Green Art Lab Alliance (GALA)
The Green Art Lab Alliance (GALA) is a Europe-wide partnership of eighteen cultural organisations dedicated to promoting environmental sustainability and exploring how that can be achieved in practical, ethical and artistic ways across arts and cultural communities throughout Europe.
The project, which ran from March 2013 to May 2015, aimed to:
- Establish a European-wide network of individuals and organisations working across the creative and cultural sector and environmental sustainability.
- Engage the European creative and cultural sector in promoting environmental sustainability through the work it produces and the way it operates.
- Explore the role of artists and arts organisations in creating a sustainable Europe.
- Enrich public understanding of sustainability through provocative artistic works and debate.
- Increase/enhance the exchange of views and practices of sustainability between artists and institutional bodies in the cultural and creative and cultural sectors.
Through practical workshops, artist labs, events and commissioned artwork, partners investigated the challenges and opportunities that environmental sustainability implies for the practice of artists and art institutions.
The GALA activity funded by the EU Culture Programme has now ended, though partners remain in touch and in some instances are continuing to collaborate on this theme.
See below for ways to connect and engage with the outcomes and community built throughout the project.
Reflections on the GALA Project: Independent Evaluation
GALA commissioned Judith Staines, freelance writer, researcher, editor and project manager based in the UK and specialising in European cultural cooperation, Asia-Europe arts and culture and international mobility, to do an external evaluation of/reflection on the GALA project. All project partners, including Julie's Bicycle, contributed.
The evaluation analyses the GALA project, the learning process and challenges, the outcomes, results, the good practices and options for the future. It outlines a vision for how the arts can relate to sustainability and how the GALA project dealt with the challenges of building up a sustainable knowledge alliance.
The report not only looks back at the achievements of the GALA project, but also includes recommendations for future projects and policymakers. It's useful for anyone interested in further engagement with the subject and can serve as a tool for future collaboration projects.
Carbon Footprint Report
With environmental best practice integral to the aims of the project, we committed to quantify and transparently share the environmental impacts of the project.
Due to the amount of travel involved with pan-European projects of this scale, and the difficulty for some partners to collect data on impacts such as energy, water and waste, the report focuses mainly on the touring impacts of accommodation and travel (estimated to constitute the majority of the project's environmental impact) and the travel of partners taking part in the project workshops.
The carbon emissions associated with the project were measured and monitored using the Julie's Bicycle IG Tools.
In addition to the carbon emissions analysis the report makes recommendations for future projects like GALA to reduce their impacts during the planning and delivery phases.
Julie's Bicycle facilitated seven practical workshops in Madrid, Berlin, Glasgow, Prague, Tbilisi, Warsaw and Ljubljana with various cultural stakeholders, from artists and arts organisations to policymakers and funding bodies.
The workshops were designed to share guidance, resources and case studies of environmental best practice and stimulate discussion about what was already happening and what environmental actions and interventions were possible locally.
GALA Funding Guide
The Green Art Lab Alliance (GALA) funding guide is the first inventory of public and private, international, European, national, regional and local funds, calls, residencies and initiatives that support arts and culture projects on environmental sustainability.
Coordinated by On the Move, supported by COAL and edited by Julie's Bicycle, the guide aims to help artists and cultural professionals access funding to experiment, develop best practice, and create artwork that engages the public with issues relating to environmental sustainability and climate change.
The guide was compiled by partners of the GALA project and is a legacy of the work and research carried out - we hope it will stimulate the development of further projects and future collaborative activities linked to sustainability and the arts.
The GALA website is a fantastic window into the artistic presentations and works, labs, events and workshops that took place, and a physical archive of the artworks associated with the project is being compiled by project partner Translocal, based in Hungary.
> Visit www.greenartlaballiance.eu to explore.
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