Watch This Space 2021

A Public Art Symposium

From September 13–17, we explored ideas from local, national, and international leaders and innovators working in public art. The 2021 symposium centered on public art’s relationship to the natural and urban environment, as well as practices for creating work sustainably. Watch This Space critically examined the creative community’s place in fostering more sustainable societies. We will continue to provide resources for arts and cultural organizations interested in making their own work more sustainable, as well as provide actionable steps they can take to make their work greener and cleaner.


Sustainability Roundtable

Join arts administrators from Southeast Michigan cultural institutions to discuss sustainable practices and how your organization can start thinking about its environmental impact.

Featuring Leslie Tom, Chief Sustainability Officer at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History; Andrew McDowell, Manager of Sustainability at Detroit Zoological Society; and Debra Reid, Curator of Agriculture and the Environment at The Henry Ford.


Arts + Tech

Friday, September 17 (Starting at 11 a.m. on Slack; invitation sent via email)

Join us as we digitally debate the complexities of emerging digital technology in arts and culture. We’re encouraging participants to share their diverse viewpoints, thoughts, GIFs, and memes in this head-to-head discussion. We hope this live-chat, moderated on Slack, will be generative in helping participants think about critical issues from new perspectives.


  1. Are NFT’s the answer to sustainable arts? NFTs, or non fungible tokens, are digital assets existing at the convergence of digital currency and virtual art, and have been sold for millions of dollars. But are they worth the massive amounts of emissions generated to support them?
  2. Is TikTok as a legitimate platform for videography and film? Video sharing platform TikTok went mainstream during the pandemic and elevated creatives across disciplines. With its newfound popularity, can TikTok inspire a new generation of aspiring filmmakers and videographers to create compelling, 60 second shorts?
  3. Does social media create an equitable space for art and culture? Social media enables artists to share their work with the masses, but has our “Instagram obsessed culture” forced artists to change their work in order to be more marketable?



DISCOVER with Mural Arts Philadelphia the many hidden dimensions and intersections between climate change, environmental justice and the COVID-19 pandemic.

COMPARE the environmental footprint of in-person and virtual events, and learn how you can shrink your virtual convening’s environmental footprint.

RESEARCH Detroit business and organizations’ commitment to reducing energy, water and transportation related emissions as part of the Detroit 2030 District initiative.

JOIN the Environment and Climate Network, a collaborative and proactive community working to establish museums as leaders in environmental stewardship and sustainability, and climate action.

INTERACTIVE: The New York Times illustrates the massive cost that new digital technology places on our climate, from Bitcoin to other virtual innovations

INTERACTIVE: Explore artists depictions of human interaction with the natural world through classical painting from 1600-today.

READ: Duo Massive Attack have unveiled their new action plan to reduce carbon emissions in the music, touring industries.


Monthly Sustainability Calls

Beginning late October 2021, CultureSource will host monthly calls for artists and arts administrators to discuss the issues in sustainable creation and share ideas to adopt more environmentally conscious practices. Calls will feature speakers, workshops, and roundtables to help organizations of various sizes strategize their first steps in sustainability planning. Registration is now open for CultureSource members, partners, and collaborators.


Live6 Toolkit

The Working with Artists and Community Toolkit is a field guide laying out best practices and procedures for community development practitioners and small business owners interested in facilitating public art or other placemaking projects in Detroit. Building from our experience with the Detroit Neighborhoods Art (DNA) project, this hands-on tool kit provides resources, execution tactics and tips for creating catalytic public art installations that center community voices.

Join the Conversation

We’ll be sharing sustainability tips, stories, and symposium updates on social media throughout the week.




In Collaboration With

Live6 Alliance logo
Mural Arts Philadelphia Logo
Detroit Month of Design Logo

Special Thanks to The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, and CEO Neil A. Barclay, for hosting the sustainability roundtable in the General Motors Auditorium at The Wright.

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