Sustainable Fashion Shines at Smithsonian Craft2Wear Show

Fashionistas take note: sustainable dressing is becoming increasingly easier as pioneering craft artists design ever more stunning styles from which to choose. The Smithsonian Craft2Wear Show (Oct. 5 – 7, 2017) at the National Building Museum, Washington D.C. highlights six such master craft artists. Collectively, their carbon-conscious creations can take you from the corporate boardroom to the avant-garde gallery opening in effortless elegance.

The artists’ focus on sustainability begins with their choice of raw materials and extends through production. Some reclaim – and refashion – discarded materials. Janice Kissinger repurposes vintage saris: “Each five meters of silk has had one life already in India. I acquire them torn, stained and well-loved. To me, they carry a story and, as I work with each piece, I imagine the woman who wore it and the woman who will wear it in its new form.”

 

Annette Lynn Frye
Annette Lynn Frye
Amy Nguyen
Amy Nguyen

 

Holly Anne Mitchell
Holly Anne Mitchell

 

 Eva Camacho-Sanchez
Eva Camacho-Sanchez
Janice Kissinger
Janice Kissinger
Heidi Paul
Heidi Paul

Heidi Paul redesigns reclaimed cashmere, merino, alpaca and silk. “The reason why the article of clothing was discarded,” she explains, “becomes part of the design process – either by including it, working around it, or leaving it out all together. I rework each piece via addition and subtraction to create original, contemporary, one-of-a-kind wearables.”

Holly Anne Mitchell makes sustainable jewelry, treating newspaper as a precious gem: “I love the color and many textural patterns. My goal is for people to see beauty in the common materials they often use and discard without a second thought. I truly believe the ordinary can be extraordinary.”

Other artists shape garments from natural renewable materials (such as wool, silk, and linen), minimizing energy and water use and waste. Working in slow fashion, Amy Nguyen relies on age-old craft techniques: “I consciously source dyes, use low-water immersion techniques and use every scrap of fiber in zero-waste/pieced garments.” Eva Camacho-Sanchez uses “100% natural and biodegradable materials, primarily wool and silk, which are locally sourced and colored with natural dyes – with an emphasis on low-impact creative processes, like reduced water consumption.”

Annette Lynn Frye makes felt “by hand using scant amounts of energy from the grid. I use the waste from looms that produce silk for saris. The fabric I create is so labor intensive there is virtually no waste.”

Kissinger adds: “The tools of my craft are old towels, recycled shopping bags and elbow grease. I use significantly less water by using a ph-balanced soap in order to eliminate excess rinsing and I rarely employ dyes. In addition, I recycle water throughout several stages of my process, which is atypical in the production of textiles.” Both Kissinger and Nguyen further reduce their carbon footprint by working and living in the same space.

“We are proud to partner with the Smithsonian Women’s Committee to showcase these artistic innovators,” said Honoring the Future Director Fran Dubrowski.  “They inspire us to dress with planetary health in mind – and they offer creative, sophisticated ways to do so.” To see more of their artwork, visit the show at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. N.W. (Judiciary Square metro station). Proceeds from the show support education, research and conservation grants to Smithsonian programs and museums.

Honoring the Future Salutes Contributing Climate Artist Diane Burko

Walton Arts Center Exhibition Features A Decade of Her Work

“I want my art to be more than a painting/photograph to be appreciated – I want it to be used as a tool for social change and environmental policy,” says Philadelphia-based artist Diane Burko. “I want to bring attention to the urgent issues of climate change.”

Burko may be getting her wish. From now to September 30, 2017, the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas is presenting her solo exhibition: Glacial Shifts/ Changing Perspectives: Bearing Witness to Climate Change.  The exhibition features highlights from a decade of Burko’s painting and photography on how climate change impacts the world’s glaciers.

 

 

The exhibition has drawn high praise for Burko’s artistic prowess. Her work “sent shivers down my spine first because of its beauty, and then, like thunder, because of its reality,” wrote Fran Alexander in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette. “The irony in all of that cold is that Burko has brought us glaciers so we can see and feel heat….[T]here is nothing permanent about [these landscapes].”

Burko understands that people are initially drawn to exhibitions of her art by its beauty. But once there, they respond to its visual power, creating opportunities for deeper conversation. “Viewers might be more likely to listen if the artist is walking through the exhibit saying ‘the reason I did this is that I went there and saw this fascinating glacier and let me tell you more’,” she observes. “It’s my way to help educate.”

