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The Society of Fearless Grandmothers-Santa Barbara, Sunrise-Santa Barbara, UCSB Environmental Affairs Board and 350 Santa Barbara, are planning a Chalk Art Action with Elders and Youth, in support of the Green New Deal at the Fiesta 5 Theater, 916 State Street, and Metro 4 Theater, 618 State Street, on Saturday and Sunday February 11 and 12, from 12:00 noon until 3:00 PM during the 2023 Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF).

Elders are joining with Youth to create chalk art on State Street to entertain and inform people who will be standing in line for SBIFF-featured films. The SBIFF is all about Storytelling and we want to encourage people to think about climate crisis storytelling.

As journalist Rebecca Solnit has written, “Every crisis is in part a storytelling crisis. This is as true of climate chaos as anything else. We are hemmed in by stories that prevent us from seeing, or believing in, or acting on the possibilities for change. Some are habits of mind, some are industry propaganda…..We need to leave the age of fossil fuel behind, swiftly and decisively. But what drives our machines won’t change until we change what drives our ideas….In order to do what the climate crisis demands of us, we have to find stories of a livable future, stories of popular power, stories that motivate people to do what it takes to make the world we need.”

So much recent storytelling has focused on the dreadful impacts of climate change – fires, floods, extinctions – but we need new storytelling to help us envision a better future, a post-fossil fuel era where our policies protect people and the planet instead of corporate profits. Students will be writing messages about their vision of a green future, calling for passage of the Green New Deal, a plan for addressing climate change by ending the use of fossil fuels while providing good-paying jobs in clean energy.  The story of the Green New Deal tells us that governments can invest in clean energy, end systemic oppression and ensure clean water, air and food as human rights.  We have the solutions to address the climate crisis today – no miracles or new technology needed. All we need is the vision and political will to implement those solutions. Maybe new storytelling will help.

We invite the public to share their visions of a green future with chalk art messages in State Street this weekend. Look for the Grandmothers with baskets of chalk at Metro 4 and Fiesta 5!


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