The advice in this column although designed for the arts in the US, applies equally to environment and ecology, suggesting the best tactics to influence politicians, policy-makers and public sector decision-makers. It highlights the importance of starting the meeting by establishing:
- the fact that you are a constituent, and that the people you represent are constituents,
- that you are aware of the political and policy priorities,
- the benefits that your organisation or service delivers.
The article goes on to focus on the benefits that matter to public bodies:
- Both arts and ecologies are sources of jobs and economic activity,
- Arts and ecologies represent resources that improve learning and school systems,
- Cutting arts and ecologies will not solve public sector budget problems: they represent tiny fractions of overall budgets.
Finally it recommends a team approach to maximise the impact. This enables the first person to introduce the subject, the second person presents the fact-based evidence. The third person then contributes a human story of the transforming experience that the arts or environments can have.
ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.
It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge Research, Gray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.