Education motivates, and is an essential component of, Burko’s art, so the Walton exhibition highlights contemporaneous educational events on climate change – at the public library, the nearby Crystal Bridges art museum, and Arkansas University, among other venues. A hard cover exhibition catalog, which includes reproductions of 40 of her pieces, also extends Burko’s reach beyond the gallery walls.

The exhibition is a fitting capstone to an artistic journey that began with Burko’s trip to Alaska in 1999, followed by expeditions to Iceland (2002 and 2015), the Ny-Ålesund international research center in Svalbard, Norway (2013), Antarctica (2013 and 2015), Greenland (2014), Patagonia, Argentina (2015), and New Zealand’s southern alps (2017). In each location, Burko worked alongside climate scientists – sometimes even hanging out of helicopters to get a better view of glacial landscapes as a reference for her art. “To persuade or educate, art has to be grounded in science and fact,” she recognizes. “I want to introduce those facts visually because pictures can speak louder than words.”

Burko’s painting and photography has been featured in over 100 exhibitions in museums, universities and commercial art galleries throughout the country. Now Burko is eager to take on a new challenge: a multimedia artistic collaboration to chronicle the impacts of climate change on the 9 coral reef systems in America’s National Parks. “The irony of ironies is that I don’t even swim, so it’s kind of crazy,” she notes. But undeterred, she adds: “Check our new site for a preview of what’s to come.”

Newseum Selects VR Film About Climate Change Among Best New Videos

The Newseum selected Let’s Explore, Honoring the Future’s 360° virtual reality film about climate change, for inclusion in its “Top Ten Virtual Reality Videos of the Month” exhibition. The film is on view in the virtual reality kiosks of the Newseum’s Interactive Newsroom from now until mid-September, 2017. It is also available for free online viewing here on a smartphone, laptop, desktop, or, for a more immersive experience, through inexpensive headsets. (See: How to Use 360°).

The film enables viewers to accompany scientists — virtually — to the far corners of the globe, underneath glaciers and atop coral reefs, to see how scientists gather evidence that climate is changing.

 

 

“360 degree video puts a person in the middle of a community or an environment that is being threatened by climate change,” said Mitch Gelman, Chief Technology Officer for the Newseum. “Once you have been there, it becomes easier to grasp the potential map-shifting power of nature unleashed by these forces. There is no better media through which to tell this story – and this film does it exceptionally well.”

Honoring the Future hopes to encourage educators to use the film as a teaching tool in science, technology, engineering, art, language arts and policy classes. “Less than 7 minutes in length, the film is ideal for classroom or group use,” explained Fran Dubrowski, Director of Honoring the Future. “It can stimulate interest in climate science, create a vehicle to explore effective storytelling, and spark discussion of whether new technology can enhance communication or inspire new art forms. Book groups and civic or cultural organizations can also use the film to initiate discussions of climate change.”

“Viewers can also shape the future direction of virtual reality filmmaking,” added Dubrowski, “by sharing their reactions to the film on an accompanying online survey.” Honoring the Future plans to use the survey to produce a series of 360° virtual reality films to spur interest in, and action on, climate change.

Honoring the Future produced the film in partnership with videographer Steve Johnson, a pioneer in exploring how this new technology can explain complex stories through immersive experiences. Johnson filmed the first 360° film on the effects of climate change on Iceland’s glaciers for The Weather Channel in 2016 and has led more than a dozen trainings on the new technology at U.S. universities.

Historic Baltimore Church Hosts Honoring the Future’s Climate Art & Action Exhibition

Exclamations of “Wow!,” “Super!,” and “This is really neat!” resounded as the congregants of St. Ignatius Church, Baltimore, MD, filed into the parish’s Reeves Gallery after Sunday services.  Honoring the Future’s Climate Art and Action exhibition is on display in the gallery from June 25, 2017 until August 27, 2017. The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, features photographs of artwork by eight nationally recognized artists – Maya Lin, Gary Braasch, Nancy Cohen, Xavier Cortada, Lee Goodwin, Peter Handler, Alexis Rockman, and Eric Serritella – along with interpretative signage and educational material on “What You Can Do” to address climate change.

 

 

Historic St. Ignatius Church opened its doors in 1856 to serve a cross-section of the city’s population. The parish then was nearly equally divided between immigrants and native-born residents, collectively representing some of the city’s wealthiest and poorest residents. Today, St. Ignatius continues to reflect the city’s diversity, counting itself enriched by African-American, Filipino, Korean, Chinese, African, Latino, and white members.

