Friday, December 19, 2008


We propose the creation of a National Green Arts Corps. The major goal of the NGAC will be to create a program that employs artists to work with community centers, businesses, and Green Job Training Centers’ projects. In this way, artists can contribute, along with other sectors of the society, to developing long-range solutions to our nation’s aesthetic, environmental and economic development.

This is a proposal to establish a National Green Arts Corps to provide neighborhoods and community-based artists with the resources, training and skills to use the arts to help communities express identity, build community life and create green jobs. As we put America back to work, rebuilding the nation's infrastructure, artists have a great deal to contribute to the design, building and animation of community projects. For example, artists can help to design and animate elements of community infrastructures such as parks, plazas and public buildings; offer classes and workshops; collaboratively create works of public art; and assist in the development of green businesses where the products to be marketed are those of their own creativity.

A block grant process would enable communities to adapt the program to local needs and resources. In each community, the methods employed to develop these projects would be participatory and transparent, providing employment for numerous artists. Each community could create opportunities for funding and training individual artists, members of small ensembles and organizations, as well as working through larger public and private cultural agencies. As artists partner with green job training centers, each participating community would create a industry that is unique to its bioregion, employing local potters, painters, dancers, musicians and others who are part of the creative economy.

The arts bring jobs and creativity to our communities, they also bring a host of skills that foster innovation, exploration and sustainable development. Artists are natural problem solvers, thinking in terms of systems, and exploration. We seek to create visually stimulating and environmentally sustainable projects that can be enjoyed by future generations and serve as sources of education and inspiration for the greening of America.

Conservation initiatives combined with green technologies such as solar panels, water harvesting, growing food, composting, recycling and waste reduction has been demonstrated to save money. When we add an artistic element to this thinking, a greater aesthetic and interactive outcome is achieved. The eco-village of Gaviotis, Colombia and the Village of Arts and Humanities in Philadelphia are two examples of how creative green development can create jobs, inspire innovation, build and sustain social networks and economic clusters.

"Seeds for Life Sunflower Project"
Housed on an organic farm in southern Arizona