Skip navigation
Upcoming Events
10/28/19 - 10/31/19 | St. Paul | MN
Latest from the News Blog
January 20, 2019

Two great opportunities for radio producers and creators this month! 


January 09, 2019

Join AAC and your residency colleagues for a series of online meet-ups on the Zoom video...

December 20, 2018

The Alliance of Artists Communities consortium programs and regranting partnerships have...


Arts + Ecology | Tools + Resources

Arts + Ecology Residencies

Arts + Ecology Tools + Resources

Arts + Ecology AAC Network

Back to Residency Directory

This resource guide is designed for organizations and individuals who are looking for ways to begin ecologically-oriented residency programs, either as the focus of their organization or as one program of many at their organization. The resource guide is a way to bring you suggested reading, tips and toolkits, and inspiring materials to illustrate both ecological understanding and programs in practice that you may learn from (also see Arts + Ecology Residencies). If you have valuable resources you would like to share through this site, you may provide them through the Alliance by contacting

We hope these resources spark new ideas and provide a way for your organization to access the means for connecting artists + scientists, improving rural community engagement and place-making, developing eco-conscious and sustainable practices, engaging in land conservation, creating thematic residencies, etc

Toolkits, Tip Sheets + Online Resources

Green Museum: A Toolbox of Working Methods
A strong collection of resources on approaches to ecological thinking and action. The Toolbox of Working Methods explores ways that artists, educators, resource managers and civic groups can collaborate on environmental art projects.

Cape Farewell
Artist David Buckland created Cape Farewell to instigate a cultural response to the climate challenge. Cape Farewell is now an international nonprofit program based at the University of Arts London and the MaRS centre in Toronto.

Green Art Lab Alliance
The Green Art Lab Alliance is a partnership between 18 European cultural organizations which aims to explore what environmental sustainability means for the visual arts and design.

Julie's Bicycle
A range of online resources including a practical guide on reducing your organizations environmental impact and fostering eco-friendly practices for productions, performances, exhibitions, and tours.

On The Move
On the Move is a cultural mobility information network with extensive resources on funding for international exchange and travel for artists. On the Move is currently developing a new funding guide for international projects engaging environmental themes.

Community Development Investment Review
A discussion around sustainable creative placemaking from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (see especially the Building Resiliency section).

Sense of Place: 10 Ways to Connect Artists to a Residency Program
A tip sheet created by ISLAND - an artist residency and ecology center in Michigan - exploring ways that residencies can connect artists to place. This list is especially relevant for ecologically-focused programs and programs operating within a rural context.

Where You At Quiz
Thirty questions to elevate your awareness and literacy of the place in which you live.

Essays + Reports

"The Convergence of Art + Science" - Caitlin Strokosch
Alliance of Artists Communities, 2005
An exploration of residencies engaging the intersection between science and art, including the role of residencies in supporting local ecologies and embodying place.

"Out in the Middle of Somewhere" - Kevin Haworth
Michigan Quarterly Review, 2014
Notes on rural community engagement in Iowa and Grin City

"This is the Part Where We Save The Earth"
- Molly Rideout
Mapping Residencies, 2015
An article on the Alliance of Artists Communities' Arts + Ecology Residency Cohort and the first Arts + Ecology Preconference in Charleston, SC - October 2014.

Engaging in an Unlikely Manner: Artists as Environmental Stewards - Eileen Cunniffe
Nonprofit Quarterly, 2015
Diverse examples of of artists engaging place and highlighting environemental challenges from across the United States.

Further Reading

The following readings distinguish how the work of artists, scientists and communities together can be valuable beyond their categorical disciplines. How wonder can lead to revelation and greater understanding of our living world.

The Organic Artist - Nick Neddo
Quarry Books, 2015
A practical guide for artists explaining how to create a range of art materials from natural materials.

The Green Guide for Artists - Karen Michel
Quarry Books, 2009
The Green Guide for Artists inspires artists to make better eco-conscious choices within their work and their studios and shows them how.

The Practice of the Wild - Essays by Gary Snyder
North Point Press, 1990
Gary's essays are essential in understanding why place plays such a critical part in defining the natural world, seeing wildness as something to cherish and helping to provide thoughtful ways of observation that lead to new discoveries in your own backyard.

The Ecological Thought - Timothy Morton
Harvard University Press, 2010
In this book Morton challenges many preconceptions about nature, environment, and the separateness of things.

The Luminous Ground - Christopher Alexander
The Center for Environmental Structure, 2004
Alexander goes to great lengths to demonstrate how clearly each one of us can determine the life in the objects and settings that surround us. His process for architecture and design are in fact ways of living, and functionally using Zen thinking to value life in all sentient beings.

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying - Sogyal Rinpoche
Harper One, 2001
A book that clarifies through stories, lessons about how our attitude towards living can be the best preparation for dying. Within these lessons are profound understandings that help shape the world we live in and our place in it.

Distant Neighbors - Selected Letters of Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder
Counterpoint, 2014
These are helpful conversations to sort out the perspectives of two very critical payers in the forming of ethics for the environmental movement that is now charged with sorting out the means for humanity's survival.

The Pine Island Paradox - Kathleen Dean Moore
Milkweed Editions, 2004
Moore helps us see the sacred and the everyday as one. She removes any separations between the world we live in and ourselves.

Along Some Rivers - Robert Adams
Aperture, 2006
Robert Adams has spent decades considering and documenting the landscape of the American West and how it has been altered, disturbed, or destroyed by the hand of man.

Balance: Art and Nature - John K Grande
Black Rose Press, 1994
Grande provides a strong voice challenging the artist take on a role as a thought leader in the effort to understand and affect change using nature as the source of truth.

Cascadia: The Life and Breath of the World - Frank Stewart + Trevor Carolan
Manoa publisher/University of Hawaii, 2013
An anthology that is helpful in understanding the role of a region in the cultural and biological ecology of the world.

Standing by Words - Wendell Berry
Shoemaker Hoard, 2005
An extended conversation around sustainable agriculture, a connection to place, the miracle of life, and the interconnectedness of all things.

Monoculture: How One Story is Changing Everything - F. S. Michaels
Red Clover, 2011
A provocative investigation of the dominant story of our time and how it's shaping six key areas of our lives: our work, our relationships with others and the natural world, our education, our physical and mental health, our communities, and our creativity.

Ceremonial Time - John Hanson Mitchell
Doubleday, 1984
A folkloric history of the place, drawn not only from official records but also from the visions, dreams, and folklore of the people who inhabited Scratch Flat over the last fifteen thousand years.