St. Ignatius Church has interwoven its ministry with the arts since its inception: paintings by Constantino Brumidi, also known for his work in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol, grace the historic building’s walls. Today, the church sits in the midst of – and encourages parishioner interaction with – the city’s Cultural District, which includes the Walters Art Museum, Contemporary Museum, and several prestigious arts schools. The church’s Reese Gallery is home to a rotating roster of contemporary art exhibitions hosted by Artist and Resident Curator David Cunningham.

“We are delighted to partner with St. Ignatius and its diverse community,” said Honoring the Future Director Fran Dubrowski.  “The parish’s historic devotion to the arts and active social justice ministry make it an ideal venue to explore how faith-based institutions can contribute to innovative climate education, planning and action.”

The Reeves Gallery is open Saturdays from 11:45 am – 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm and Sundays 7:45 am – 12:00 noon. Arrangements to visit the gallery at other times may be made with the parish office by phone 410-727-3848 or by email: parish@st-ignatius.net.

Honoring the Future Releases 360° Virtual Reality Film About Climate Change

Honoring the Future released a 360° virtual reality film about climate change, available for free online. The film, Let’s Explore, enables viewers to accompany scientists — virtually — to the far corners of the globe to see how scientists gather evidence that our climate is changing. Footage takes viewers to some of the world’s most beautiful locations – underneath glaciers, atop coral reefs, and beneath California’s towering redwood trees – to explore climate change impacts and solutions.

Less than 7 minutes in length, the film is ideal for classes in science, technology, engineering, art, and language arts. It can stimulate interest in climate science, create a vehicle to explore the essential elements of effective storytelling, and spark discussion of whether this new technology can enhance communication or inspire new art forms. Similarly, book groups and civic or cultural organizations can use the film to initiate discussions of climate change.

The film is viewable on a smartphone, laptop, desktop, or, for a more immersive experience, through inexpensive headsets. (See: How to Use 360°).  An accompanying online survey lets viewers shape the future of virtual reality filmmaking by sharing their reactions to the film.  Honoring the Future plans to use the survey results to produce a series of 360° virtual reality films to spur interest in, and action on, climate change.

 

 

“360° film can be a potent climate communication tool,” explained Fran Dubrowski, Director of Honoring the Future.  “It offers the promise of travel – virtually – to another locale. Simply by controlling the viewing angle, we can place ourselves in the story and actively bear witness to climate science gathering. And, as viewers critique the film, identifying the critical information the public needs to know and how best to convey this, viewers become climate storytellers and educators themselves.”

Honoring the Future produced the film in partnership with videographer Steve Johnson, who is a pioneer in exploring how this new technology can explain complex stories through immersive experiences. Johnson filmed the first 360° film on the effects of climate change on Iceland’s glaciers for The Weather Channel in 2016. He has led more than a dozen trainings at U.S. universities and produced more than 30 short films for editorial, non-profit and foundation clients.

“Early studies show viewers become more engaged with, and feel more need to act on, issues seen through 360° film,” he reported. “And demand is soaring! Viewers bought over 10 million headsets in the U.S. alone and posted 25 million photos and 1 million videos on Facebook using 360° film.”

Dubrowski added: “Now – while there is widespread interest in this novel technology, a dearth of available content, and a compelling need to focus Americans on the urgent need for action – is the ideal time to offer climate change 360° films to the American public.”

Furniture Artist Wins Honoring the Future® Sustainability Award at Smithsonian Craft Show

Prize Recognizes Artist’s Work on Climate Change

A Michigan furniture artist, Bill Perkins, won the “Honoring the Future® Sustainability Award” presented at the prestigious 2017 Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington, DC. The national award, which comes with a $1,000 prize, recognizes an artist whose work educates the public about climate change or inspires or models a sustainable response to climate change.

The winning artist creates sustainably made traditional bent willow and applied bark furniture in the style of the upper Great Lakes. “Environmentally, my work is about as low-impact as furniture gets,” says Perkins.

 Skirt rocker by Bill Perkins. © Perkins, 2017. Courtesy of the artist.

Skirt rocker by Bill Perkins. © Perkins, 2017. Courtesy of the artist.

 

The frames of Perkins’ rocking chairs are maple saplings, hand-sawed after a hard frost so the roots will re-sprout in the spring. Willow for seats is hand-clipped from plants that grow back to be clipped again, many times over. Table legs are made from discarded Christmas trees. Birchbark insets in tabletops come from fallen trees. All of the wood is used green, not kiln-dried, saving energy.

