CU Boulder graduate students, in the arts, sciences, humanities and interdisciplinary programs, and artists and arts organizations in Colorado make up the cohort. The program is co-organized by the Office for Outreach and Engagement and Boulder County Arts Alliance (BCAA). ​Questions? Contact Lisa Schwartz, program co-lead at the office or program co-lead Charlotte LaSasso at BCAA.

Visit our cohorts and advisory members page and the workshops and projects page to learn about the cohorts. 

Overview of Program and Activity

Cohort members will become facilitators of interdisciplinary partnerships that impact critical, place-based environmental and social issues related to climate change in Colorado. Social justice and navigating issues of power, status, diversity, equity and inclusion within these partnerships and the communities they will serve, are essential aspects of the program. 

Cohort members will attend monthly virtual workshops via zoom (1x per month) from September 2022 to June 2022. See the sections below for the specifc dates and details. 

In the spring, summer and early fall of 2022 cohort members will develop and facilitate collaborative, team-based, art + science + action projects that utilize a set of Guidelines for Art + Science Partnerships, and other resources, to address interrelated social and environmental community issues connected to climate change in Colorado.

Cohort members:

  • Are eligible to receive up to $1,000 to fund collaborative projects that focus on partnership development and "prototyping" community-engaged work.

  • Receive guidance and mentorship from scientists, artists, community organizations, and other academics and community members on how to turn research and creative work into action.

  • Focus on building partnerships and forging equitable relationships.

  • Facilitate the co-design of collaborative, community-engaged activities and project prototypes that catalyze action on place-based, climate change issues related to their research and/or creative work.

  • Exhibit collaborative work on art/science/action project works and/or documentation of project in a cohort exhibition in fall 2022.

Who should apply?

We are looking for applicants with commitments to: a) becoming part of a community of learners, b) catalyzing action on climate change issues through partnering the arts and sciences with communities and c) addressing issues of power, status and diversity and equity in their work and partnerships.

We are seeking applicants from the following groups:

  • CU Boulder graduate students in the arts, sciences, humanities and interdisciplinary programs (we can accept five to six students).
  • Artists or arts organization staff in Boulder County or who live outside of Boulder County but can demonstrate a professional connection to Boulder County (we can accept five to six artists or arts organization affiliates).
  • Artists and arts organization staff beyond the front range (three to four).

We encourage applicants from black, indigenous, people of color and LGBQTIA communities.

What kind of project will we do and when will we do it?

Art + science + action projects may take many artistic forms, including but not limited to visual, performing, literary, media, inter/trans-disciplinary, and other artworks; learning materials and more. Cohort members are required to facilitate collaboration among scientists, artists and community members so that projects are co-produced among project team members.

Importantly, cohort members will need to actively and equitably engage with community members and a team that includes participation from artists and scientists to address place-based social and environmental issue(s) related to climate change that are relevant to their community partners and participants.

Project plan proposals that will be submitted to the cohort leads and advisory team in April 2022 should address all aspects of the art+science partnership guidelines, however we will focus on the partnership development and “prototyping” phases; we aim to support cohort members in building partnerships and trying out co-designed activities. For example, we have partnerships with groups such as CU Science Discovery where you could test out your work with youth over summer 2022. We acknowledge that the full scope of a project may likely not be completed by September 2022.

Project proposals will describe how the cohort member is facilitating the co-design of creative activities that partner the arts and sciences with communities to spark collective community action on climate change. Action is broadly defined as direct participation in collaborative activities focused on place-based, climate change issues. Activities should engage community members in developing new understandings and avenues for shared activity and connections to individuals and groups that can support further action on the issue addressed in the project.

Art products or documentation of project activities will be exhibited together at local arts venues in the fall of 2022, and on the CU campus (at NEST Studio for the Arts).

For more information please see the example projects section below as well as the workshops and projects page. Note that these examples do not all pertain specifically to climate change; climate change related issues are the focus for 2021–22 cohort projects.

How will we develop partnerships?

Through their participation in the workshop series, each cohort member will collaboratively develop a team of scientists, artists/arts organization leaders, and community members for a project that they will facilitate. CU Boulder graduate students and artists and arts organization leaders from Colorado communities external to the university will attend cohort workshops together. Cohort members will have the opportunity to learn from each other and are encouraged (but not required) to collaborate with each other. In addition, as cohort members develop partnerships outside of the cohort, they will be welcome and encouraged to invite these partners to attend cohort workshops.

