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In an era of massive defunding of the public sector, non-profit arts and educational institutions are struggling. Oftentimes, our search for support for our work leads us to accept funding from sources we may consider contentious, such as oil and gas or petrochemical corporations. We accept this money with some discomfort but without hesitation; after all, we tell ourselves, all money is questionable, the world needs our work, and we need to pay our rent.

According to BP Executive Vice President Dev Sanyal, companies cannot operate “sustainably” without the support of society. This support is termed by the industry as a “social license to operate,” a metaphorical concept that indicates that society has sanctioned the actions of the company, trusting that the benefits of its operations outweigh the costs to society. By accepting the financial support and, as an imperative, the branding of fossil fuel corporations, are we granting these companies a social license to operate?

Rarely do we create the time and space to deeply examine as individuals and institutions the connection between our work and the operations of our funders. Does oil and gas funding affect the tone, quality, or content of public dialogue about climate change or even overt censorship? What is our role and responsibility and where is our agency when it comes to climate change? As society moves away from reliance on fossil fuels, how can we build sustainable lives and practices, economically, ecologically, and socially? How can we and solidarity across occupational divides and unite as workers of arts, education, and industry and, most importantly, as members of a shared Louisiana community?

Fossil Free Fest invites everyone—arts workers, industry workers, educators, funders, and the general public—to imagine and plan our Fossil Free Future.

Registration opens February 2018.


Imani Jacqueline Brown

Imani Jacqueline Brown is a New Orleans native, artist, activist, and researcher. She believes that art can drive policy and orients her practice toward the ever-elusive flicker of justice on the horizon, knowing that our world cannot find balance until social, ecological, and economic reparations are won. Imani is Director of Programs at Antenna, a co-founder of Blights Out and a core member of Occupy Museums. Occupy Museums’ project, “Debtfair”, was featured in the 2017 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. In 2015, Imani attended COP 21 as part of a #FossilFreeCulture delegation and there helped to establish the international Museum Liberation Movement. In 2009, she served as Oil and Gas Accountability Campaign Manager for the Gulf Restoration Network. She initiated and is Artistic Director of Fossil Free Fest.


Monique Verdin

Monique Verdin is a daughter of southeast Louisiana’s Houma Nation. Her intimate documentation of the Mississippi River Delta exposes the complex interconnectedness of environment, economics, culture, climate and change. Monique is the subject/co-writer/co-producer of the documentary My Louisiana Love (2012). Her interdisciplinary work is included in an assortment of environmentally inspired projects, ranging from the publication Unfathomable City : A New Orleans Atlas (2013) to the multiplatform/performance/ecoexperience Cry You One (2012- 2015). Her current project The Land Memory Bank & Seed Exchange, is a series of southeast Louisiana activations, engaged in building a community record and in the sharing of native seeds and local knowledge through citizen collaboration.


Raquel de Anda

Raquel de Anda is an independent curator and cultural producer based in Brooklyn, NY. De Anda began her career as Associate Curator at Galería de la Raza, a contemporary Latino arts organization in San Francisco, CA. Born and raised on the U.S. Mexico border, much of de Anda’s work approaches themes of duality, connection, separation, inclusion and the intersections of migrant rights with other movements for social justice. She is a firm believer in the power of art and culture to ignite social change. De Anda holds an MS from Parsons School of Design, with a focus on integrating cultural equity in the field of arts and culture. Recent exhibitions include The Ripple Effect: Currents of Socially Engaged Art (Art Museum of the Americas, Washington, D.C.), Art in Odd Places intervention festival (NYC), and overseeing creative production for the historic People’s Climate March (NYC), with hundreds of artists and 400,000 people participating.


Katie Mathews

Katie Mathews is a filmmaker and researcher based in New Orleans. Katie is attracted to stories that examine the intersection of identity and the places and spaces we call home. Most recently, Katie directed and produced POST COASTAL, a series of documentary shorts about coastal communities’ response to land loss in Louisiana. She is currently producing MOSSVILLE, a documentary feature currently in post production, that explores the psychological trauma of community displacement at the hands of the petrochemical industry. Prior to her work in film, Katie worked as an anthropologist and ethnographer at global design firm IDEO, where she led qualitative research, using individual stories to inspire new systems in education and the public sector. Katie holds a BA in Communications from Northwestern University and has completed graduate work in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Chicago.


Jayeesha Dutta

Jayeesha Dutta is a tri-coastal Bengali-American artist, activist, and strategist for StoryShift at Working Films. She is part of the core leadership circle for Another Gulf Is Possible Collaborative, galvanizing the voices and experiences of brown (indigenous, latinx and desi) women from across the Gulf Coast working towards a just transition for our people and the planet. She is also the communications committee chair on Big Class/826 New Orleans board of directors and visual arts working group chair for Alternate ROOTS. Jayeesha is an avid traveler, home chef, and loves being near (or, preferably, in) any body of water. As a multi/interdisciplinary artist, she aims to make more time for dancing, singing, and participatory theater in her life. Jayeesha was born in Mobile, raised in New York, aged in Oakland and is deeply grateful to call New Orleans home.

For inquiries, please contact us at fff@antenna.works

April 6-7
Joan Mitchell Center
2275 Bayou Road

April 8
Grow Dat Youth Farm
150 Zachary Taylor Drive

Films every night April 2-5 @ 6:00 PM
The Broad Theater
636 N Broad Street

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