“I like the idea of bringing trees inside the house and shaping them into beautiful and functional objects, without losing the character and identity of the materials,” Perkins explains. “I like to use unprocessed materials in my work and harness the immediacy of a shoot of willow. From my first rickety plant stands to the pieces I make now, each piece of willow I trim and bend, each piece of maple or bark has taught me something new.”

Side table by Bill Perkins. © Perkins, 2017. Courtesy of the artist.
Side table by Bill Perkins. © Perkins, 2017. Courtesy of the artist.

 

Lloyd Herman, founding director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery, judged the entries and praised the surprising structural strength of Perkins’ creations. Other examples of Perkins’ work can be found at the Sleeping Bar Twig Furniture gallery.

Twenty-one artists from 14 states vied for the award; several besides Perkins earned recognition for exceptional artistry. Jennifer Zurick from Berea, Kentucky won the Bronze Award for her basketry – also made from willow trees. Zurick says: “The trees are becoming harder to find. Their habitat is susceptible to changes in Earth’s climate that alter the flow of water and the migration of disease and insects. I hope that a person holding one of my baskets might consider its dependency upon a stable natural environment.”

From left to right: Basket by Jennifer Zurick; Tapestry by Wence & Sandra Martinez. Courtesy of the artists.
From left to right: Basket by Jennifer Zurick; Tapestry by Wence & Sandra Martinez. Courtesy of the artists.

 

Wence & Sandra Martinez from Jacksonport, WI won the Bronze Exhibitors’ Award for contemporary tapestry that evokes the spirit of ancient times.  Hand-woven on treadle floor looms in hand-spun Oaxacan wool, their creations use un-dyed or naturally dyed colors and primitive drawings to dramatic effect.

The Sustainability Award is the result of a partnership between Honoring the Future and the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.  The Smithsonian Women’s Committee is a volunteer grant making organization; it produces the Smithsonian Craft Show to raise funds for grants to support education, outreach and research at the Institution’s 19 museums and galleries, 9 research facilities, 20 libraries, and the National Zoo.

Twenty-One Artists Vie for Honoring the Future® Sustainability Award at Smithsonian Craft Show

Prize Recognizes Artist’s Work on Climate Change

Twenty-one artists from 14 States applied for the “Honoring the Future® Sustainability Award,” which will be presented at preview night April 26, prior to the April 27 opening of the 2017 Smithsonian Craft Show. This is only the third time in the Show’s history such an award is being offered.

The award, which comes with a $1,000 prize, recognizes an artist whose work educates the public about climate change or inspires or models a sustainable response to climate change. Lloyd Herman, founding director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery, will serve as judge.

“This award recognizes pioneering artists,” says Fran Dubrowski, Director of Honoring the Future. “They point the way to a more sustainable future by focusing attention on climate change and offering innovative solutions.”

See images below.

Amy Faust Green Peekaboo Pin 2017
Amy Faust Green Peekaboo Pin
Mary Ennes Davis Waters_Zapp 2017
Mary Ennes Davis – repurposed materials
Melissa Greene – threatened or endangered animals
Melissa Greene – threatened or endangered animals
Amy Nguyen – natural renewable fibers, zero waste production
Amy Nguyen – natural renewable fibers, zero waste production
Dianne Nordt – natural materials and dyes
Dianne Nordt – natural materials and dyes
Christina Goodman – jewelry about threatened or extinct animals
Christina Goodman – jewelry about threatened or extinct animals
Jennifer Ivory – humanity’s dependence on insects
Jennifer Ivory – humanity’s dependence on insects
Phil Feinberg & Linda Corbet, Rockin One Knives - repurposed wood
Phil Feinberg & Linda Corbet, Rockin One Knives – repurposed wood
Lucrezia Beerli theme: balance in nature
Lucrezia Bieler – theme: balance in nature
Paula Shalan – “slow pots” from local clay and recycled fuel
Paula Shalan – “slow pots” from local clay and recycled fuel
Wence & Sandra Martinez – natural & undyed fibers, sustainable production process
Wence & Sandra Martinez – natural & undyed fibers, sustainable production process
Yelena Synkova – scrap wood, theme: threatened urban areas
Yelena Synkova – scrap wood, theme: threatened urban areas
Christopher Wagner – reclaimed wood; theme: our relationship with animals
Christopher Wagner – reclaimed wood; theme: our relationship with animals
Marianne Hunter – endangered animals and ecosystems
Marianne Hunter – endangered animals and ecosystems
Jennifer Zurick - theme: vulnerability and beauty of willow trees
Jennifer Zurick – theme: vulnerability and beauty of willow trees
Cecilia Frittelli and Richard Lockwood – sustainable fibers, zero waste studio
Cecilia Frittelli and Richard Lockwood – sustainable fibers, zero waste studio
Marne Ryan – scrap and recycled metal
Marne Ryan – scrap and recycled metal
Myung Urso – jewelry about threatened coral reefs
Myung Urso – jewelry about threatened coral reefs
Mary Jackson – sustainable sweetgrass basketry
Mary Jackson – sustainable sweetgrass basketry
Bill Perkins – sustainable furniture production
Bill Perkins – sustainable furniture production
Janice Kissinger – repurposed silk, sustainable fibers & production process
Janice Kissinger – repurposed silk, sustainable fibers & production process