Each project group will receive advising and support from our advising team on their community-engaged, Art + Science + Action project work. Our team will also work to help cohort members connect with relevant scientists, artists, community partners and others needed for the project  team.

  • Applicants must be enrolled graduate students at CU Boulder or artists or arts organization leaders in Boulder County and/or Colorado. CU Boulder students must be enrolled for the timeframe of the cohort, e.g. Fall 2021 through Fall 2022. We encourage applicants from black, indigenous, people of color and LGBQTIA communities.
  • Prospective cohort members must either have a community-engaged component of their current work OR be willing to develop one.
  • Prospective cohort members are not required to already know how to connect the arts and sciences to community-engaged work; this is what they will learn in the program.
  • Applicants must commit to:
    • Participating in a cohort who will learn together how to bring art and science, artists and scientists, and university and community members together to address interrelated social and environmental issues related to climate change within communities.
    • Fulfilling all of the requirements of the program.
    • Addressing issues of power, diversity, equity and inclusion in community-engaged scholarship.
    • Receiving mentorship and advising on their work.

NOTE: Students who are not interested in being part of a learning community and who are solely seeking funding for community-engaged scholarship projects should NOT apply, but rather explore other funding opportunities from the Office of Outreach and Engagement and other units.

Workshops

All workshops will be held 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. online via zoom unless otherwise noted

During each workshop, cohort members will define the partners, resources, and processes necessary to be successful in each project stage.

  • Wed. Sept. 22  Cohort orientation and program overview, initial project topics brainstorming
  • Wed. Oct. 13 Addressing diversity, equity, access and inclusion in partnerships
  • Wed. Oct. 27 Exploring a shared point of wonder
  • OPTIONAL Thurs. Nov. 4 Opening celebration for 2020-21 Cohort Art Science Exhibit at Arbor Institute, 1708 13th St, Boulder, CO 80302
    • We'd love to have you join us but understand if you can't!
  • Wed. Nov. 17 Point of wonder part 2: Defining a project and plan
  • Wed. Jan. 19 Orienting to community-engaged art + science partnerships, part 1
  • Wed. Feb. 16  Orienting to community-engaged art + science partnerships, part 2
  • Wed. March 16 Actualizing / prototyping
  • Wed. April 20  Grant writing / project articulation and plans
  • Wed, May 18 Intro to reflection, assessment, iterative design
  • End of May / beginning of June celebration date TBD
  • August Pre-workshop organization meeting TBD
  • Fall 2022 Exhibit and Reflection meeting TBD

Optional attendance:

December - Mid-program celebration date and format TBD (likely zoom)
September-May - Additional workshop opportunities will be shared for those interested in attending 

Monthly Workshop Assignments

“Guided response activities” will be required to address the different stages of art-science guidelines and the final project proposal

The Art + Science + Action cohort program is based on guidelines developed by artists/scientists and program co-leads Patrick Chandler and Emmanuelle Vital. Each workshop session will cover a section of the guidelines for art-science partnerships. Additional resources will be used to complement the guidelines as needed.

During each workshop, cohort members will be responsible for utilizing templates for the guidelines response activity we will share to track progress and build each component of the project plan proposal (that will be submitted to apply for funding). Activity templates will guide cohort members to describe how their group is addressing specific aspects of the art-science guidelines being presented in a particular session. Completing these assignments will necessitate communication among partners (artists, scientists, community members) once collaborative teams have been formed

Project proposals that are submitted to apply for funding will flesh out co-designed activities that partner the arts and sciences to guide shared action among project team members (artists, scientists and community members) to address a community issue related to climate change. By action, we mean that the creative activity is meant to engage community members in developing new avenues for shared activity and connections to individuals and groups that can support further action on this issue addressed in the project.

Program Assignment and Project Deadlines

Response Activity Templates

Due the Wednesday following each monthly meeting. Importantly, this work will feed into the development of each cohort members’  art + science + action partnership community project proposal.

Project Proposal (application for project funding) Deadlines

  • Wed. April 20, 5:00 pm: Rough draft due
  • Wed. May 18, 5:00 pm: Final draft due

Project Completion Deadline (phase indicated in project plan that will be exhibited with the cohort)

Wed. Sept. 1    

Project Advisory Meetings

(45-60 minutes online)

  • October or November 2021        
    • Check-in meeting re: project development and needs
  • Jan, March or April 2022            
    • Check-in meeting re: project development and needs
  • April 2022                
    • Meeting with Program Co-Leads Patrick Chandler and Lisa Schwartz to discuss and get advice as needed on final project before proposal rough draft is due
  • Summer 2022
    • Meeting to discuss project implementation and exhibit preparation     
  • Summer /Fall 2022
    • Exhibit planning  (exact date TBD by cohort)
  • Fall 2022                
    • Gallery exhibit of projects
    • Post-project reflection meeting

For Artist/Arts Organization Applicants (community-wide, non-CU)

Please apply through the Boulder County Arts Alliance application.

