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DePaul University to co-host Chicago Climate Festival

Events offer artistic response to UN talks on global warming

Glacier Melting
In response to climate change, the Chicago Climate Festival seeks to use art to change the conversation about environmental destruction. (Image courtesy of iStock)
CHICAGO — Chicago artists, academics and community groups will gather at DePaul University, Columbia College and other Chicago locations throughout October to address issues of climate change. Inspired by the United Nations’ annual climate talks, the Chicago Climate Festival seeks to use art to change the conversation about global warming and environmental destruction.

"The arts are underrepresented in conversations about climate change,” said Christine Skolnik, DePaul faculty member and director of the Chicago Climate Festival. “Artists help us appreciate natural beauty and create a sense of community,” said Skolnik. Dance, visual art, photography and rap are among the events slated for the monthlong series.

Events will be held at DePaul University’s Lincoln Park Campus, Columbia College Chicago and other locations throughout the city. All events are open to the public and most have free admission. Events at DePaul include:

Alisa Singer: Environmental Graphiti
Oct. 1 - 31
McGowan South, 1110 W. Belden Ave.
John T. Richardson Library, 2350 N. Kenmore Ave.
Lincoln Park Student Center, 2250 N. Sheffield Ave.
Arts and Letters Hall, 2315 N. Kenmore Ave.
Pop-up exhibits showcasing artist Alisa Singer’s work will be displayed at several DePaul University locations. Singer uses elements of scientific charts and graphs to dramatic effect and created Environmental Graphiti to draw public attention to the critical science of climate change.

Oct. 5, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
McGowan South, 1110 W. Belden Ave., Room 105
Melissa Brice, founder of environmental activist group Chicago 350, will present on the topic of fossil fuel divestment. Rap activist Joey FineRhyme will perform his climate rap and host an open mic session on environmental issues.

Judy Natal: Another Storm is Coming
Oct. 11, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
McGowan South, 1110 W. Belden Ave., Room 108
Acclaimed photographer Judy Natal showcases her recent work, “Another Storm is Coming,” which highlights the devastating effects of extreme weather on residents living along the Gulf Coast. She will also screen two new videos, “Breathed on the Waters” and “Storm Redux,” which were commissioned by the Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences at Rice University.

Soham Dance and Randall Honold
Oct. 12, 6-7:30 p.m.
Arts and Letters Hall, 2315 N. Kenmore A​ve., Room 413
Young students from Soham Dance Space will perform children’s classical Indian dance on an environmental theme. The evening will include student essays on climate change and photography by Randall Honold, a faculty member and India study abroad instructor at DePaul.

Values Project
Oct. 19, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
McGowan South, 1110 W. Belden Ave., Room 104
Widely recognized ecological restoration leader Bill Jordan will give a presentation on ecology, ritual, and the arts. He will discuss the theory of values for environmental thinking and practice for the future of our planet. The event will also feature a short performance.

Oct. 25, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
The Theatre School at DePaul University, 2350 N. Racine Ave., Room 442
The festival will host a staged reading and discussion of the play “GROUNDSWELL” by Karen Fort. The play tells the story of a farming family struggling through a heat wave and emphasizes how climate change can dramatically impact relationships and lifestyles.

The Warp Zone/Fieldworks Studios
Oct. 26, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
McGowan South, 1110 W. Belden Ave., Room 104
Artists Amanda Speer from The Warp Zone and Joshua Mason from Fieldworks Studios will showcase their immersive art which includes paintings, sculptures, photography and sounds in natural environments.

For a complete list of events, visit


Christine Skolnik

Media Contact:
Kristin Mathews