Media requests for permission to reprint these images can be obtained at press@honoringthefuture.org.

Collectively, the 21 artists address sustainability through choice of raw materials, production processes, and artistic themes.  Many begin with repurposed materials, sustainable fibers, nontoxic dyes, and responsibly sourced wood.  They value energy and water conservation and aim for zero waste. They draw attention to endangered species, struggling coral reefs, fragile parks, and battered coastlines. They highlight the interdependence of human, plant, and animal species. And significantly, they tackle emotions: what moves us? restores humanity’s  balance with nature? fosters optimism?

The Sustainability Award is the result of a partnership between Honoring the Future and the Smithsonian Women’s Committee. The Smithsonian Women’s Committee produces the Smithsonian Craft Show to generate funds for grants to support education, outreach and research at the Institution’s 19 museums and galleries, nine research facilities, 20 libraries, and the National Zoo.

Widely regarded as the most prestigious juried show and sale of American fine craft, the Smithsonian Craft Show is in its 35th year.  It will be held April 27˗30 at the National Building Museum, 401 F St., NW (Judiciary Square metro station) in Washington, D.C.  The 2017 show will feature the work of 121 artists, chosen from a pool of over 1,000 applicants. All of the chosen artists were invited to apply for the Sustainability Award.

Photographer Showcases An Endangered Landscape: the U.S. Chesapeake Bay

Landscape photographer Lee Goodwin’s solo photography exhibition, Chesapeake Bay – Endangered Landscapes, will be on view at Quiet Waters Park (in the Visitors Center’s Garden Gallery) in Annapolis, Maryland from April 5 through May 21, 2017.

The exhibition focuses on the places where land and water meet along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States. Home to more than 17 million people and 3,600 species of plants and animals, the Chesapeake stretches across 6 states (Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York) and Washington, DC.

Low-lying land and proximity to water make the Chesapeake region attractive – and vulnerable.  Goodwin warns: “The Chesapeake Bay is on the front line of climate change. The combination of rising sea levels and subsiding land means that the landscape we see today may not be there for our children, or even for ourselves in the coming decades.”

Goodwin explains: “Scientists predict that sea levels will rise one to three feet by 2060, and flooding will worsen in the interim. At the same time, many national leaders deny the existence of the problem, and refuse to take the difficult steps to mitigate its effects. This exhibition is an effort to show what we have to lose if we do not work harder to address climate change.”

An earlier photograph from this series appeared in Honoring the Future’s Climate Art & Action exhibition at George Mason University, Manassas, Virginia; other photographs from the exhibition are on permanent display in the Maryland House of Delegates Environment and Transportation Committee Hearing Room in Annapolis.

Gallery hours at Quite Waters Park are: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  There will be an opening reception on Sunday, April 9, 2017 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm. (The usual fee to enter Quiet Waters Park is waived during the opening).

Honoring the Future Selected to Receive Net Impact NYC Support

Honoring the Future was one of 20 nonprofit organizations chosen through a competitive application process to receive support from Net Impact, NYC in spring 2017.

Net Impact is an international network dedicated to connecting professional volunteers with deserving nonprofit clients and social enterprises to share knowledge and achieve sustainable social and environmental change. The network hosts 308 chapters, spanning every continent except Antarctica.  The New York City (NYC) chapter alone has 2,300 professional members.  Net Impact NYC operates a Service Corps through which teams of passionate, skilled professionals complete actionable 12-week pro bono consulting projects to address specific business or organizational needs of selected clients.

