Research Article

The Emerging Role of Artists in Co-Creation of Climate Adaptation


The impact of rapid climate change presents unprecedented and complex challenges for public leaders and the citizens they serve. For this reason, communities require new solutions in climate disaster mitigation, education, and response. Through the lens of co-creation and co-production theory, this research investigates the emerging role of artists as co-creators of climate change adaptation strategies. We build upon the knowledge that artists are engaged in many dimensions of civic work (homelessness, transportation, inclusion) and that there are benefits to creative practices as a strategy towards building resilience to natural disasters (VAN LOON et al. 2020). Still, the roles, responsibilities, and outcomes of arts-based social change work vary widely depending on the community, scope, and context in which the artist is engaged. We examine representative cases to develop a typology of artist engagement in the context of climate adaptation, with a specific focus on water-related hazards. Our findings suggest a developing role for artists as citizen actors in climate change adaptation, with the unique ability to contribute to awareness and mitigation efforts prior to a climate disaster. This research fills a gap in knowledge and outcomes of artists and governments as co-creators in the realm of climate adaptation and resilience.