Just as companies all over the country started returning to studios to prepare for their first live seasons since 2019, Artists Climate Collective (ACC) released its first digital release on August 31st; a film entitled Art to Action which is available for viewing online through September 28th.
Art to Action is a truly international endeavor by artists across the U.S. and Canada and includes five dance productions and one spoken word piece that were filmed in Atlanta, Columbus, New York, San Francisco, and Winnipeg.
Artists Climate Collective and Art to Action caught my eye because of what they represent, a project that seeks to bring a group of artists together to connect on the topic of the climate. Unlike other pandemic-era digital releases, this one was commissioned by ACC to raise awareness of and financial support for climate change.
Three professional ballet dancers – Keaton Leier, Madeline Bez, and Charlotte Nash founded ACC in 2020. Art to Action, which was released less than a year later, features the choreography of Philippe Jacques, Leiland Charles, Emma Rubinowitz, and Darian Kane and the poetry of Shahamat Uddin. Dancers include members of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Aspirant Program, BalletMet, ABT, San Francisco Ballet, and Atlanta Ballet.
The speed with which these three founders have been able to cultivate their ideas, secure the support of these artists, and produce Art to Action is impressive and is a testament to the power and relatability of ACC’s message. The release is also impressive because it is successful as much because of what it does not say as because of what it says.
The artists that collaborated on Art to Action have challenged the viewer to consider how choices today may create a world where future generations lose their access to nature and their ancestral lands and how our personal desires and ambitions are also proving to be self-destructive.
While it could have been tempting to make the message bigger than the medium, the artists used restraint in their storytelling. The resulting production is elegant and accessible and features some of the most beautiful videography and composition that I have seen in any digital release this year.
After screening Art to Action, I had an opportunity to sit down virtually with ACC’s three founders for a conversation about their creation.