Arts and Environment

March 16, 2023 by Jaime Sharp

"Adjuntas, Puerto Rico, is celebrating a milestone this week as it completes the final phase in a project to boost its energy resiliency," said Ricardo Arduengo for Grist. "The community’s 17,600 residents now host the archipelago’s first cooperatively managed solar microgrid — a network of photovoltaic panels and battery storage units that will use renewable energy to keep the lights on and power flowing during a power outage."

"The system includes some 700 panels mounted on seven buildings in the town’s central plaza and a battery storage system capable of providing up to 187 kilowatts of power.* The batteries can provide enough off-grid electricity to keep 14 downtown businesses running for up to 10 days, serving as community hubs in case of an extended power outage."

"Business owners and residents will run the microgrid through a nonprofit called the nonprofit Community Solar Energy Association of Adjuntas, which will sell electricity to the commonwealth’s grid through a power purchase agreement. Money saved by not buying power from Puerto Rico’s main power company will support maintaining the microgrid and starting new community projects, according to the Honnold Foundation."

March 8, 2023 by Jaime Sharp

From Gibrán Rivera: Jihan Gearon is an artist who is pouring her spirit into the sort of art that can change your life. She is a friend. We met when I used to facilitate the fellowship that developed the Young Climate Leaders Network. I think of her as a recovering activist. But that’s not exactly true. She can’t stop being an activist. She is just another one among the ranks of us who are looking for a better, kinder, and more sustainable way to make the world whole again.

I titled this episode “Life Giver,” because that is who Jihan is, and what she does. She breathes life into the world. She reminds us that we can create anything. Here you’ll learn about how: at the age of thirty-five, Jihan was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. As part of her journey of healing, she turned to painting, creating bold, powerful works that featured the animals, people, and other beings that protected, motivated, and transformed her during her recovery. Her paintings bring her passions in life together, showcasing feminine energy, connections with the natural world, and the future of a healthy planet.

February 27, 2023 by Jaime Sharp

From American's for the Arts: "For more than 80 years, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) has been helping shape land-use decisions to improve the built environment of our communities. In a new report—Creative Placemaking: Recommendations from and Impact of Six Advisory Services Panels—ULI uses six case studies to demonstrate how creative placemaking can spark a cultural rebirth in real estate projects, revitalize communities, and boost returns on investment for developers. In addition to making the business case and process for bringing art and culture to the early design process of a real estate development projects, it also provides best practices about how to plan, finance, implement, and manage projects."

February 8, 2023 by Jaime Sharp

From Next City: "The global #LandBack movement, with its powerful demand to go beyond claims of “decolonization” and “reconciliation” by returning land to the stewardship Indigenous people, may seem like a fantasy. But U.S. cities are beginning to act upon their values – and indeed, their promises of climate action – by working to return land to the Indigenous communities to whom it rightfully belongs."

February 7, 2023 by Jaime Sharp

From National Coalition for Arts' Preparedness: "Following the recent tornadoes, a major disaster declaration for Alabama was declared on January 15. All categories of Public Assistance (PA) have just opened up for 9 AL counties: Autauga, Barbour, Chambers, Conecuh, Coosa, Dallas, Elmore, Hale, and Tallapoosa. Private non-profit cultural institutions and arts organizations in these counties are now eligible to apply for repair of their facility as well as of any damaged collections materials."

January 31, 2023 by Jaime Sharp

"Creativity, Culture & Capital is a collaborative project between Arts & Culture Finance (UK), Upstart Co-Lab (US) and Fundación Compromiso (Argentina), three women-led non-profit organisations, all working at the intersection of impact investment and the creative economy."

December 13, 2022 by Jaime Sharp

From the New York Times: "Maricruz Rivera Clemente’s community was among those hit hard by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017."

"She and her neighbors in Piñones, a neighborhood in Loíza on the northeastern coast of Puerto Rico, about 15 miles east of San Juan, were without power for months."

"And after seeing ecological damage she likened to an atomic bomb, Ms. Rivera Clemente, a social worker and sociologist, made a plan for her community organization to try to keep her neighbors safe in the future."

November 22, 2022 by Jaime Sharp

From Filantropía Puerto Rico: Este próximo Giving Tuesday, 29 de noviembre, no te pierdas el primer episodio de nuestro podcast EN VIVO: Somos Filantropía Podcast. En este episodio, Mary Ann Gabino, Vicepresidenta Senior de la Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico, conversará con Glenisse Pagán, Directora Ejecutiva de Filantropía Puerto Rico, para hablar sobre el rol y la importancia del ecosistema filantrópico de nuestra isla.

November 17, 2022 by Jaime Sharp

"Long before the pandemic hit, Americans living in rural areas have faced a daunting list of problems—a diminishing number of hospitals, limited transportation options, population decline, lack of broadband access, high levels of poverty, and more."

"According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Rural America at a Glance 2021” report, about 46 million people—or 14% of the total U.S. population—live in rural areas. The report found that people who live in these areas “often face greater difficulties accessing provisions and services or commuting to work, among other economic challenges.” These challenges have made it all the more difficult for rural Americans to cope with and recover from shocks and stresses, including but not limited to the pandemic."

October 24, 2022 by Jaime Sharp

From Mellon Foundation, "In the face of redlining and municipal disinvestment, the Sweet Water Foundation (SWF) has worked within its neighborhood—at the nexus of Englewood and Washington Park on Chicago’s South Side—to turn what was once considered by many a no-man’s land into a vibrant model for Regenerative Neighborhood Development. Among its bounties: a community farm spanning a full city block, a hand-raised timber frame pavilion for community events known as the Thought Barn, and the historic Civic Arts Church now returning to its origins as a space for spirituality, creativity, and safety, especially for the Black community."