Who we are
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 by the work of Extinction Rebellion and the Global Youth Strike in bringing 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.
In February 2019 the British public were invited to put pen to paper and write a Letter to the Earth in response to the climate and ecological emergency. The invitation was open to interpretation and open to all. Letters of love, loss, hope and action were written by over 1000 people from all over the world - from 4 year olds to great grandparents, artists, scientists, nurses. A new story emerged.
By April 2019 we received up to a thousand letters in our inbox. They were sent 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.
Work with us
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. A collection of letters has been published in a book by HarperCollins; educational resources have been made for children; videos premiered; and letters have found their way to decision-makers so as to influence change for a better future for all.
We couldn't have launched this campaign without the support and dedicated work of so many, including Alice Malin, Tamsin Omond, 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 just to name a few. Huge thanks too to Grace Pengelly of HarperCollins whose belief in the power of Letters to the Earth led to the published anthology.
Many have shown their support by kind donations. Thank you all.
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