We are a growing movement of individuals and organisations involved in arts and culture who are declaring a climate and ecological emergency. This means truth-telling, care-taking, and change-making

performance still
Culture Declares Emergency launch event, April 2019.

Our Vision, Mission and Values

Context statement 

Culture Declares Climate And Ecological Emergency was founded in 2019 in the United Kingdom, and our collective imagination now includes arts, design, crafts and heritage practitioners and organisations worldwide.

We acknowledge the historic responsibility of our movement’s nation of origin for the extractive, colonial systems that have led to grievous global injustice and inequality in the causes and impacts of climate and ecological breakdown.

[we invite international hubs and allied declarers and organisations to consider and insert their context statement]


We declare that the Earth’s life-supporting systems are in collapse, threatening biodiversity and human societies everywhere.

Alive to the beauty of our planet, we unite to challenge the dominant global power structures that fail to protect us as they disregard scientific consensus, silence marginalised voices and perpetuate ecocide.

As Declarers, we take action to harness the power of arts and culture to express heartfelt truths and address deep-rooted injustices, to care for and create adaptive, resilient and joyful communities, and to influence the urgent and necessary transformation of harmful global systems.

Our Vision, Mission and Values


That the cultural sector is a leading contributor to the transformation of social and economic systems to create a regenerative world in which biodiverse life is protected and the livelihoods of people are sustained with equality.


To support and mobilise a global movement of declarers in the cultural sector to take action and inspire others.


Our values are underpinned by truth-telling, care-taking, and change-making.

We welcome all allies in collective action. 

  • Declarers commit to telling truths by 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 be driven by justice and honour the perspectives of those most affected. 
  • Declarers commit to taking care in all we do to eliminate 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. 
  • Declarers commit to transforming harmful systems and, in doing so, value the diversity of all lived experiences and cultural perspectives, including those of more-than-human beings. Our change-making strategies and actions must draw on indigenous wisdom and biodiverse living systems.

Declare now

Our story so far


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
  • Made a joint statement to Arts Council England on their 2020-30 draft strategy
  • Joined forces with other cultural declaration initiatives to grow a ‘movement of movements’.


  • 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.



  • 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, working in collaboration with the wide Alliance of Declarers.
  • Made a joint statement on COP27 in Egypt.


  • Began an impact assessment of the four years of Culture Declares, supported by the Gulbenkian Foundation.
  • Sent a jointly authored Earth Day call to action to DCMS, April 2023
  • Began a programme of Cultural Assemblies for run through 2023 – 2024 – including at the Southbank Centre and online, in September. More assemblies are planned for 2024 and the call to run local Assemblies is still open.
  • More Hubs created internationally

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 Victoria Burns, Movement 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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