Author: Au Chung
Photographer: Dylan J. Locke
If you visited USC’s Founder Park on the morning of April 11, you found that this green space was bustling with sustainability organizations, student projects and community partners, all busy in preparation for the year’s largest green event. By the time the event kicked off, the serene campus space had transformed into a hub of vibrant discussions, delicious vegan treats, live music, and a resource fair connecting students to local organizations, all unified by a common goal - a fossil-free city and a sustainable future.
The Arts and Climate Collective’s much-awaited event, "Imagining a Fossil-Free L.A." The festival, held in celebration of Earth Month, resonated deeply with the attendees, who were eager to engage with activists and learn about climate justice initiatives.
One such artist, Katya Urban, a junior studying Visual and Performing Arts and a member of the ACC, showcased her multimedia installation, “The Emotion House.” The interactive space, meant to serve as a cathartic space for people to express their feelings in a communal environment, invited attendees to contribute to the art, making it an ever-changing piece.
“It’s deeply meaningful to be in a community that shares a passion about fighting for sustainability and climate justice,” Urban says. “At a place like USC, there are times where it’s hard to find people who actually are willing to act on the issues we see in the world, but I feel like I’ve been able to find others who are working alongside me to make meaningful art and contribute to initiatives of all scales.
Throughout the event, students had the opportunity to connect with local South and East L.A. groups as well as various USC organizations, providing resources and innovative tools to inspire them to get involved in the greater work. The Undergraduate Student Government (USG), the Environmental Student Assembly (ESA), and the SC Garden Club were just a few of the enthusiastic participants at the resource fair.
Meanwhile, the main stage hosted a captivating panel featuring medical experts, professors, and grassroots leaders, expertly moderated by our very own Colin Maclay, the executive director of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab and co-founder of the Arts & Climate Collective. Each panelist offered their vision for a more climate-friendly and sustainable L.A., ranging from "access to healthy shelter" to "living in a future of abundance" with affordable and clean energy.
The festival also highlighted the student-driven initiatives aimed at transforming the campus into a model of sustainability. Meet some of our on-campus organizations here: [link]
The powerful conversations, creative projects, and community connections built during this event will undoubtedly continue to shape the path towards a future where a fossil-free L.A. is more than just a dream - it's a reality we all work together to achieve.
If you haven’t noticed yet, this theme of “reimagining Los Angeles” also happens to be the theme of our upcoming fourth cohort. If you’re wanting to get involved in our Arts & Climate Collective and have a project proposal, Fall 2023 applications will be open from August 21 to September 24 at this link: https://www.artsclimatecollective.org/apply