Artists and Arts Orgs Apply Now

For CU Graduate Students

Please have the following information ready before you begin the online application. Be sure and complete all sections of the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

CU Graduate Students Apply Now

Section One

  • Personal contact information (email and phone)
  • Contact information (email and phone) for two CU Boulder professors who could serve as references. Indicate your relationship to the professors that you list (advisor, mentor etc.).
  • Program affiliation
  • Your CV (to give us a general idea of your background)
  • Any social media / personal websites.
  • What year you will be in for Fall 2021 for your program and additional progress information including:
    • Preliminary Exam “comps” Defense Date (completed or anticipated)
    • Prospectus Defense Date (completed or anticipated)
    • Dissertation Defense Date (completed or anticipated)
    • Expected graduation date

Section Two

Commitment to attendance for key dates (these dates are critical to the development of this cohort and your eligibility to receive stipends and project funds). Programs are online through August 2022 unless otherwise noted on the program information page.

  • I can attend an orientation on 9/22/21 from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
  • I can attend all of the required workshops (one time per month) with dates listed in the Program Attendance Requirements Fall 2021 through Fall 2022 section, where I will learn how to facilitate art-science partnerships and participate in a community of learners (artists, scientists and more).
  • I can attend all project advisor meetings (times TBD)

Section Three

Research and Interests

  1. For an audience of academics in your field: How would you explain your research to others in your discipline? (max 200 words).
  2. For a public audience: How would you explain your research to a public audience? (max 200 words)
  3. What are your career goals? (max 150 words)
  4. What types of environmental and social issues related to climate change within communities are you interested in addressing? How might your existing skill set, experience and context support this work? Or, what would you like to learn? (max 250 words).
  5. What community/ies are you interested in reaching with your research/work and why? (max 150 words)
  6. What attitude, behavior, policy, or other change are you interested in inspiring through your research or cohort project idea?
  7. Multiple choice: Which best fits your interest for participation in the cohort?
    • I have one or several possible ideas and areas of interest that I want to explore
    • I already have a specific project I'd like to develop further
    • I do not yet have a specific idea, area of interest, or project but am concerned about climate change or related issues and am interested in learning about ways to work in collaboration with others to address challenges
  8. Tell us more about your choice(s) in question 7.
  9. Partners - let us know more about your possible partners (check all that apply)
    • I have community partners with whom I already work
    • I would want/need support in connecting with community partners
    • I have artists or arts organization partners with whom I already work
    • I would want/need support in in connecting with artists or arts organization partners
    • I have scientist partners with whom I already work
    • I would want/need support in connecting with scientist partners
  10. Let us know more about the choice(s) you selected in Question #9 above. If you have specific community partners or artists that you would work with please indicate who they are (including their geographic location). If you selected other options, briefly explain why you made that choice and the types of artists and/or community partners you think you would be interested in working with on a project. (max 200 words).
  11. Why are you interested in this program, what are you most interested in learning, and what are your goals for your participation? (max 200 words)
  12. This program intends to train cohort members as lead facilitators of co-designed projects that partner the arts and sciences with communities for addressing social justice in climate change related environmental and social issues. How do you attend to issues of power and privilege / equity and inclusion in your role as a researcher/organizer? (max 200 words)
  13. What questions do you have for us? Feel free to also contact Lisa Schwartz with questions. (max 200 words)

Projects may take many artistic forms, including but not limited to fine art, performance, music and learning materials as long as they are co-produced between scientists, artists and community members. The examples below are intended to give an idea of the shape and breadth of possible projects.

If you are interested in potentially partnering on “water in Steamboat” or “climate in Boulder”, please view the section, Example Projects and Potential Partners in Colorado.

Example Projects at CU Boulder

Traditionally, people hold disciplines apart from one another; in art class you learn about art, in science you learn about science, and usually one particular type. The Luminous Science Project takes an approach that integrates traditionally distinct topics, such as art, biology and computer science. The luminous science project explores how connecting the disciplines can enhance each of the subjects beyond what they would be individually, creating spaces where broader ways of thinking and learning are valued.

