Big wins for culture

The British Museum has FINALLY cut ties with BP in a momentous win for culture, and The Birmingham Rep have declared a climate and ecological emergency. What a way to start the month! Here’s celebrating everyone who has joined us as declarers, friends and allies in harnessing the power of culture for change.

British Museum ends BP sponsorship deal after 27 years

Following tireless creative action and resistance over the last decade, fronted exceptionally by our friends over at BP or not BP, The British Museum has ended BP sponsorship of activities and exhibitions, and has confirmed that no new contracts will be put in effect. Culture Unstained, who have given so much support to make this happen, have shared the latest news on this victory and the wider context of The British Museum’s relationship with BP up until now. This is a huge step in the right direction towards fossil-free culture in the UK, joining many other leading institutions in rejecting the social credibility that fossil fuel sponsorships in cultural activities and institutions offer.

Want to learn more about ethical funding, and what actions you can take in your own practice or work space? Check out our resource on cleaning up your funding.

BP or not BP have also put together a video that shows the timeline of activity that led to the end of BP sponsorship in The British Museum, The RSC, Royal Opera House, National Portrait Gallery. Watch it here and share it far and wide!

Birmingham Rep Declares Climate and Ecological Emergency

On Monday 5th June, marking the 50th Anniversary of World Environment Day, the Birmingham Rep has declared climate and ecological emergency with a commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and increasing sustainability.

The Rep’s Executive Producer Chloe Naldrett said: “It is time for artists and for cultural institutions to step up: it is our job to make a better, fairer, cleaner future irresistible. Our Declaration today is not our first step on this journey, but it is one that we are now ready to share with our audiences.”

Their declaration also launches the start of their Climate Action Week, hosting an exciting programme of exploration and discussion with artists, organisations, and audiences featuring:

Letters To The Earth Workshop 5 June

Audiences are invited to join Rep Staff, Trustees, and members of Young Rep in this participatory workshop

Theatre Complicité’s Can I Live? – 7-10 June

A film conceived, written and performed by Fehinti Balogun. This energising and uplifting film is an exploration of the place where the climate emergency and social justice meet, and a call-to-action to anyone who is curious about what we can do to help. Screenings of Can I Live? are preceded by Birmingham artist Salma Zulfiqar’s film Migration Blanket, which was commissioned by Festival 2022. The screenings are followed by a post-show discussion on a different environmental theme every evening.

Our Future Needs You 9 June – a Cultural Assembly event supported by Culture Declares Emergency considering the role of the arts in communicating the Climate & Ecological Emergency and asking what we can do next together. A lively and empowering event about Climate Awareness for artists and arts organisations in the West Midlands. 

The Birmingham Rep team stand outside of their building holding a large blue Culture Declares banner

What a week of wins for culture, just as the season is beginning to transform. We’re energised and looking forward to what more activity the rest of the year will unearth!

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