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August 27, 2014
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editorial

And now, for our local weather report


Now comes a local theatre organization, NACL of Highland Lake, NY, that proposes to inject fun into the equation as a way to involve people and whole communities in a creative conversation that melds science and art. (Fun—even when it’s fun with a purpose—is admittedly more palatable than feeling powerless.) Led by project director Tannis Kowalchuk, The Weather Project has just launched a year long series of arts and science programs and just-plain-fun happenings about the weather, with the goal of raising awareness and engaging people on a completely new and different level. With any luck, people who have previously shunned or ignored the topic of climate change not only will join the discussion, but also begin to see that all of us can effect change by starting with small steps of individual and collective action.

Necessary work lies ahead for all of us to prepare for and adapt to climate change. Public understanding and participation are essential. Public support for strong adaptation policies is critical. Civic discussion about who shall pay for adaptation and mitigation is vital.

We salute NACL and its partner, the Town of Highland, and many other sponsors for their unique and creative way of bringing a challenging subject to the public through the arts and community building activities.

We salute the project’s other participants including Sullivan Alliance for Sustainable Development, Western Sullivan Public Library, Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, Delaware Highlands Conservancy/Eagle Institute, Heron’s Eye Communications, Catskill Arts Society, Eldred Central High School, The Homestead School, North School Studio, Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble, Spiral Q Puppet Theatre, The Ottawa Stilt Union, Hospitality Green, Catskill Mountainkeeper, and a number of professional theatre and visual artists, as well as filmmakers Tina Spangler and Isaac Green-Diebboll, who are making a documentary film about the year-long project. And we must mention the National Endowment for the Arts, Our Town Grant, which is providing grant funds for the project.

By removing the conversation from the realm of international conferences, chambers of government, and polarizing debates on TV and radio talk shows, The Weather Project is doing us all a big service.