In 2016, staff of the GRC observed that the arts and culture sector in Boston had not yet been formally organized around climate change issues, yet its members are integral to the fabric and character of Boston and share many of the same characteristics and needs as the other sectors that the GRC had organized. Like hospitals and universities, museums, theaters, concert halls and sports arenas need help preparing for the climate of the future (wetter, saltier, hotter) — especially those with collections and buildings — and they need strategies for transitioning to carbon-free energy use in the coming years. Moreover, because of their unique “line of business,” the cultural institutions have much to contribute in terms of communication, outreach, thought-provoking programming, and the ability to reach people in non-technical ways and through alternative neural pathways. These institutions have the potential to influence our perceptions of shared challenges, expand our understanding of complex issues, and reach very large audiences.
Following a series of organizational meetings and numerous individual interviews with cultural institution leaders over the course of 2017-2018, the GRC began 2019 with some thirty-five member institutions as part of its newly launched Cultural Institutions Working Group. The Working Group’s activities are spearheaded by two Task Forces: Energy & Resilience and Programming & Communications, each composed of approximately twenty self-selected representatives from the member organizations.« go to library