Research from Norwich Theatre’s Creative Matters: Climate Stories survey found that 68% of respondents felt inspired and motivated to make changes that could impact the climate for the better.
In fact, 85% of those who attended felt that it was good to share their climate stories and the experience with others. Moreover, 66% agreed that the event or activity they attended helped them understand the subject matter better.
- 85% agreed that it felt good to be sharing the experience with other people
- 69% agreed that they found aspects of the event/activity very moving and emotional.
- 68% agreed or strongly agreed that they felt inspired and motivated
- 66% agreed or strongly agreed that they felt the event/activity broadened their understanding of the subject matter/topic
Norwich Theatre’s year-long Creative Matters: Climate Stories season tackled the most pressing issue of our time and asked how we can use creativity to explore the climate crisis.
The season used storytelling and involved creatives, thinkers, activists and partners in activities and performances to stimulate discussion and make connections. The season featured a total of 33 events and performances with a total of 1,586 attendees.
Events and shows included Climate Stories Late, Norwich Under the Water, Shewolves, English Touring Opera’s The Wish Gatherer, Climate Writing, Mind, Body, Earth series in partnership with Norfolk and Waveney Mind, themed half term activities and Business of Climate Stories.
As part of Creative Matters we invited people to join us for Climate Stories Late in July. Norwich Theatre Stage Two came to life at night for an immersive evening of multi-sensory responses about climate change developed with our community of artists.
In October, local businesses came together again for a conference at Norwich Playhouse for The Business of Climate Stories. A series of open discussions explored climate change, Net Zero and how the business community of Norwich and beyond can drive for change, individually and together.
An attendee at 37 Plays – Climate Writing said, “Completely amazing. Turning up at the theatre each Monday made me feel like something was really possible.”
A participant of Touching Earth with Jenny Haycocks said: “The session was profound in ways words don’t/can’t serve.”
At Climate Stories Late, a participant said: “It’s a really complicated and uncomfortable topic, and it makes people feel all sorts of emotions. Whereas, the arts can make people feel that there’s just a little bit of optimism.”
Sam Dawson Head of Creative Engagement at Norwich Theatre, said: “Our Creative Matters season was the boldest season to date and centred on the power of creativity to inspire others to make a change together to influence our collective future. The research proves that theatre and creativity can be a powerful tool for exploring the big issues and can inspire collective action amongst attendees.
“The season gave attendees a space where they were supported to grapple with both positive and negative feelings around the climate crisis and constructively build their own paths and bridges with others. This was a resounding success, with the majority of attendees expressing that it felt good to experience the season together.”
The season was a call to action for Norwich Theatre, too, with the whole organisation inspired by the creative work in its venues. This included a £15k investment in energy-efficient LED lighting, a switch to fogging machines that use water instead of CO2, migrating to cloud-based IT systems, the launch of Norwich Theatre’s Green Team and staff choosing alternative methods of travel.