A call to arts!
UNIFYING & AMPLIFYING ART ELEMENTS
for THE PEOPLE’S CLIMATE MARCH for Jobs, Justice and the Climate
This year we are escalating arts in the streets–and we hope you will join; below you will find a call to use common unifying visual elements, and some resources for making powerful art, music and movement for the People’s Climate Marches.
Art is a powerful way that we can make ourselves heard and our stories clear. If you’re not sure what to say in your art for the PCM, take a look at the Circles of Resistance guide for information about how to build a shared story. Then come back to this guide to make it in to art!!
The arts–visual, musical, movement and theater–were a powerful element of the People’s Climate March in NYC in 2014 and the 2017 People’s Climate March for Jobs, Justice and the Climate. The arts have been a central element in organizing for a more just, sustainable and better world.
To win change and protect our communities and our planet all we really have is our voices, our bodies and the things we make with our hands together. How can we most powerfully develop and use our bodies and our voices and the art and images we make with our hands?
Every community marching in DC or across North America on April 29th was encouraged to create and integrate these common visual elements into their contingent and their march, to make the overall march more powerful and to show unity.
We called for common circular forms, parachutes, flags and circle signs, but it’s up to each contingent, community, group or movement to shape the message, image, color/s and story that will be amplified by your art, music and movement. We supported groups with how-to guides, webinars and more.
What will your group look like?
Here are three common visual elements we encourage each contingent to include, while raising up the messages, images and stories of your groups, communities and movements.
CIRCLES: A circle is the shape of the Earth and a strong symbol in many cultures. The shape of the parachute banner, circles can also be used in our flags and signs.
“The circles are in all parts of the work, seen and unseen, telescopic, microscopic, cellular and celestial. Circles are in nature and in human inventions, in spirit and in art, in the mystical power that accompanies all times and all cultures. They represent the cosmos, the cyclical nature of life, the fullness of being, the fundamental source that works both in the sacred symbol and sacred tool, in the sky and in the air”
–Kazuaki Tanahashi, born in Japan in 1933 and active in the United States since 1977, is an artist, writer, and peace and environmental worker.
1) Circular (Parachute) Banner: A banner takes space and visually asserts itself in the vast streets and spaces of DC — or the city where your march is. It can be held and carried horizontally, tipped diagonally for group photos, contribute to great visibility, used for energizing games, and maybe a bit of sun or rain protection.
How-to make parachute banners: HERE
2) Big Flags Big, tall flags are visible from a distance, take vertical space and powerfully assert our presence. Flags that move in the wind or when we move them also give energy and movement to a march. How to make “Crossbar” Flags HERE
3) Circle Signs Make your signs in the shape of a circle, or if rectangular include a large circle element. How to make round cardboard sunflowers (HERE).
Choose a Color/s Choosing a common color or two for your contingent can visually unify your contingent and amplify your visual impact.
What will your group sound like?
We are encouraging every contingent to put your creativity, planning and practice into making your contingent sound strong and amplify your messages and story. This could be songs, chants, spoken word and/or having a musical element–drums, sound-makers or a marching band.
How to form a Drum Corps HERE
Climate Justice Songs and Chants: Download MP4 and you tube recordings of songs and chants, along with chantsheets. HERE
How will your group move?
Ideas: coordinated movements, dance, elements of theater, marching in formation (5 wide shoulder to shoulder, linked arms, single file, etc), movement in conjunction with chants, songs, spoken word or music.
WHY ARTS ORGANIZING?
Our arts can tell our story to those who see us or through media, make our actions more powerful, lift spirits and take and hold our public spaces. Art is a good way to involve folks, build momentum and have fun. Sometimes photos or even media coverage of an art build party can help get the world out.
Building these arts elements into your contingent can:
- ENGAGE PEOPLE: It’s a great way to involve people both in the lead up and in the march and related actions.
- BUILD MOMENTUM: Making art, rehearsing songs/chants/music and movement or theater can build excitement, visibility and media–your own or even mainstream.
- BUILD CAPACITY: Being able to create and mobilize the arts is an essential part of any campaign, mobilizations and movement building. We aim to support people learning these skills, building arts teams who can work together to continue with arts organizing after the actions and mobilizations this April.
- TELL OUR STORY: We can use the arts to powerfully tell our stories, raise our visibility and voices, inspire others and each other, and to build a culture and movements of resistance to win stronger communities and a better world.
SIGN-MAKING IMAGES AND TIPS
MORE IMAGES AND TIPS HERE
This image for The People’s Climate March was made by San Francisco based artist Mona Caron. Her murals, stop-motion painting animations, and illustrations can be seen at monacaron.com, and examples of her other work with social movements around the world can be seen at monacaron.com/artivism
These images are for NON-PROFIT, NON-COMMERCIAL use only.
Download color or black and white from Dropbox HERE
MORE IMAGES AND TIPS HERE