The COAL association was created in 2008 by a group of French professionals working in the fields of contemporary art, sustainable development and research, in order to promote the emergence of a culture of ecology.
COAL mobilizes artists and other key players in the art world around social and environmental issues, in collaboration with institutions, local authorities, NGOs, scientists and businesses, and supports the essential role played by culture and creativity in raising awareness and implementing tangible solutions. The association also contributes to the transformation of territories by art, through the conception of art programs designed specifically for particular spaces, such as “Nature in Solidum” for the Haut-Jura Regional Park or “STUWA” for the tourist information office in Sundgau, Alsace.
COAL has been the driving force behind about 50 contemporary art exhibitions and cultural events around ecological transition for major arts institutions all over France (Société du Grand Paris, Condition Publique, UNESCO, La Villette, La Gaîté Lyrique, FIAC, Domaine de Chamarande, National Museum of Natural History, Museum of Hunting and Nature, Berges de Seine, CEAAC, etc.). Every year it awards the COAL Art and Environment Prize and contributes to sharing knowledge about the subject through its European partnerships (as the French member of the ACT, Imagine 2020, Creative Climate Leadership and La Table et le Territoire networks), provides consultancy services, organizes numerous workshops, public lectures. COAL also maintains the daily update of Ressource0.com, the primary online resource platform dedicated to both national and international initiatives that link art and ecology.
Over a decade COAL has become the leading French actor in the expanding crossover between art and ecology. COAL took its place on the forefront of this emerging field when, in 2015, it organized ArtCOP21, the Cultural program for COP21 in 2015, placing culture on the sustainable development agenda. COAL is currently organizing a cultural season on biodiversity for the IUCN World Conservation Congress, which will take place in Marseille in June 2020.
“Nous prenons soin de conserver nos œuvres d’art, mais nous laissons les espèces sauvages, œuvres de millénaires d’évolution, disparaître sous notre nez. We take care to preserve our works of art, but we let the wild species, works of millennia of evolution, disappear under our noses.”Aldo Leopold, 1933