Arts + Climate Innovation: The Role of the Arts

Where: Whangarei Quarry Gardens
When: FREE event, Monday, 12th November, 5.00 – 8.30pm
Register via Eventbrite:

Two of NZ’s top climate scientists Prof James Renwick (Victoria University) and Dr Craig Stevens (NIWA) will join Sarah Meads, Founder of Track Zero, and prominent local Tai Tokerau artists: painter and sculptor, BJ Natanahira (Te Aupouri, Te Rarawa); graphic designer Emma McLean; award winning artist and director Dan Mace (Ngaiterangi, Ngati Maru ki Hauraki), and artist and textile designer Rona Ngahuia Osborne – to discuss the role of the arts as a powerful agent to inspire climate action.

A free public event, the Arts + Climate Innovation Roadshow is organised by Track Zero in partnership with the Royal Society Te Apārangi; travelling to 10 locations around NZ, hosted by major art organisations, like the Auckland Museum, Christchurch Art Gallery and WORD Christchurch.

Event organiser and Track Zero Founder, Sarah Meads, says, “you’ll learn the very latest climate science, be inspired by creative art projects and explore ways more creative projects and collaborations can happen, at scale, with support, working with the power of the arts to inspire climate action and innovation – the biggest cultural challenge of our time.”

 Arts + Climate Innovation – Whangārei will be co-hosted by Creative Northland and Reconnecting Northland and will be a uniquely Tai Tokerau experience.

Reconnecting Northland is New Zealand’s first connectivity-based conservation initiative, taking whole landscape approaches to tackling environmental, social and cultural issues.  “We’re pioneering a new culture of communities building their own responses to environmental challenges, and this cultural change is at the heart of what both art and science do. This event will be an important showcase of our work in Northland.”  says Eamon Nathan, Pou Manatū of Reconnecting Northland. “Climate change will affect all of us – connectivity conservation is a direct response to climate change. When it comes to a project this big, art and science are equals in creating the action and responses we need.”

Creative Northland is Northland’s regional arts organisation mandated to develop and grow the arts and cultural sector within the Northland region, and has a responsibility to use artform to address controversial issues. Hinurewa te Hau , General Manager of Creative Northland says: “The power of transformative change lies in the hands of the creative community. As the climate changes we need the arts even more to help us process what’s going on and help us cope with our collective challenges – both economic and ecological crises.

“Te Tai Tokerau has to find solutions to climate change, we need to act fast and innovate, and at the heart of innovation lies creativity.  As artists, we seek to find connection between seemingly disparate elements: science, social issues, indigenous knowledge, politics, creativity to weave all those elements back together and find the story that underpins all of it.”

The evening at the stunning Whangarei Quarry Gardens will feature outdoor art installations, live performance and the latest in climate science and connectivity conservation.

We live in an increasingly hot, hungry and less equal world in which human-made climate impacts are disproportionately affecting those most vulnerable. Scientists tell us we have a critical window – less than a decade – in which to act to prevent climate events that may be beyond our capacity to adapt, affecting civilisation as we know it. Our response needs to start now, be ambitious and creative, to get us on track to a net zero carbon future – shaping the future we want.

Come and learn about the very latest climate science and be inspired by connectivity conservation and creative projects that help us to understand and care about our planet.

Registration is essential via Eventbrite:

For all media enquiries please contact: Sarah Meads, Track Zero on 021 113 8858


About Track Zero

A new creative enterprise and charity – Track Zero – aims to deliver platforms, working with creative practitioners (co-creating with scientists and other sectors), to inspire transformative climate change action.  Our work covers: supporting artistic expression, including new work, events, forums and festivals; new collaborations between artists and science, think tanks, progressive business, government and communities; arts embedded in climate and social research, and; applied research. The Arts + Climate Innovation Roadshow is our first project, travelling to 10 locations around NZ.

About Creative Northland

Creative Northland is mandated to develop the arts and cultural sector within the Northland region, translating creative ideas into innovative products and services.  Creative Northland inspires creative endeavour through artistic projects, touring opportunities, education and specialised resources to develop and sustain our creative communities’ artistic practice all over Tai Tokerau.  Their journey is to foster contemporary and innovative regional cultural practice and act as a catalyst for advocating, connecting, empowering and supporting the creative community… Starting with a cup of tea!

About Reconnecting Northland

The leading connectivity conservation organisation in New Zealand – Reconnecting Northland – is pioneering a connectivity based approach to whole ecosystem health.  Reconnecting Northland’s purpose is to bring about transformational ecological and social change for Northland. Reconnecting Northland seeks to enable a sustainable mutual interdependence based on a healthy natural environment which provides regenerative and meaningful livelihoods for its human inhabitants.

For more details on the Arts + Climate Innovation Roadshow, visit Track Zero , find images and video from earlier events here:  Facebook  and visit Eventbrite

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