Environmental sustainability in the arts is a challenge for theatre makers.
In response to the theatre sector’s concerns about the impact of their practice on the environment and in an effort to provide support for reducing the environmental footprint of a production’s season – the Australia Council has developed an innovative Greenie-in-Residence pilot program.
The program was sparked from discussions at the Australian Theatre Forum in 2011, and has been developed with support from the City of Melbourne . The aim of the program is to provide a number of Melbourne based artists and organisations with the skills to integrate sustainability measures into their practices.
The program will be facilitated by a sustainability expert, the ‘Greenie’, Matt Wicking. Matt has over 10 years’ experience in the area – having worked for organisations and programs like VicSuper and Monash Sustainability Institute ’s award-winning Green Steps Education Program .
Matt is ready to teach the foundations of sustainability, whatever the knowledge level.
‘You don’t have to prove your experience or knowledge about sustainability, we’ll cover that through the program. We just want to know you’ve got your organisation’s backing and the passion to make change.’
The pilot program will hold six workshops over 12 months, each drawing on the knowledge of the ‘Greenie’ and the group through discussions and activities. The workshops will focus on everything from measurement and reporting, developing sustainability plans, material use, recycling, equipment and ways to effectively engage staff members to make environmental changes.
Each workshop will be followed by a public forum that will be an opportunity for a broader audience to join the conversation and learn new skills.
It is hoped that the program will lead to the development of a number case studies and materials to inform the broader theatre sector.
The program, which is managed by Arts House , is now calling for expressions of interest for the 2014 program.