May 18 | 12:00am–5:00pm

Arts + Environmental Justice Symposium


Protection of the planet and the people that inhabit it lies at the heart of the environmental justice movement. This movement prioritizes the disproportionate experience and burden of climate change placed on frontline communities due to the extractive economy that prioritizes profit over people. As climate change increases the risks of widespread disease and unrest, community-driven movements that utilize participatory public art and transformative cultural practices are better able to spread their message and strengthen their impact.

Frontline communities disproportionately impacted by climate change are also those heavily impacted by COVID. During the pandemic, artists and cultural workers have helped keep us safe and distant, connected, hopeful, resilient, and activated; it is during such a strained time that the responsive nature of creative practice and the indispensable role of cultural-workers as care-takers becomes clear.

This annual symposium invites artists, activists, scientists, scholars and governmental officials to engage in discussion and collective imagination at the intersection of environmental justice and participatory public art during a global pandemic. These changemakers will be logging in from Tribal, urban, rural, and suburban communities throughout the nation for this virtual symposium during the week of May 17-21, 2021, during 12:00-5:00 PM EST. Mark your calendars and sign up to make sure to get updates and the full agenda.

The Mural Arts Institute is supported by The JPB Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.