In New York’s Soho neighborhood, a small museum hopes to stimulate dialogue and spur the public to push for change across the globe.
A passerby looks at the front of the pop-up site of the Climate Museum in Soho, New York City. All photos by Enrique Shore for News Decoder.
In a chic cobblestone street in the middle of Soho in Manhattan, surrounded by fancy boutique stores, there is an unusual storefront that invites passersby to enter, get inspired by art and take action to defend the climate.
Not only it is free, they even give you a postcard with an environmental message that they will mail to the president of the United States, or other elected officials.
The “Climate Action Wall” plastered with stickers placed by visitors to the Climate Museum in Soho, New York City.
The founder and director of the Climate Museum, Miranda Massie, decided to open a pop-up of the first such institution in North America last October in this fashionable neighborhood of New York City, one of the prime touristic destinations in the United States.
The response by the public has been remarkable.
The museum started modestly with one large blank “Climate Action Wall.” Next to it they put stickers with call-to-action phrases — “I’m going to talk about climate more,” “I’m going to march,” “I’m going to donate,” “I’m going to spend time in green spaces” — and encouraged visitors to add their names and place the stickers on the wall.
It is now covered with them.
Stickers with call-to-action phrases are available to be plastered by visitors onto the “Climate Action Wall” at the Climate Museum in Soho, New York City.
Climate Museum director Miranda Massie.
Their statistics state that some 70% of people in the United States care about climate issues and want a greener world. The hope, Massie said, is to “mobilize the power of arts and cultural programming to accelerate a far-reaching, urgently-needed shift toward climate dialogue and action, building community and advancing just solutions.”
Climate Museum director Miranda Massie speaks in front of the “Climate Action Wall” in the Climate Museum in Soho, New York City.
Their main display is a mural called “Someday, all this” by artist David Opdyke, consisting of hundreds of hand-modified landscape postcards that explore themes such as climate displacement and migration.
The museum planned activities to mark the 53rd anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, centering on this year’s theme: “Invest in our Planet.”
The goal: to reach people eager to take action.
Climate Museum Director Miranda Massie (L) answers questions about the mural called “Someday, all this” by artist David Opdyke in the Climate Museum in Soho, New York City.
Three questions to consider:
- How can art inspire people to take action?
- How did the Climate Museum illustrate the urgency of climate change?
- If you were to create a new display for the Climate Museum, what would it look like?
Enrique Shore is a News Decoder correspondent, photographer and pictures editor with three decades experience covering World Cups, Olympics, presidential elections, summits and the first Gulf War. He was Reuters chief photographer for Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, then based in Madrid in charge of the Iberian Peninsula. He later looked after media clients in Spain and Portugal. He is currently an independent photographer, editor and consultant based in New York.