Season for Change

The widest and wildest creative responses to climate change…

…in arts venues, on streets, in schools, at festivals, across broadcast, film, fashion and music.

Led by Artsadmin and Julie’s Bicycle, Season for Change 2020 was a major cultural festival and campaign celebrating the environment and inspiring urgent action on the future of our planet, in the lead up to the UN’s COP26 international climate negotiations in Glasgow, November 2020.

From June-November 2020, organisations and artists across the UK were invited to respond to the climate crisis through practical actions and participatory activities that spark public conversation about the future of our planet, and showcase solutions.

Season for Change
“This is the year for climate action. The UK, as host to the international climate negotiations, has an exceptional opportunity to make a big difference. Season for Change is for people from all over the country to connect to the climate crisis and make our voices heard at COP26. Come with us.”

– Alison Tickell, Founder and CEO, Julie’s Bicycle

About Season for Change

Co-created with organisations and artists across the UK, the programme included digital content, new participatory commissions, performances, exhibitions, talks, film screenings, workshops and events. Aiming to reach over 10 million people, with participation from more than 250 arts and cultural partners.

Season for Change 2020 was supported by Arts Council England, which has partnered with Julie’s Bicycle for over a decade to support the cultural sector in reducing its environmental impacts and in 2012 became the first cultural body in the world to make climate action part of its funding agreements for National Portfolio Organisations.

Season for Change 2020 culminated in November 2021 when the UK welcomed delegates from over 170 countries to Glasgow for the delayed COP26, the UN’s most critical climate negotiations to date. This will be an unmissable opportunity to showcase the creativity and leadership of the cultural sector on the most important issue of our time.

Season for Change 2020 aimed to mobilise artists and cultural organisations to put climate action at the heart of their programming through:

  • A programme of events and resources empowering artists and cultural organisations to take action and inspire their audiences and communities.
  • 15 flagship participatory commissions with 10 partners nationwide that engage diverse audiences with the climate crisis.
  • A national campaign of events about climate change and the environment involving over 250 artists and arts organisations nationwide.
Bright colourful illustration with happy person pointing to the sky and hands raised in the foreground
Season for Change illustration by Lily Kong

Delivered in partnership with arts and heritage organisations, artists and cultural agencies across the UK.

Confirmed programme partners included:

Apples and Snakes, Cambridge Junction, Contact Theatre, East Street Arts, Happy Museum, Manchester Museum, Metal Liverpool, Sage Gateshead, Warwick Arts Centre, Watershed and academic partners such as the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformation (CAST).

Download full Press Release here

“At the Arts Council, we believe arts and culture can make the world a better place, which includes building a more environmentally sustainable future. We are very pleased to be supporting Season for Change 2020, an ambitious and timely project which highlights the innovation, imagination and commitment of artists and cultural organisations responding to climate change, showcasing practical action and sparking valuable conversations with the public.”

– Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England

How can artists and arts organisations take part?

Season for Change 2020 invited artists and cultural organisations to host events, artworks and actions across the UK that celebrate the environment and inspire urgent action on climate change, in the context of COP26.

From the UK’s creative community? Visit the Season for Change website to:

  • Sign up to our mailing list to receive event invitations, resources, updates and programme announcements.
  • Tell us about any events or creative responses about environment/climate change you are planning for June-November 2020.
  • Share with us touring work on this theme that we can promote to our networks.
  • Share Season for Change with your networks using the hashtag #SeasonforChange
Visit the Season for Change website

What kind of events, artworks and actions are included?

Creative responses can take place anywhere – in arts venues, on streets, in schools, at festivals, on beaches, in libraries or museums and across broadcast, film, fashion and music. Use culture to speak out, champion change, showcase sustainable practice and inspire action…

  • Programme an event
  • Commission new work
  • Organise a debate
  • Curate an exhibition
  • Provide space for spontaneous performances
  • Host an open call
  • Make art, theatre, music, film etc.
  • Show what you’re doing behind the scenes
  • Support community action on local environmental issues
A carnival float with a bright coloured sun sculpture being carried
Manchester Day carnival, credit – Walk The Plank

Looking Back: Season for Change 2018

From June – December 2018, the UK’s creative community hosted a season of diverse, multidisciplinary responses across arts, culture and creative industries.

Involving 76 venues, 68 organisations and 119 events nationwide over a period of 6 months, it was the first coordinated national response from artists and arts organisations speaking out together on the future of our planet, a global chorus about our Earth. Centred on optimism and celebrating the environment through culture, it aimed to inspire action on climate change.

The Season coincided with the landmark UN Climate of Parties ‘COP24’ talks taking place in December 2018, which were critical in meeting the targets of the Paris Agreement.

Visit the Season for Change Website
“I thank all those artists, from the late, great David Bowie, Yoko Ono, Bjork and Coldplay to author Margaret Atwood, designer Vivienne Westwood, and actors Colin Firth and Stephen Fry, for getting behind the Paris climate summit. I also look forward to their support, commitment and action towards realising the aims and ambitions forged in the French capital in December including through taking measures to manage down the carbon footprint of these highly influential creative industries.”

– Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

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