Climate Change is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. For the ten arts organisations making up the Imagine 2020 – Art and Climate Change network, 2020 is a realistic date to work towards for making changes necessary to stabilise the climate and secure a sustainable future.

“Artists of every kind have one overriding moral duty, which is to do their work as well as possible. But since that work partly consists of responding to what the world itself is up to, it would be strange if the best work being produced didn’t take some account, in some way, of what’s happening to our climate. Art is not only about beauty: sometimes it has to warn.” Philip Pullman, novelist

What role can the cultural sector play in the necessary transition process, to drastically reduce carbon emissions, to mitigate climate change and increase resilience to the effects of peak oil? Artists traditionally confront issues of such societal importance head on and often act as a catalyst for societal change. Art, as Philip Pullman puts it, is about beauty, but sometimes it has to warn.

Can it do both? And more?
These are questions for the Imagine 2020 network members. We share a sense of responsibility to rise to the challenge and want to use our passion, expertise, and connections within the art world and beyond to engage the European cultural sector and use its creative potential to raise awareness, involving the general public both as audience and as participants.

Art should provide a physical and imaginary space where people can take a step back, away from the corporate, the commercial and the educational, to exchange and engage with each other. It can address and involve more targeted audiences, such as young people, in playful yet serious ways. And above all it can create a positive energy and momentum for change through a sense of common purpose and hope.

The Imagine 2020 network will also research new ways of producing and presenting exciting artworks with minimal environmental impact, and share its learning in order to get the European cultural sector as a whole to include climate change concerns in their everyday working practice.


The network spreads across nine European countries and brings together ten diverse, highly motivated and experienced cultural institutions:

Kaaitheater, Brussels, Belgium as the project leader
Artsadmin, London, Uk
Bunker, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Domino, Zagreb, Croatia
Kampnagel, Hamburg, Germany
Le Quai, Angers, France
LIFT, London, UK
New Theatre Institute of Latvia, Riga, Latvia
Rotterdamse Schouwburg, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Transforma, Torres Vedras, Portugal