Summary of Findings from Focus Groups with Workers in Construction, Farming, Home Health Care, and Fishing
Climate change is already visible across the Metro Boston region, forcing individuals and communities to cope with increasingly severe weather, unpredictable harvests and workplace conditions, and greater risks from vector-borne and heat-related illnesses. The Climate Perspectives project integrates focus groups and participatory art-making to collect individuals' perspectives on the current and future impacts of climate change and emerging resilience strategies. The project focuses on industries and workforces with greater exposure to climate impacts and employees who serve climate-vulnerable populations as part of their work.
In 2019, MAPC facilitated four focus groups and conducted follow-up interviews with managers, employees, and representatives from the construction, farming, home health care, and fishing industries.
MAPC and collaborating artists are integrating the findings into an art installation, "Schools of Thought on Climate Change." The installation helps communicate the focus group findings through sculpture and video and serves as a platform to collect additional perspectives from the public.
This project is a collaboration between members of MAPC's public health, economic development, and arts and culture departments.
Questions? Contact Jeanette Pantoja at email@example.com.
Home Health Care
Voices on Climate
MAPC Artist-in-Residence Hortense Gerardo worked with filmaker Monica Cohen and the Boom House to interview two people effected by climate change: fisherman Jamie Bassett and farmer Dave Dumaresq. The short "video-lets" integrate into the Schools of Thought art installation, but also serve on their own as powerful reminders of the current costs of climate change and how people are adapting innovatively.
Artists Carolyn Lewenberg and Nia Holley crafted four separate groups of fish using gloves and materials from each industry: for example, burlap for farmers, gauze and scrubs for home health care workers, fishing nets for those in the fishing industry, and orange safety netting for construction workers.
In the "Schools of Thought on Climate Change" installation, the koi hang among lanterns printed with quotes from the focus groups. Viewers can read how climate change effects people’s livelihoods: species migration, storm damage to soils and equipment, power outages, and extreme heat risks to both outdoor workers and consumers of home healthcare. Viewers can also learn about actions people are taking to respond and prepare: clean energy adoption, worker safety training, and partnering with institutional buyers to develop markets for new seafood products, including invasive species.
Where Can I See It?
- Wake Up the Earth Festival, Jamaica Plain: May 2019
- Cambridge Arts River Festival: June 2019
- Boston GreenFest and Tech Expo: August 2019
- City of Boston Racial Equity and Climate Roundtable: November 2019
- MetroCommon 2050 Speaker Series: Climate Equity Forum: December 2019