Letters to the Earth is a global participatory campaign.
It began in February 2019 in collaboration with Culture Declares Emergency, when the British public were invited to put pen to paper and write a creative response to the climate and ecological emergency. 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, others live-streamed and others took to the streets to read the letters aloud. High profile readers alongside young people and local communities were involved in the presentation of these letters.
Some venues held open conversation as part of the day's activity to bring people together in the face of this crisis; some wrote their own letters together.
Since then letters have continued to be written and presented - by individuals and in communities all over the world.
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.
In our working lives, 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.
The Letters to the Earth co-founders are Anna Hope, Jo McInnes, Kay Michael and Naomi Wirthner.
The campaign continues to be coordinated by Kay Michael and Jon Slack thanks to the support of Climate 2025, and a small team of educators, creatives and publicists.
FOR NEWS UPDATES
For their support in this new phase of our campaign, 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.