HABITAT: Exploring Climate Change Through the Arts

516 ARTS in Albuquerque, NM, is organizing a collaborative season of public programming in the fall of 2015 that explores climate change through the arts to create a platform for education and dialogue. The public programs for HABITAT: Exploring Climate Change Through the Arts will include: a series of exhibitions at 516 ARTS; the popular Downtown Block Party; special events with guest speakers; film screenings; and youth programs.

Climate change is an urgent issue of both global and local concern. The Southwest can be considered one of the most “climate-challenged” regions of North America, with rising annual temperature averages, declining water supplies, and reduced agricultural yields. In New Mexico we’ve already seen destabilized and unpredictable weather patterns, water sources going dry, forests not recovering from fire, loss of urban trees, and crop failures. Public programs for HABITAT strive to raise awareness about these issues by taking an innovative approach to engaging with social and environmental change, and by bringing the community together to focus on sustainability.

516 ARTS will present a series of speakers to address the issues around climate change from both the science and art perspectives.  Speakers include renowned artist Mel Chin, who is currently working on a project about developing a solar economy in the Western Sahara (September 10, 5:30pm, presented in partnership with UNM College of Fine Arts); and Ruben Arvizu who, together with Jean-Michel Cousteau, was named Ambassador of the Global Cities Covenant on Climate and serves as Director for Latin America with the Cousteau Society (November 12, 5:30pm, presented in partnership with the National Hispanic Cultural Center).

Visit 516 ARTS website for the entire program: 516 ARTS | HABITAT


Read our 2012 blog post about Chasing Ice, with a preview of the film. 

This project is extremely timely with the international events happening in Paris this December, in which artists are playing a big role:



HABITAT has been accepted to be featured as part of artcop21 and will go up on their website soon, to be listed among events around the globe that they have solicited and screened. This fall is a very exciting time for people coming together from all over the world to learn and take positive action together.


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