contemporary moment. Moderated by Kama La Mackerel with Calum Bowden, Haley Mellin, Monica O. Montgomery, Carmen Papalia
July 29, 2021
Is it the art world's responsibility to be eco-friendly?
In this panel, MOCA’s Environmental Council, Art into Acres, Frieze, OTOY and RNDR will discuss how the art world can engage sustainable practices at an institutional level with the Paris Agreement (50% carbon emissions reduction by 2030) and an adoption of zero-waste practices at the forefront. Speakers discuss intersectional artist practices, environmental justice, natural conservation and carbon emissions. This Financial Times LA Frieze talk, moderated by Financial Times’ editor, Jemima Kelly, will focus on the art world and its ecological impact.
February 25, 2021
Uncommon Commons: What Can Public Art Do for Environmental Activism?
The calls for environmental justice have reached a fever pitch in recent years and many artists, curators, and institutions are attempting to understand how their practices can buoy these efforts. This month’s Uncommon Commons will explore what role public art can take in calling attention to environmentalism, conservation, and environmental justice.
January 22, 2021
Art Expo: Dialogues | Practices of Conservation — Exhibition and Environmental Impact
In this panel, artists and co-founders of MOCA’s Environmental Council, Art into Acres, Art+Climate Action, Galleries Commit, and Art to Zero will discuss specific aims, such as reducing carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 in line with the Paris Agreement and adoption of zero-waste practices. How can the art world reduce emissions and engage more sustainable methods in an adaptive manner that supports engagement from across the art world? This panel is designed to connect the audience with considerations and resources for sustainable practices at a studio, exhibition, and institutional level.