The 2019 Artists & Climate Change Incubator

The dates for our 2019 Incubator will be announced in the spring. Come back then or sign up for our monthly newsletter.

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

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 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.


2018 Guest Speakers

Below are the guest speakers who participated in the 2018 Incubator. Speakers for the 2019 Incubator will be announced in the spring.


SARAH CAMERON SUNDE is an interdisciplinary artist and director working at the intersection of performance, video, and public art. Her ongoing series, 36.5 /A Durational Performance with the Sea, has been performed/exhibited in Maine, Mexico, San Francisco, the Netherlands (with TAAK, Satellietgroep, Oude Kerk, de Appel), and Bangladesh (with Britto Arts Trust). Another site-specific series, Across an Empty Lot: a temporary memorial to the empty space projected video on a six-story building in Sugar Hill, Harlem throughout summer 2016. She was the Deputy Artistic Director of New Georges from 2001-2017, Co-Artistic Director of Oslo Elsewhere from 2004-2010, Lead-Artist of an interdisciplinary live art cohort, Lydian Junction from 2011-2014, and she recently instigated/co-founded Works on Water, an artist-led triennial and organization dedicated to working on/in/with the water. She holds a B.A. in Theater from UCLA and M.F.A. in Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice from City College of New York, CUNY.


UNA CHAUDHURI is Collegiate Professor and Professor of English, Drama, and Environmental Studies at New York University. A pioneer in the field of “eco-theatre”— plays and performances that engage with the subjects of ecology and environment—as well as the inter-disciplinary field of Animal Studies, in 2014 she published books in both these fields: Animal Acts: Performing Species Today (co-edited with Holly Hughes) and The Ecocide Project: Research Theatre and Climate Change (co-authored with Shonni Enelow). Her monograph, The Stage Lives of Animals: Zooësis and Performance, was published in 2017 by Routledge Press. Chaudhuri participates in collaborative creative projects, including the multi-platform intervention entitled Dear Climate, which has been presented in New York, Santa Barbara, Troy, Dublin, Abu Dhabi, and the Netherlands. She is a founding member of the artist collective CLIMATE LENS.


MODESTO FLAKO JIMENEZ is a Dominican-born, Bushwick-raised theater maker, producer, and educator. HOLA Best Ensemble Award Winner for 2015. ATI Best Actor Award Winner for 2016. HOLA Outstanding Solo Performer for 2017, NY Times and Wall Street Journal profiled. Flako is best known for original productions and three signature festivals – Ghetto Hors D’Oeuvres, One Catches Light, and Oye! Avant Garde Night! – produced with his company Oye Group. Flako has appeared on TEDxBushwick, Early Shaker Spirituals (Wooster Group), Last Night At The Palladium (Bushwick Starr/3LD), Yoleros (Bushwick Starr/IATI theater), Conversations Pt.1: How To Make It Black In America (JACK), Take Me Home (3LD/ Incubator Arts Project), Richard Maxwell’s Samara (Soho Rep.), Kaneza Schaal Jack & (BAM). Modesto received the 2016 Princess Grace Award Honorarium in Theater. In 2018 he became the first Dominican-American Lead Artist in The Public Theater Under The Radar Festival with his show Oye For My Dear Brooklyn.


JAMES LEONARD is a visual artist with a background in complex systems theory. His work is driven by an emotional connection to planet across multiple scales of time. He spent two-and-a-half years traveling the American Northeast with a hand-sewn, sacred space, giving climate change Tarot readings. Before that, in a three week performance, he carved a boat out from under himself in response to record arctic ice melts. He has issued his own series of warbonds. And he once proposed a public garden in which signals from distant pulsars comingle audibly with terrestrial wind chimes in real time. Currently, he splits his time in Brooklyn gilding nonbiodegradable trash while also transforming a brownstone building into affordable-yet-dignified, urban, tiny housing.


JOANNA MENDL SHAW has been choreographing performance works for stages, for rural and urban landscapes since the 1980’s. Founder and Artistic Director of The Equus Projects, Shaw has toured her company throughout the States and Europe gaining international recognition for site-specific performance works that often bring dancers and horses into shared landscapes. The Equus Projects has created commissioned works in 18 States and Europe, including the multi-year, Pullman Project, an immersive community based work in the historic Pullman District in south Chicago. Shaw has taught on faculty at NYU/Tisch, The Juilliard School, Ailey BFA Program, Marymount, Princeton, Mount Holyoke and Montclair State. The recipient of two NEA Choreographic Fellowships and a 2017 NEA for Interdisciplinary Performance, Shaw’s work is funded by the Rockefeller Harkness, Jerome Robbins, O’Donnell-Greene and Oppenheimer Foundations and the Foundation, National Performance Network.


For the last 5 years, curator YASMINE OSTENDORF (MA) has been undertaking research across Asia and Europe on artists proposing alternative ways of living and working – ways that ultimately shape more balanced, sustainable and resilient societies. She has extensively worked on international cultural mobility programmes and on the topic of art and environment, having worked for expert organisations such as Julie’s Bicycle (UK), Cape Farewell (UK) and Trans Artists (NL). She runs the Green Art Lab Alliance, a network of 35 cultural organisations in Europe and Asia that explores, questions, and addresses our social and environmental responsibility, and she is the author of the series of guides “Creative Responses to  Sustainability,” published by the Asia-Europe Foundation.  From March 2017, she will be establishing the Thijsse Lab at the Van Eyck Academy; a nature-research lab for artists named after a famous Maastricht ecologist.


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.


Since 2009, photographer JOAN SULLIVAN has focused exclusively on climate change solutions. She is convinced that the inevitable transition to a 100% clean energy economy will happen faster – and within our lifetimes – by creating positive cultural visions and stories that help us visualize what a sustainable post-carbon world will look like. Joan takes inspiration from planetary futurist Alex Steffen, who said “we can’t build what we can’t imagine.” In Joan’s case, she has found her niche on the construction sites of some of the largest wind and solar installations in North America, where she documents the men and women who are literally building our clean energy economy.  A documentary film about Joan’s commitment to promoting positive solutions to climate change was produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in 2014. Her new love is aerial drone photography. A photo book is slowly taking shape…


BRANWEN WILLIAMS is an Associate Professor of Environmental Science at the Claremont Colleges. Her work seeks to document and understand recent changes in our oceans and climate, with the goal to better project our environmental future. She received a PhD in Geological Sciences at the Ohio State University, a MSc in Biology at the University of Quebec, and a BSc in Marine/Freshwater Biology at the University of Guelph. Branwen has spent extensive time in the field, including oceanographic cruises with submersible exploration and shore-based SCUBA diving from the tropics to the poles. Her science research is published in the journals Science, Nature Communications, and Geophysical Research Letters. She is a National Geographic Explorer, and her work is funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Maine Sea Grant program.