The Chrysalis Project : Transforming Together

A collaborative Art in Action project to create a positive vision for our future and call for strong climate action. 

When the pandemic hit, TCAT had to completely reimagine how we do our work. One of the first projects that came out of this was the virtual Art in Action Project, The Chrysalis Project: Transforming Together

We quickly pivoted from in person work to an online program exploring the power of art, the critical moment we are in as individuals and a society, what we might experience with the climate crisis, and the transformation of butterflies, ourselves, and our society.

In 2020, we held 10 Chrysalis Project workshops via Zoom with over 200 participants. In these workshops, we examined ourselves in the midst of three crises; a pandemic, a racial reckoning, and the climate crisis. We used the metaphor of what happens as a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly inside of a chrysalis, imagining that each of us, and our society is currently inside of its own chrysalis, that we have the chance to emerge on the other side into a world where we not only survive, but thrive.

In The Chrysalis Project: Transforming Together, participants used tools they had in their own homes, their creativity, and the power of our voices raised together to call for climate justice. They wrote poems of climate action, painted gardens, bicycles, healthy ecosystems, and wind energy, all inside of a butterfly motif. They explored through art what our world will look like if we take collective action, and what it will look like if we don’t. They wrote heartfelt letters committing to their own climate actions and asking our leaders to lead us in this work. They mailed their artwork and letters to local elected officials asking for strong climate action, to pass and implement a strong climate mitigation plan. The artwork and letters made a strong visual statement and were received by elected officials with gratitude and in many cases, a commitment to climate action. We displayed their work on our website, on social media, and created a short video celebrating the project.

Video Production: Jenna Mason Media

Artwork by previous workshop participants

Want to know what is next for climate action and art in Thurston County? 

Click here to read the blog post by Carrie Ziegler about the upcoming "Climate Justice Mural Project"!