The 2019 Artists & Climate Change Incubator

The New York Incubator took place July 22-26, 2019 at The Lark in midtown Manhattan. Check back in the spring of 2020 for the dates of the next Incubator or sign up for our mailing list.

For the first time this year, we’re happy to offer the Incubator in New York City AND in Anchorage! The program will be similar in both locations but we’ll feature different guests speakers in order to take advantage of, and promote, local knowledge.

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

See the preliminary schedule. Limited to 20 participants. 

All sessions will take place at The Lark, 311 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036. Availability is on a first come, first serve basis. Participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodation.

For more information, contact us by clicking the email icon on the bottom right corner of the page.

For the Incubator in Anchorage, Alaska, 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 impacts of the Incubator are still resounding with me and I feel committed to continuing to learn more and taking action however I can.
— Cathy Nosaty, 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


SONALI MCDERMID is Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at New York University. She holds a Ph.D. (2011), and M. Phil. (2011) and an M.A. (2009) from the Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University, specializing in Atmospheric Science and Climatology. She holds a B.A. in Physics from NYU (2006). Sonali’s research focuses on understanding interactions between climate change and variability, land-use, and agriculture, with an eye towards identifying and quantifying important feedbacks and uncertainties. She has recently undertaken a number of climate-agroecosystem assessments to quantify the impact of agriculture on global and regional environments, and how climate variability and change impacts food security and livelihoods. Her work strives to identify and contextualize the role of environmental preservation in food and nutrition security, particularly in the South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Previously, Sonali was a NASA Post-Doctoral researcher at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City. Her work has appeared in Climate Dynamics, Paleoceanography, Global Change Biology, and Anthropocene, and she presents annually at major conferences and scientific meetings.



SPENCER MEROLLA studied religion as an undergraduate and in graduate school and embarked on a career in academia before returning to her first love, visual art. Her work with various affectively charged materials (human hair, funeral clothing, coal ash, and found photographs) deals with persistence and oblivion and the tenuous connections between object and memory, the living and the dead. Merolla has shown across the US and in London, most recently at Artpoetica and at ChaShaMa as part of ReImagine NYC. In 2018 she was artist-in-residence at the Bard Graduate Center Library in New York City. Her work has been featured in Hyperallergic, The Jealous Curator, and The Creators Project, and her writing appears in “Modern Loss” (2018, Harper Wave). She lives and works in Brooklyn.


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.



NILDA MESA teaches sustainability planning and content at the urban and global scale, incorporating design and creative techniques with policy planning and research on urban systems, public health and economic inclusion. She is the Director of the Urban Sustainability and Equity Planning Program with Columbia University's Center for Sustainable Urban Development (CSUD) in the Earth Institute. She is also a visiting professor at the Paris School of International Affairs at SciencesPo, and a visiting scholar at their Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Public Policies of Sciences Po (LIEPP). She has a long career in environment, energy and sustainability at the city, state, national and global levels, and now writes and presents extensively on the subjects of sustainable development and the UN SDGs, climate, energy, equity, resiliency and urban systems relating to them. She is a member of the Board of Directors of United Therapeutics (NASDAQ: UTHR), as well as several non-profit organizations. 



Choreographer, movement educator, and arts advocate JOANNA MENDL SHAW is the Artistic Director of The Equus Projects, a company dedicated to bringing the arts into public spaces, often bringing humans and equines into shared landscapes. Equus dancers are all trained in Natural Horsemanship. Shaw’s exploration of interspecies performance has led her to develop a Physical Listening practice and choreographic strategies that focus on nurturing multi-sensory awareness which informs and deepens both verbal and non-verbal communication, supports effective teamwork and leadership. Equus conducts multi-phase creation and teaching projects in communities throughout the States. Shaw is the recipient of two NEA Choreographic Fellowships and multiple National Endowment for the Arts grants for ther multi-year Pullman Project, an immersive community-based work being developed for the historic Pullman District in far south Chicago. Shaw has taught on faculty at NYU/Tisch, Juilliard, Ailey, Marymount, Princeton and Montclair State and been a guest artist at over 30 colleges and universities. Shaw is a certified Laban Analyst.



TANASIA SWIFT works at the Billion Oyster Project as their Community Reefs Manager. She currently manages the relationships with local partners and schools, lead field events for the community groups, and assists with BOP’s goal to restore oyster reefs to New York Harbor through education initiatives. Tanasia is a Brooklyn Native. Her love for New York Harbor was sparked at a young age while fishing with her father. She attended the New York Harbor School, a maritime public high school, now located on Governors Island. She continued her studies at Stony Brook University where she majored in Environmental Studies. Tanasia’s current career goals include pushing citizen science initiatives throughout New York City and engaging the youth in local restoration efforts.



TALI WEINBERG is a multidisciplinary artist whose current research traces the entangled relationships between climate change, extractive industry, illness, and displacement. In her “Woven Climate Datascapes” she weaves climate data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) into abstracted landscapes and waterscapes, materializing the data with plant-derived fibers and dyes and petrochemical-derived medical tubing. Her work is held in public and private collections and is exhibited internationally, including at the Berkeley Art Museum, University of Colorado Art Museum, Center for Craft, Philbrook Museum of Art, and Zhejiang Art Museum. Her research is supported by multiple grants and residencies: a three-year Tulsa Artist Fellowship, a Serenbe Fiber-Focus Fellowship, a Windgate Fellowship to Vermont Studio Center, a Collins Foundation-funded residency at Oregon College of Art and Craft, a Lia Cook Jacquard Residency, and Caldera, among others. Weinberg has taught at California College of the Arts (CCA), Headlands Center for the Arts, Penland School of Craft, and New York’s Textile Arts Center and lectures throughout the US. She holds an MFA from CCA and an MA and BA from New York University.



EVE MOSHER is an artist, interventionist and playworker-in-training, living and working in New York City. Her works use investigations of the landscape as starting points for audience exploration of urban issues. Her public works raise issues on the environment, public/private space use, history of place, cultural and social issues and our understanding of the urban ecosystem. Her work has been profiled in international media including the The New Yorker, New York Times, ARTnews, American Scientist, L’uomo Vogue, and Le Monde. Her public and community artworks have received grants from New York State Council on the Arts and New York Department of Cultural Affairs, both through the Brooklyn Arts Council, and The City Parks Foundation. Collaborative works with Heidi Quante (Creative Catalysts) have received support from The Kresge Foundation, The Compton Foundation, The Whitman Foundation, and Invoking the Pause. She has a serious interest in urban ecologies and sustainable development.