Alison Tickell Receives ISPA’s 2023 Green Champion Award

Alison Tickell smiling photo next to IPSA logo

As part of The International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) congress in June 2023, ISPA presented four awards as an opportunity to celebrate achievements within the UK and globally. Amongst the four recipients, JB’s Founder and CEO Alison Tickell was generously awarded the inaugural Green Champion Award – a new award presented for achievement on sustainability in the industry.

ISPA is a global association of arts management leaders, who come together with the shared goal of strengthening and developing the arts internationally. They achieve this by building leadership ability, recognising and discussing trends and new developments, and deepening global exchange through the arts.

Sarah Leech accepts an award on behalf of Alison Tickell.

The organising committee were tasked with nominating colleagues within the art industry. An award panel chaired by Mark Ball – Director of South Bank Centre, London, and supported by Tarek Iskander (Artistic Director of Battersea Arts Centre, London), Brandall C. Jones (Connectivity Director at True Colors Theatre, Atlanta) and Emma Beverly (Director of Programmes at Leeds 2023) came together to select the finalists.

A few words from Alison:

A wooden award with ISPA written on it

Thank you to the International Society for Performing Arts for this honour and recognition.

I am grateful to ISPA for this new category of award, because of course everything we do at Julie’s Bicycle (JB) is a gesture of love for our resilient, generous and unique living planet.

And 16 years ago, when I began this journey with JB, there were three things I felt very strongly about:

  • That culture, and the arts, have to be at the heart of the global response to the climate, nature, justice crisis – and they weren’t;
  • That bringing our collective imagination and joint purpose to this challenge is the most valuable and inspiring work we can be doing – and we werent
  • Action comes in many guises and NOTHING is too small to matter or to notice.

Now we are, and everything matters and we are noticing much more attentively. In the last few years the creative climate movement has become completely unstoppable. We are listening to what is being asked of us, noticing what needs to be done and it’s incredibly exciting. Everywhere artists and activists, people working in cultural organisations, many who have been with us on this journey, are giving their time and passion to this, working through frustrations and obstacles to get to places of honesty and care where art thrives.

This is because the climate crisis goes to the heart of our lives: what does thriving mean? Or care, equity, balance? Who bears the biggest burdens and therefore who and what has to change? This crisis is fundamentally about justice, it tells the stories of countless communities, past and present, at the frontlines of the devastating impacts of climate change.

There is a weight to this moment. This Award recognises nearly 16 years of Julie’s Bicycle’s work. And during that time global temperatures have continued to rise, those with the least have borne the brunt, and biodiversity has suffered assault after ugly assault.

We believe in culture as a huge force for good in the world. It matters how we express this. It can be a platitude that translates into sales and seats. Or we can take it really seriously and commit to transforming the systems and structures of our own cultural ecosystem which embody our values, and project those onto the world. If we can embody values of care and love in how we do what we do, we are a super power, helping steward the changes we need so badly.

Photos: Alison Tickell, Julie’s Bicycle’s Sarah Leech accepts the award on behalf of Alison, The ISPA Green Champion Award.

I feel huge gratitude to have been given this award – to me, to us, to Mother Earth. I promise I will do my best to honour it.