As ground zero of the automotive economy, Los Angeles has a unique contribution to make in devising better ways to live, and VisionLA Climate Action Arts invites the L.A. arts community to get involved in this vitally important project. By engaging the local, national and international dialogues on climate change, imagining creative responses, devising effective communications and building momentum for change, artists and storytellers have a crucial role to play in shaping a better future.
VisionLA ’15 Festival
VisionLA was founded to produce a multidisciplinary festival of “climate action,” or environmentally-themed arts, timed to coincide U.N. Paris Climate Agreement meeting in December, 2015. The festival was intended to express support for a strong international climate treaty and positive, sustainable change in Los Angeles and worldwide. Starting at the grassroots with an all-volunteer staff and little funding, the outpouring of interest from the arts community was remarkable, with over 80 shows and community events from multiple disciplines (visual art, theater, music, dance, performance art, educational panels and direct actions) presented across LA county over the 10-day event. The Festival was a great experiment in coalition building, connecting climate-concerned art makers, art lovers, justice activists, community organizations, venues, businesses and government to help educate, engage and inspire public support for a fossil-free future. For more on the festival, please see our projects archive and press archive (coming soon).
VisionLA Climate Action Arts
Building on the momentum of our groundbreaking first venture, VisionLA’s new and ongoing programs will further develop our mission of climate action and positive culture change through arts engagement. Our Art Makes Change program continues to support the presentation of thematically-related artwork in all disciplines by connecting artists with venues, collaborators, education, creative development and promotion. Our Arts for Direct Action program invites the L.A. culture community to get more involved in political justice through our partnership with activist groups like SoCal 350 Climate Action. Our Creative Climate Communication (C3) program explores new climate action and sustainability narratives and other communication strategies through discussions, blogs and workshops. VisionLA also cultivates the holistic systems view and values that underlie a realistic, wise and compassionate climate response, through our collaboration with mindfulness and Dharma education. And our Entertainment Lobby aims to engage the Hollywood culture-making industry in developing entertainment programming that models sustainable change through storytelling. For more on these and other programs, please see our programs page.
The arts and entertainment has an undisputed power to influence cultural values; VisionLA asks why not leverage this influence toward collectively creating a better future that partners us with our living environment rather than pitting us against her? Together we can transform the slow-motion crisis of climate change into an inspiring call to action, and a remarkable opportunity for positive change.
Cheryl Slean (Co-Executive Producer) is a writer, filmmaker, producer and educator exploring the intersection of the arts, sustainability and contemplative practice. Her films have won numerous awards at festivals worldwide, been anthologized and distributed on television and online. Her theater production history in LA goes back 25 years and includes dozens of award-winning shows as actor, writer, director, producer, as well as extensive experience in non-profit arts management. Recent theater work includes two site-specific commissions from Seattle University, and in L.A., site specific performance events in Koreatown and at the L.A. River. She recently co-founded L.A. EcoDharma, an invitation to engage L.A.’s contemplative communities in wise action on environmental issues, and is an active member of SoCal 350 Climate Action.
Guy Zimmerman (Co-Executive Producer). An award-winning writer, director and producer, Zimmerman has served as artistic director of Padua Playwrights since 2001, where he has produced over forty productions of new work. He is currently completing a doctoral degree in Theater and Dramatic Arts in the joint UC Irvine/UC San Diego Phd program, and in 2011 received a graduate certificate in Urban Sustainability at Antioch University. His articles and essays about film, theater, art, science and politics have been published recently in the July 2015 edition of Shakespeare Bulletin, the critical anthology, Architecture in the Anthropocene, Theater Forum, LA Weekly, LA Theater Magazine, the LA Citizen, Cyrano’s Journal, and the arts and culture website Times Quotidian. Zimmerman has also edited an eight-volume anthology series for Padua Press, distributed nationally by TCG.
Board of Advisors
- Jessica Aldridge, Exec. Dir.
Burbank Green Alliance
- Nathan Birnbaum, Administrator
City of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs
- Jack Eidt
Co-Founder, SoCal 350 Climate Action
- Omar Holguin, Founder & Director
La Mancha Gallery
- Cynthia Hubach, Founder
Frogtown Community Garden
- Tim Keating, President
- Hon. Paul Koretz, Council Member
Los Angeles City Council District 5
- Pamela Marcello
Cong. Adam Schiff, 28th Dist.
- Anna Marie Piersimoni
Digital Media Prod. & Marketing
- Scott Saunders
- Rita Valencia
- Aura Vasquez
VP Wilshire Ctr Neigborhood Council
- Geoffry White
Psychologist, activist, artist
- Miranda Wright
L.A. Performance Practice
- Diana Wyenn
Director, Arts Advocate
- Justin Yoffe
Arts Earth Partnership
- Dale Youngman
Visual Arts Curator