Lead artist, in collaboration with MAPC’s Public Health and Arts and Culture Team. Project Manager, Jeanette Pantoja, Public Health Planner
In Schools of Thought on Climate Change, I worked with various stakeholders to share stories about people’s views on climate change and about actions people are taking in their workplaces and community to prevent, prepare for, and adapt to climate impacts. I created a pop-up art installation that shared perspectives of workers across farming, construction, fishing, and home healthcare about the role of climate change in their industry. I was part of a team facilitated by Jeanette Pantoja, a Public Health Planner at MAPC. The team also included Environmental planners, Arts and Culture Planners, and Hortense Gerardo, the Artist in Residence at the time.
The planners set up the focus groups and recorded the findings, and Hortense and I worked with this material to create work to visually bring people into these stories. We met with farmers at the Harvest New England Conference, and in focus groups organized in partnership with the Associated Builders and Contractors of Massachusetts, local seafood company Red’s Best, and the 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers. Hortense created a film with interviews with some of the people in the focus groups, and I created a sculptural installation of schools of fish made from materials evocative of the different industries, with bubbles above their mouths with key quotes that the planners selected from the focus groups. Viewers could meander around the fish, and read the quotes to gain insights into the workers’ perspectives, learn how climate change impacts their work, and actions they think are necessary to prepare and adapt.
The idea to create schools of fish emerged from conversations with Hortense and Arts and Culture planner Dan Koff. Pop-ups were hosted by the team, and we invited the public to share their stories and weigh in on their biggest concerns. These findings were incorporated into the final report.
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