The 2019 Artists & Climate Change Incubator - Alaska

The Alaska Incubator took place May 27-31, 2019 at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. Check back in the spring of 2020 for the dates of the next Incubator or sign up for our mailing list.

The Incubator is open to artists, activists, scientists, and educators who want to engage or further their engagement with climate change through artistic practices. All disciplines are welcome and individuals from traditionally underrepresented populations and communities are encouraged to attend. The Incubator is an inclusive environment that supports diverse perspectives.

During this 5-day intensive, participants interact with accomplished guest speakers from fields such as environmental humanities, climate science, climate change activism, and visual and performing arts. Work sessions allow everyone to dig deep into the challenges and concerns of working at the intersection of arts and climate change such as embracing activism without sacrificing personal vision and artistic integrity, letting go of the idea of "product," and bringing the arts to non-traditional audiences. Group exercises and discussions cover a range of topics including:

  • How to think about climate change as a systemic issue

  • How to effectively engage communities

  • How to take the arts out of traditional venues to reach underserved populations

  • How to develop collaborative projects with non-arts partners to achieve specific goals

  • How to reframe climate change narratives to energize audiences

Limited to 20 participants. All sessions take place at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, 3211 Providence Dr, Anchorage, AK 99508.

For the Incubator in New York City, click here.

For examples of work at the intersection of art and climate change, visit Artists & Climate Change, an initiative of The Arctic Cycle.

Read our blog post Bringing the Arts, Humanities, and Sciences Together to Address Climate Change published by Future Earth to find out how the Incubator started.

The incubator was a truly transformative experience for me that has radically reshaped the way I understand my role as an artist in addressing the climate crisis.
— Eliana Dunlap, participant, 2018 Incubator

In keeping with our value to  make our activities as low footprint as possible, we offset our carbon emissions through



2019 Guest Speakers


BRIAN ADAMS (b.1985) is an editorial and commercial photographer based in Anchorage, Alaska specializing in environmental portraiture. His work has been featured in both national and international publications, and his work documenting Alaskan Native villages has been showcased in galleries across the United States and Europe. His first book of photography, I AM ALASKAN, was published in October 2013 by University Of Alaska Press. His most recent book, I AM INUIT was published in December 2017 by Benteli. In 2018, he received a fellowship grant from The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation and the Rasmuson Foundation to continue his work on documenting Inuit life in Alaska and the circumpolar. 



DR. AMY BREEN is a research assistant professor at the UA Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning. She is a botanist with broad training ranging from plant ecology and evolution, to biogeography and paleoecology. Amy holds a BA in human ecology, MS in biology and PhD in botany. Her research interests include the history, evolution and distribution of arctic and alpine floras. Amy's current research program aims to assess the impact of disturbance and climate change on arctic tundra by adapting a boreal forest fire regime and vegetation succession model to the tundra and investigating post-fire vegetation succession trajectories in tundra ecosystems. In addition, she is affiliated with the Alaska Geobotany Center and is working with that group to create an Alaska prototype for the Arctic Vegetation Archive that will unite and harmonize the vegetation-plot data from the Arctic tundra biome for use in developing a pan-Arctic vegetation classification and as a resource for climate-change and biodiversity research.



BRIAN BRETTSCHNEIDER is a climate scientist in Anchorage Alaska. His PhD is in Environmental Geography with a focus in Climatology. He conducts climate research for the University of Alaska Fairbanks at the International Arctic Research Center and contributes climate and science stories to the Alaska Public Media Network (APRN). He is a sought after resource for station-based data within North America.



BETH LEONARD is Deg Xit’an Athabascan and member of the Shageluk Tribe of interior Alaska. Her father is James Dementi, who was raised in a traditional subsistence lifestyle. Her mother is the late Reverend Jean Dementi, originally from California. Her research interests include Indigenous Knowledge systems and methodologies, Dena/Athabascan oral traditions and languages, Indigenous higher education, and Alaska Native teacher preparation. From 2008-12, she served as PI of the Alaska Native Teacher Preparation Project and she is currently co-PI of a National Science Foundation funded project “Factors Related to Teacher Retention in Arctic Alaska, an Integral Part of the Circumpolar North.” In 2014, she was based at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), Te Kawa a Māui-School of Māori Studies on a Fulbright US Core Teaching/Research Scholarship. She co-instructed a joint UAF/VUW videoconference course “Indigenous Knowledge[s] and Science” with her faculty host, Ocean Mercier and conducted collaborative, participatory research on the development and enhancement of Māori and Indigenous spaces at VUW.



Libby Roderick is an internationally recognized, award-winning singer/songwriter, recording artist and activist whose music has been featured on CNN, CBS, at the UN conference in Beijing, at the Ms. Foundation, World Wilderness Congress, by the Associated Press, and in many other forums. She has performed alongside Coretta Scott King and Walter Cronkite, opened for Grammy award-winning artists, and appeared at universities, conferences and folk venues across North America. Her seven recordings have received worldwide airplay and her essays, poems and songs have appeared in numerous movies, books and publications, including Hometown by Pulitzer-prizewinner Tracy Kidder; Moral Ground:  Ethical Responses to a Planet in Peril; Prayers for a Thousand Years: Inspiration from Leaders and Visionaries Around the World, and many more. She has received a citation of excellence from the Alaska Legislature, and is a Rasmuson Individual Artist Fellow and an Alaska Woman of Achievement. Libby is also Director of the Difficult Dialogues Initiative, Associate Director of the faculty development center at the University of Alaska Anchorage and Vice Chair of the Difficult Dialogues National Resource Center. A longtime climate activist, she helped guide a partnership between the University of Alaska and the Municipality of Anchorage to create the new Climate Action Plan for the city of Anchorage.



JEREMY PICKARD is the founder and co-director of Superhero Clubhouse, a NYC-based community of artists, scientists, and environmental professionals invested in a long-term experiment to understand how theater can help shift consciousness in the face of global climate change. Jeremy wears many hats including director, producer, playwright, and performer. He is the lead artist of The Planet Plays, a series of nine interconnected stories about people and climate change, as well as other works of eco-theater including Flying Ace and the Storm of the Century! and Salty Folk: An Oyster Musical. Since 2010 Jeremy has been the Program and Production Director for the annual Big Green Theater eco-playwriting program with The Bushwick Starr. His essay "On Eco-Theater" is published by TCG in the book Innovations in Five Acts, edited by Caridad Svich.



ALLISON AKOOTCHOOK WARDEN is an Iñupiaq installation artist born in Fairbanks, Alaska with close ties to Kaktovik, Alaska. Her most recent work, "siku/siku" debuted at the Arctic Arts Summit in Harstad, Norway in 2017.  In 2016, she debuted "Unipkaaġusiksuġuvik (the place of the future/ancient)" at the Anchorage Museum. "Unipkaaġusiksuġuvik (the place of the future/ancient)" is a performative installation of an Iñupiaq ceremonial house that exists in the space between the hyper-future and the super-ancient. Warden was physically present in the installation for almost 390 hours over the course of the two month exhibition. She has received a 2018 Rasmuson Individual Artist Fellowship in the field of New Genre and a 2018 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation National Artist Fellowship in the field of Music. She currently resides in Anchorage.