“NYC’s Service Corps witnessed a record number of applicants for this round of Service Corps projects, so we were delighted to be selected,” said Honoring the Future Director Fran Dubrowski.  “Their help will enable us to maximize the number of people we reach through new climate education projects we are now developing.” The new projects include a short, 360° virtual reality film showcasing climate science exploration, a program to encourage urban preschoolers and lower elementary school students to re-connect with nature, and a blog highlighting the human impacts of climate change.

The multi-disciplinary team assigned to Honoring the Future includes energy engineer Andrea Mengual, environmental engineer Alyssa Watt, communications expert Jacqui Allen, educator Joseida Rosario, and sustainability management and business operations expert Matthew Kalick.  They are scheduled to complete their work in May, 2017.

Churches Take Action on Pope Francis’ Environmental Message

Eleven churches, straddling the East Coast from Maine to North Carolina, recently shared ideas with Honoring the Future for successful parish initiatives to implement Pope Francis’ environmental message, Laudato Si’: On the Care of Our Common Home. The churches’ ideas were compiled in an online report for ready sharing with other faith-based communities.

Collectively, the churches are a microcosm of America, encompassing inner cities, suburbs, and college campuses. They range in size from St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, which serves 500 families in Woodstock, MD, to Holy Trinity, serving 3,500 families throughout metropolitan Washington, DC. Some churches date to America’s earliest days – Old St. Joseph’s, Philadelphia, founded in 1733, was colonial America’s first urban Catholic church. Holy Trinity was requisitioned for use as a Civil War military hospital.

Many of the churches witnessed transportation, immigration, and social change transform their communities. St. Aedans formed to meet the needs of Jersey City trolley workers. Sts. Mary and Joseph’s Salem, NH farming community exploded in size with the 1950s growth of the interstate highway system. Old St. Joseph’s saw suburban flight decimate Philadelphia – and urban renewal rebirth a vibrant, growing, diverse community. St. Therese in Mooresville, NC now finds 10% of its parishioners speak Spanish as their primary language. St. Ignatius in downtown Baltimore counts itself enriched by African-American, Filipino, Korean, Chinese, African, and Latino members. Parishioners at St. Francis Xavier in New York City represent a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds, members of the LGBT community and a growing number of young families. St. Peters welcomes both the native and newly settled in burgeoning Charlotte, NC.

All of the churches are served by Jesuits – members, like Pope Francis, of the Catholic Church’s largest male religious order. The order is widely known for its role as educators – administering well-regarded colleges, universities and high schools – and its commitment to social justice.

Each of the churches viewed Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical as a call to action. They shared tangible examples of how they had integrated the Pope’s environmental message into ministry to provide inspiration and a starting point for other faith communities.

Their ideas attest to their resourcefulness. Beside homilies and prayers, churches used lectures, bulletins, websites, social media, discussion groups, book clubs, and workshops to educate parishioners. Topics included eco-spirituality, environmental justice, energy efficiency, and carbon footprint reduction.

Arts initiatives abounded. At St. Ignatius, Boston, students wrote commitments to protect the environment on colorful strips of paper; the gathered strips formed a beautiful “earth ball” prominently displayed near the altar. Then-pastor, Fr. Bob VerEecke, SJ, and Assistant Paul Melley composed a song (“Laudato Si’, Praise Be”).

Holy Trinity sponsored a film on the impact of climate change and an Honoring the Future panel, Climate SmART: Honoring Our Children’s Future Through Faith, Art & Action. The program featured dialog and a reception with artists whose work addresses climate change. Sts. Mary and Joseph’s banner called attention to a homily series on “acquisitiveness.”

Churches greened their own operations with energy efficient renovations, recycling programs, reusable water bottle fountains, and fair trade/sustainable coffee. They reconnected urbanites to nature with gardening programs, including support for a garden, managed by the homeless, to feed 60-70 needy individuals.

Churches also called attention to food waste with a “simple supper,” sponsored “No Meat Fridays,” cleaned a local stream, and advocated climate action to government leaders.  They collaborated with neighboring parishes, interfaith organizations, and nonprofit organizations. They identified useful online resources and, through their regional province, created a series of 10 online “Reflections” on the encyclical.

Honoring the Future produced the parish survey report in partnership with Kate Tromble, Holy Trinity Pastoral Associate for Social Justice. Fr. Edward Quinnan, SJ, and Nicholas Napolitano – Assistants, respectively, for Pastoral and Social Ministries in the Maryland and USA Northeast Jesuit Provinces – convened the group of participating parishes and provided guidance and support in preparing the report.



Mags Harries and Lajos Héder,
SunFlowers – An Electric Garden (detail)
Courtesy of the artists. More


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