What We Created Together This YearDecember 9, 2019
Join us in celebrating our many shared efforts and accomplishments of 2019!
In 2019 youth led the largest climate mobilization to date, rallying millions to rise up with them in the streets to call for a just and sustainable world and climate-safe future. We are honored to work with creative and courageous teens like them who are standing up and speaking out about our climate emergency.
While there is much work to be done, we are so proud of what the Bow Seat community has created this year. Thank you for supporting our mission to provide a platform for youth to share artwork, ideas, and stories about our collective power to protect the oceans and our future.
Photo: Tre’ Packard
We kicked off 2019 in Maui, Hawaii, for the Sea Walls: Artists for Ocean public art festival with our longtime partner PangeaSeed Foundation! As the festival’s official Youth Engagement Partner, we created opportunities for local teens to give our oceans a voice through ARTivism. Read more >
In May, we joined forces with the New England Aquarium and Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) to host the Right Whale Festival, a celebration of efforts to help protect the critically endangered North Atlantic right whales.
The Festival also celebrated the winners of the Healthy Whale, Healthy Ocean Challenge, a special program we hosted in partnership with CLF, which invited K-12 students from New England to create art that raises awareness of the iconic species and the threats facing the Gulf of Maine and the world’s oceans. Read more >
Armed with art supplies for the masses, the Bow Seat team joined the Global Climate Strike in our hometown of Boston, gathering with more than 10,000 others in City Hall Plaza on September 20th to call for meaningful solutions to the climate crisis. What an amazing demonstration of people power!
We also led 10 hands-on workshops and showcased award-winning youth artwork in 15 exhibitions and pop-up art shows with partners including Franklin Park Zoo, Mass Audubon, and Huntsman Marine Science Centre—educating thousands of viewers on issues such as coral bleaching, ocean acidification, and plastic pollution, and inspiring conversation and action with oceans in mind.
More than 250 students participated in the 2019 Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition in the U.S., Australia, Canada, India, Nigeria, Pitcairn, Vietnam, and more. By educating others about the problems caused by single-use plastic; promoting zero-waste lifestyles; lobbying school districts, town officials, and corporate execs to adopt sustainability plans and implement green initiatives; and leading clean-ups with community residents, Competition participants helped to remove or redirect thousands of plastic and marine debris from local watersheds. Check out the winning campaigns of 2019 >
And since you asked, keep an eye out for the announcement of our 2019 Ocean Awareness Contest winners in just a few weeks! In 2019 we received more than 3,500 creations of climate art, our biggest year yet.
“I believe one of the most effective ways youth can get involved in their community and begin discussions is through art. By creating art, we are empowering our own expression, paving the way for social change.” —Akhila Bandlora, student poet and youth climate activist
This year, we were honored to receive three awards recognizing Bow Seat’s innovative programming, in particular how art-making through environmental education contributes to civic and community responsibility:
- Massachusetts Marine Educators’ Certificate of Appreciation
- Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs’ Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education
- National Marine Educators Association’s Outstanding Organization Award
We also received two grants to help increase the reach and impact of our programming in Massachusetts. These grants will enable us to offer more student and educator scholarships, forge new community partnerships, and provide additional educational resources.
We are excited to build off our achievements in 2019—and the creative and courageous actions we are witnessing worldwide—to create momentum for climate hope in 2020. To confront the overwhelming planetary emergency that we are facing, hope is necessary. Hope is energizing. And hope is contagious. We look forward to continuing our work empowering young people around the world to drive stewardship for the ocean, and to uplifting their art, stories, and voices to inspire waves of positive social change.
Linda, Alyssa, Anne, and Ren