This CU Boulder Laboratory of Playful Computation project began with the creation of a nine-foot prototype lantern and a hydroponic garden. Project facilitators used art and technology to create new representations of scientific phenomena, including a traditional form of Japanese lantern making, Nebuta, used to create dynamic illuminations in the lantern that are indicators of biological, chemical, and/or physical phenomena of a system. The scientist-artist explored the familiar and flexible craft materials used in Nebuta style lanterns, but combined it with networked sensors in the garden to create dynamic illuminations of biochemical phenomena in the plants, such as photosynthesis and transpiration.

Project facilitators have developed resources for K-12 and youth and parents and built luminous science lanterns in workshops with families and teachers in the Denver Metro area. They have also implemented the project across middle and high school classrooms spanning art, computation, and science classes. The research team examines the affordances and challenges of making and using non-traditional representations in the sciences and how new representations, including luminous science lanterns, can be used to teach, communicate, and discuss scientific phenomena through collaborations with K-12 students and educators, and through projects with graduate level scientists in and out of classrooms.

Current teaching practices and lessons do not support embodied participatory learning that enhances retention and understanding. Beth Osnes (CU Boulder, Theatre), Carl Simpson (CU Museum of Natural History), Jim Hakala (CU Museum of Natural History) and Patrick Chandler (CU Boulder Environmental Studies doctoral student) co-produced a “Creative Climate Change Curriculum” with a diverse set of schools in Jefferson County focused on the embodied, theatrical exploration of fossils, energy and climate for fourth and fifth grade students in Colorado.

The curriculum is based on Osne’s play, Shine, a mini-musical performance for youth engagement in resilience planning. It weaves together climate science and artistic expression into a funny and powerful story. Shine spans 300 million years of geological time to convey how humanity, energy, and climate are interrelated. In addition to introducing elementary classroom teachers and students to Shine, the curriculum offers hands-on experiences with real fossils, and enactment of different geologic processes such as dramatizing the death of an ancient plant or animal and the processes that transformed them into a fossil fuel, fossil or soil. It also offers activities on photosynthesis, climate change and geology.

Example Projects and Potential Partners in Colorado

Love Letters to the River is focused on the Yampa River in and around Steamboat Springs, CO. This project is affiliated with Love Letters to the Sea, an international project which uses art and science to promote statewide river protection/restoration and water conservation and to engage communities in Colorado and globally and has presented their work to the UN Climate Action Summit.

This project is seeking participants to research and compile information offering multiple entry points, to develop prompts, to create lesson plans (inspired by lesson plans for Love Letters to the Sea) and co-conduct events virtually within schools or communities. Project activities can include persuasive letter writing, songwriting, poetry, drawing/painting, photography, videography, etc.

The information to be compiled and collaboratively integrated into project activity  includes:

  • Scientific data related to freshwater ecosystems, river and watershed health indicators, and water management in Colorado
  • Current threats related to climate change, agricultural, industrial and municipal activities
  • Policies in place at the local and regional and state level
  • Prompts including actions to take at the individual and community level and decision makers/businesses/corporation to be addressed
  • Resources (water organizations, tier stewardship events, water education curriculums, etc.)

Discussions are beginning to co-create arts and climate change collaborations that would be informed by real-life, real-time City of Boulder climate change goals and data. The purpose of the project is to make climate change and sustainability solutions personal and visceral, moving people emotionally and physically from awareness to action. Data would be used from the City of Boulder Climate Mobilization Action Plan and other sources. This project is led by Marda Kirn, a locally based, nationally focused creative strategist and sustainability specialist. If interested in exploring possibilities for collaboration with this project, please contact Patrick David Chandler.

Example Projects Outside of Colorado

The Fargo Project provides opportunities for local government in Fargo, ND to respond and work with the community and identify needs through a participatory process. With water as the vehicle for connecting people to the land, the approach intentionally activates our collective creative agency. Artists, neighbors, engineers, landscape architects, and ecologists, work together to develop a solution to transform a neighborhood stormwater basin that fits their unique needs as a community.

Seeding the City is a project that utilizes social networking to site urban interventions in the form of green roof modules. Based on the East Coast, it capitalizes on community building to introduce urban environmental issues and remediation tools. The modules and their accompanying flags and street level signage will track the growth of the network throughout the neighborhood. Online resources will include mapping of the project, tools for tracking local urban heat island effect and resources to recreate the project worldwide.

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