Discover more from Arts and Climate Change with Nicole Kelner
A night of painting & meditating about climate change
How creating art in community sparked conversations about the resilient future we want to live in
Last week was both nourishing and chaotic!
It was the first in person climate workshop I’ve led. I co-hosted it with my amazing friend Maia Kiley who is a licensed psychotherapist. The theme was “Dreaming of a Regenerative Future.” We started with Maia guiding us in a beautiful meditation to help us envision what a regenerative future would look, feel, smell, touch, and sound like. Then I led us into the painting portion where we used watercolors to bring to life this image we saw during the meditation. Maia closed the night by facilitating a conversation to help us reflect on the experience. The evening was so magical. It was pouring rain outside and we could hear the sound of the rain on the glass skylight as we painted, it was so cozy and peaceful.
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Seeing a room of folks painting to imagine a future we want to thrive in brought me SO much joy. I had a flashback to when I co-founded an after school program to teach kids how to code. I would have moments where I could just step back and see a room of 10-40 kids immersed in something they loved doing. I’m realizing that helping people enter a flow state is one of my favorite feelings.
The conversation it led to was as beautiful as the art. We often are caught in the eco-anxiety and fear-filled narrative around the climate crisis. This workshop encouraged the opposite narrative, allowing us to speak to possibilities of a regenerated earth we want to live in harmony with.
I definitely want to do more of these in NY. If you ever want to have a workshop for your team, conference, friends, or community feel free to shoot me a note. I can make it happen in person or over Zoom! If you want to reach out to Maia as well, feel free to here.
The biggest surprise of the week was that the Google Sheet called “So you want to work in climate” I shared last Monday went viral again. I’m so happy it is such a useful resource. I’m now slightly overwhelmed with maintaining it 😅. I was getting 20+ requests for edit access per day and Google started giving me a ton of errors. I tested out some options for growing it while keeping it clean, like migrating to Airtable but I really want it to just look like a simple Google Sheet. For now, I added a form for people to submit the info they’d like added and I’m planning to manually update it 1-2x/month. If anyone would like to help with maintaining it lmk, would love an extra set of hands!
✨ On to the section of reflection ✨
Things I’m grateful for:
The Produce Party this weekend! The theme was carrot - some of my favorites were carrot gnocchi, carrot risotto, carrot and carrot yogurt. But the biggest win was tasting this tart baked by one of my favorite Instagram/TikTok food creators- Justine. It was unreal. It was held at Farm to People which is a gorgeous venue.
Doing very little yesterday. On Sundays I try not to leave my apartment until dinner. I find that I do so much all week that if I don’t hibernate one full day, I just am not up for socializing and being as present the rest of the week. I’ve lived in NY on/off for about 5 years and this seems to be one of the key things that makes it sustainable for me to not run away 🙈
Things I’m looking forward to:
Hosting my MCJ climate art workshop tomorrow. The theme is around natural disasters and building a resilient climate future.
Going to Florida in less than 2 weeks with my family! I’m starting to low-key quarantine to stay healthy before the trip. We’re going for 2 weeks and I cannot wait to be on the beach. I’m the happiest near the water and am counting down the days.
Things I’m stressed about:
I’m thinking about how I manage my time and what I want to be prioritizing. Being a full time artist and freelancer is still such new territory for me.
Ways to support me:
📗 Buy my book! It’s a great coffee table book for yourself, your office, or your nerdy climate friend. Also a family favorite now- I’ve been getting several lovely notes about how people are reading it with their kids and I can’t tell you how much it warms my little heart.
👩🏼🎨 Become a paid subscriber here to become a true ✨~patron✨~ of the arts.
🤝If you know of any climate startups, nonprofits, VCs, government orgs, etc that you think might want help with communication through art feel free to connect us!
🎨You know anyone who wants a virtual or in person climate art workshop. I do them for team building, conferences, fun, etc.
🙋♀️ Volunteer to help me maintain the Google Sheet
📱 Forward this to a friend or share on socials.
I’m really grateful to have worked with EvergreenAction on their EPA report card. Take a look to see how the EPA can move further, faster to cut pollution from the power sector! You can view the full report here.
Thanks for reading friends!
This newsletter is made with lots of love and creativity. If you’d like to support more climate art, please consider becoming a free or paid subscriber ❤️