Letters to the Earth is a participatory creative campaign calling on people around the world to write and share a Letter in response to the planetary emergency.
A letter can be to or from the Earth, another person, species, place or moment in time. Thousands have taken part to express their hopes and fears, give voice to nature and paint their visions of a fairer, greener and thriving world.
We see a world where everyone is a courageous, creative and resilient change-maker for a better world and liveable planet.
We connect, inspire and empower people to respond to the climate crisis and ecological breakdown through deep connection, creative visioning and community building.
We are a distributed campaign, with freely available resources to activate individuals and groups in forming a deeper and more resilient relationship to nature and today’s crises whilst they find their voice and speak up for the Earth.
We amplify letters in public art works, media campaigns, and at festivals, events and global climate conferences.
In 2020 Letters to the Earth was nominated Best Campaign by Julie’s Bicycle’s Creative Green Awards. In 2022 we won the inaugural Global Dimensions Teachers Choice Award for our 'deeply moving and motivating' educational and community resources.
HOW IT BEGAN
In the early spring of 2019 a small group of women came together around a kitchen table to talk. We'd not even met before. But we had been profoundly shaken by the increasingly dire news of climate and ecological collapse, and inspired to bring that news to the forefront of the public conversation.
The Letters to the Earth co-founders are Anna Hope, Jo McInnes, Kay Michael and Naomi Wirthner. We are theatre-makers and writers and we felt strongly that we wanted to find a way to facilitate a creative response to these times of emergency.
In February 2019, in collaboration with Culture Declares Emergency, we invited the British public to put pen to paper and send us their writing. The invitation was open to interpretation and open to all. Within a month. over 1000 letters poured in from all over the world - from 4 year olds to great grandparents, artists, scientists, nurses.
A new story began to emerge.
We sent batches of letters to over 50 venues and community spaces worldwide for them to organise their own readings on a day of joint action, Friday 12th April, a day of Global Youth Strike.
Some venues opened their doors free of charge to the public and held conversations, some wrote their own letters and others live-streamed or took to the streets to read the letters aloud. High profile readers alongside young people and local communities were involved.
Since then letters have continued to be written and presented - by individuals and in communities all over the world.
We are indebted to Still/Moving, Glimpse Collective, Business Declares Network, John Davies, Leia Booth, Miranda Irwin, Jade Shaw, Liam Garcia, Sarah Bradley, Megan Pengelley, Iain Tait, Erik Hartin, Moa Pårup, Beverley Luckings, Farhana Yaman, plus Dulma, Bayarma, Will and the team at Vivobarefoot.
We couldn't have launched Letters to the Earth in 2019 without the support and dedicated work of so many, including Alice Malin, Tamsin Omond, Daiva Dominyka, Tamaryn Payne, Alice Haworth-Booth, Edward Nelson, Stephen Dillane, Irene Sinou, Molly Hughes, Ronan McNern, Alanna Byrne, Lorna Greenwood, Lucy Neal, Ruth Ben-Tovim, The National Theatre Studio, and those venues and producers with whom we had initial conversations - The Bunker Theatre, Jack Gamble, The Royal Court Theatre, Daniel de la Motte, Shakespeare's Globe, Ellen McDougall and David Lan.
Many have given their time and expertise to the campaign - Kelly Hill, Lee Ross, Grant Jarvis; and our authors and readers continue to be the best ambassadors - Paapa Essiedu, Alex Lawther, Eden Rickson, Freya Mavor, just to name a few. To Grace Pengelly of HarperCollins whose belief in the power of Letters to the Earth led to the published anthology.
Finally, our special thanks to Vivobarefoot for joining as a campaign partner. Vivobarefoot is a B-Corp certified footwear brand that aims to reconnect people and planet. They believe that human health depends on the health of our planet and we are proud to partner with a company that shares our mission.