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Nature|Spirit|Art: Personal Resilience in the Time of Climate Change



Members / In-Person

Fee for all five sessions: $125 / $100 members / $40 students. Participants receive a complimentary one-year, Individual membership upon completion of all five sessions.

Landscape with single tree in grassy hill with gray sky

Workshop Details

Workshop Leaders

Joshua Shannon is Professor of Contemporary Art History at the University of Maryland. He is co-editor of Humans (Terra/Chicago, 2022) and author of The Recording Machine: Art and Fact During the Cold War (Yale, 2017) and The Disappearance of Objects: New York Art and the Rise of the Postmodern City (Yale, 2009). 

Robert Hardies is an experienced leader of workshops, retreats and pilgrimages. From 2001 to 2020, Rob was senior minister of All Souls Church, Unitarian in Washington, DC, where he led award-winning campaigns on behalf of voting rights and marriage equality. He is now Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Martha’s Vineyard.

Aparna Sadananda comes to mindfulness practice from a science background. She holds a PhD in cellular neuroscience from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, India. In addition to leading art-based meditations at The Phillips Collection and the National Museum of Asian Art, she is a senior yoga teacher and trainer at Yoga District in Washington, DC. She is also an artist, specializing in Indian folk art and a musician, trained in traditional Indian singing.


May 26: Welcome and Grounding

After introducing ourselves to one another, we will familiarize participants with our approach to the workshops’ three pillars: nature, spirit and art. We will locate ourselves in the context of The Phillips Collection as well as natural history and ecology of the Potomac watershed, while introducing an experience of mindfulness meditation.

June 2: Gratitude

A critical practice of climate resilience is to remain connected to our gratitude for the Earth. Employing practices of meditative walking, participants will explore the immediate urban and natural landscape around The Phillips Collection, focusing on details of the landscape that stimulate their delight and/or gratitude. Participants will then have the opportunity to respond creatively to their experience (for example: a photo, a drawing, a journal entry) and share their gratitude in small groups.

June 9: Grief

Even as we are sustained by our gratitude for the Earth, personal resilience demands that we honestly confront our grief and fear for the future of the planet. In this session, participants will experience and respond to key works in the collection by Jacob Lawrence and Georgia O’Keeffe. In facilitated groups they will then have the opportunity to further explore their grief over climate losses.

June 16: New Perspectives

Climate resilience requires habits of thought that free us from the human-nature binary and help us re-imagine our relationship to the Earth. In this session we will explore works of art through the lens of eco-critical thought, understanding how different artists, including Ansel Adams and Sam Taylor-Johnson, have imagined the human-nature relationship.

June 23: Moving Forward with Agency

Creative, collective action on behalf of the planet is a final, critical practice of climate resilience, strengthening our sense of agency in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges. In our final session we will learn more about cutting-edge sustainability efforts and participate collectively in a carbon-capture service project.