Culture Takes Action: Tools for an Emergency Response

What do you do after declaring a climate and ecological emergency to make a difference?

performance still
Culture Declares Emergency launch event, April 2019.

About the toolkit

This toolkit is aimed at practitioners and organisations in the arts, heritage and design sectors. Whether you have declared an emergency, or are considering it, we invite you to work through the stages of this toolkit packed with transformative and holistic inspiration to guide your pathway to action.

Your action plan can express your role in helping the survival of biodiverse and human life on this troubled planet. It can also help the survival of your practice or organisation as the impacts of the emergency are felt. A truthful look at the emergency can make you question and change your current mission and mode of working.

At the heart of this toolkit is the new Blueprint for Change based on three pillars:

  • Truth-telling: Reflect on your responsibility, and then face, understand and communicate the gravity and urgency of the emergency. 
  • Care-taking: Anticipate and prepare for the impacts on your work and on your communities, aiming to be more resilient and adaptive.
  • Change-making: Develop policies and plans to limit and stop harm, directly in your practice and working systemically towards a regenerative future. 
CDE South East Coast Cultural Assembly, 2024 / Photo: Gurnoor Singh

Using the toolkit

This toolkit takes you through a three-stage process to develop a policy and action plan in response to the emergency, that is effective, responsible and appropriate to its urgency and severity. As you work through each stage, we invite you to click on the sections to find tasks, resources and inspiration to support you on your journey.

You can find a supportive community for these tasks in Culture Declares, and in allied groups.

We are all working in a complex and challenging situation, and some have less capacity than others. You might feel the need for expert facilitation to support this process. We offer online or in-person workshops using these tools. Get in touch with us on

work through the Toolkit


Each stage of these four stages offer tasks and resources to help guide you through declaring a Climate and Ecological Emergency, telling your communities, and leading your personal or organisational journey by sharing knowledge and feelings about the emergency.


Our new blueprint for change walks you through the steps to review your practice, your relationships with communities, and your long-term bigger-picture vision. We invite you to involve colleagues and stakeholders in this process.

Each section has guiding tasks and resources, supporting you to plan where to make particular contributions to suit your assets, location, expertise or passions. You will be guided to reflect on each of three pillars of Truth-telling, Care-taking and Change-making, and how they relate to: your practice and organisation, your relationships with communities, and your longer-term and bigger picture.

A table summarises the Culture Declares Framework, working through Truth-telling, Care-Taking and Change-making in Your Practice, Your Community, and the Bigger Picture.


This stage is about reflecting, communicating and documenting your pathway once you are on the way. You might want to share more details of your emergency declaration and plans. Get in touch with our communications coordinator and we can help by amplifying your work:

At a later stage, you can reflect back regularly to explore how you might stretch to other areas of action.

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