In our quest to enlighten the Austin community about the environment around us, my hope is that we’re able to present its sustainability through a medium that people want to see and listen to. As creatives, I feel like we have an obligation to use our talents to share stories and influence positive change to the rest of the world. Our Waller Creek Earth Day project seeks to do this, and I hope our audience develops a deeper awareness of the environment and how we can maintain it together.
To begin our research for this project, our team met with members of UT’s Sustainability Office to discuss the interaction of the human world with the creatures of Austin, like our Creek Monster. As we’re going through life, sometimes we get caught up and can focus too much on ourselves that we forget to inspire others alongside us. The way we take care of our environment effects all of us.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were unable to launch our physical installation on the UT campus for Earth Day 50. Fortunately, we quickly adapted and transitioned our project online, focusing on celebrating the environment through social media. Via mostly Instagram and Facebook, we highlighted members of the Austin community who are putting their heart and soul in sustaining our environment. We call it our local heroes segment, and I just absolutely love that. Check us out @texasappliedarts .
We also took initiative in creating a sound log of a cumulation of Earth Day promises. We asked our friends, family, and communities to call in and make promises on ways they can help the environment. I’m so thankful for the amount of calls we got, and it sparks hope in knowing that we are not alone in this.
The biggest thing I’ve learned during this project is self-awareness. I’ve gotten into the habit of asking myself every day what I can do in that moment to help my environment. It started from taking much shorter showers to having deep conversations with my family, who have never paid any attention to environmental sustainability.
The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic and our transition online has resulted in many impacts on our environment. The scarcity of air travel has caused a great drop in air pollution. The lack of boat traffic has also lowered air pollution, but it further allowed sediments to set and cleared up the water for our aquatic friends. I can only imagine how our Creek Monster enjoying the water. However, I’m in no way saying this pandemic was a good thing, but rather, I would argue that it’s a wakeup call to the world. With all this time in quarantine, I hope that our project has given food for thought to how much we can accomplish together in the little actions we do.
I’m so glad I had the opportunity to make new connections within my team and thankful for the Green Fund grant for providing the freedom to be a part of art like this. Look out for the Waller Creek Earth Day installation coming Earth Day 2021!