Crisis: Principles for Just and Creative Responses

From 8-14 March 2020, a cohort of artists, arts administrators, cultural workers and scientists from across the US and Canada gathered at Biosphere 2 in Oracle, Arizona for the inaugural CCL USA intensive program. In the midst of an intimate learning and leadership exchange focused on developing creative responses for a new climate future, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic escalated in the United States and around the world. 

While our climate conversations were interrupted by the immediacy of the coronavirus, we understand that artistic and cultural ways of knowing, collaborating, and imagining are of deep value in all crisis moments. The tools and practices of every artistic discipline offer ways to listen, connect, and create. In crisis, we see more clearly the cumulative effects of systemic oppression and our imbalance with the natural world. These effects disproportionately impact Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, rural, disabled, LGBTQIA, and low-income communities. They lead to further catastrophes, like climate chaos and COVID-19.

Inspired by the Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing, the participants of CCL Arizona offer these principles for crisis, applicable to all scales and types of work, as a guide for responding creatively and justly to whatever may arise.

Core Principles

  1. We are in this together
  2. Reflect. Reframe. Refresh. Reset.
  3. Stay present with the challenge
  4. Ask: what is the just and creative response?

Read the principles in more detail in EnglishSpanish and French.

Tell us how you use them by tagging #ccleaders #creativeresponses, and share where you distributed these principles HERE.