About

We are a growing movement of individuals and organisations involved in arts and cultural who are declaring a climate and ecological emergency. This means telling the truth, taking action and seeking justice.

performance still
Culture Declares Emergency launch event, April 2019.

Our Vision, Mission and Values

Vision

That the cultural sector is a leading contributor in creating a regenerative future that protects the planet and sustains everyone, everywhere. 

Mission

To grow, support and mobilise a movement of declarers in the UK cultural sector, and inspire and work with others internationally. 

Values

Our values are underpinned by truth-telling, action-taking and justice-seeking.

We declare that the Earth’s life-supporting systems are in imminent jeopardy, threatening human civilisation and the biodiversity it depends upon 

  • We believe that science needs to be acted on urgently and towards far-reaching systemic change if we are to turn from the path we are on. 
  • Culture connects, inspires and determines our values, frames and behaviours; therefore, a transformation of society has to be pioneered by cultural generators. 
  • Every organisation and individual from any field within or outside the cultural sector has responsibility as a cultural generator. We welcome all allies.  
  • We commit to understanding and communicating how the Earth crisis has arisen from historic and deeply rooted injustices, the impacts of this on human and biodiverse communities, and how transformative solutions must honour the  perspectives of those affected. 
  • We commit to eliminating all forms of oppression from all aspects of our work and seek to create an environment where we dismantle attitudes and biases that  hinder positive relationships and progress in our work. 
  • We value the diversity of all lived experiences and cultural perspectives. We recognise that our strategies and actions must draw on the wisdom of everyone.

Declare now

Our story so far

2019

When we launched in April 2019, we were the first professional declaration movement, inspired by local governments who were declaring emergency. Our call to action has been taken up by many sectors including Music Declares, Architects Declare, Health Declares, Heritage Declares, Business Declares, Tourism Declares – and others, with whom we collaborate on leveraging change. Read our joint statement.

  • March 2019, planning meetings including Bridget McKenzie, Ruth Ben-Tovim, Lucy Neal, Kay Michael, Ackroyd & Harvey, Kelly Hill, Julian Maynard Smith, Claire MacDonald, Tamsin Omond, Will Skeaping, Shelley Castle and others.
  • April 3rd, we launched with a procession in London, with artistic direction by Ackroyd & Harvey, Lucy Neal and others.
  • April – June, open call to write Letters to the Earth
  • April 15th – 25th, some joined the XR Spring Uprising
  • July 8th, hundreds filled the Roundhouse in Camden for an Assembly supported by Complicité and the Gulbenkian Foundation UK
  • September 27th, Rally of the Imagination, Trafalgar Square
  • November, Festival of Change, part of Museums Association conference
  • November, ‘Letters to the Earth, Writing to a Planet in Crisis‘ published by HarperCollins
  • Joined forces with other cultural declaration initiatives to grow a ‘movement of movements’.

2020

  • We evolved a new strategy and structure and held meetings with large organisations and influencers.
  • The number of declarers reached over 1400.
  • We reflected on crisis as a response to the pandemic. See our statement on Covid-19 and the emergency.
  • We held regular online gatherings in The Offer.
  • We launched #CultureTakesAction and supported the Climate & Ecological Emergency Bill.
  • Culture Declares and Letters to the Earth nominated for Best Campaign, Julie’s Bicycle Creative Green Awards.
  • Supported by Climate 2025, we consolidated our structure.

2021

  • Local hubs continued to form.
  • Online actions and events continued through lockdown.
  • Communications strategy applied.
  • Letters to the Earth mobilised businesses and delivered 100s of letters to COP26 in Glasgow.

2022

  • This new website, designed by Bullet Creative
  • Strategic facilitation of new hubs to grow our distributed model, including a range of creative initiatives, actions and Letters to the Earth workshops.
  • Exploring the roots of the intersecting emergencies to develop a global dialogue on the role of culture.

See our archived news and press releases for more about this history, and our campaign statements.

If you aren’t in the Arts & Culture sector, but would like to learn more or get involved, have a look here.

If you would like to partner with us, support us or write about us, you can email the National Coordinator at culturedeclares@gmail.com

crowd waving banners at a protest

Why declare?

The earth is in crisis. This is a climate and ecological emergency.
artwork in woodland spelling To Be Heard

Why culture?

Why do arts and culture have such power to generate change?

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