Community Climate Resilience through Folk Pageantry

Red-tinted image of a bridge over water

PI Dr Jenna C. Ashton, Lecturer in Heritage Studies, Institute for Cultural Practices, SALC

Co-I Dr Kevin Malone, Reader in Composition, Music, SALC

Co-I, Prof Sarah Lindley, Professor of Geography, Geography, SEED


  • AHRC and Met Office, UK Climate Resilience Programme
  • FEC £417,445
  • August 2020, 24 months


"Community Climate Resilience through Folk Pageantry" offers a creative, imaginative and interdisciplinary practice-as-research project focusing on community knowledge to deliver a Manchester-focused case study responding directly to its climate action policies and community contexts. The project builds on existing research practices of the PI and Co-Is across intersectional areas of geography, mapping, performance, music, socially-engaged arts practices, and intangible and material heritages.

We work with partners Manchester Climate Change Agency (MCCA), Manchester City Council (MCC), Neighbourhoods North Manchester (Miles Platting & Newton Heath ward), Northern Chamber Orchestra (NCO) and National Trust North Region (NT), with advisory and impact-related support from Manchester Arts and Sustainability Team (MAST) and the EU C-Change Project, Manchester Institute of Education (MIE, UoM), and the Black Environment Network (BEN). A Bird in the Hand Theatre's puppet maker and director Alison Duddle is a co-creator.

We investigate these questions:

  1. How can socially-engaged arts and community-based performance methods identify barriers and solutions to initiating climate mitigation and adaptation strategies?
  2. How can creative methods offer improved and new processes, tools and skills by which community climate resilience and adaptation targets can be more effectively attained?
  3. What is the transferability of creative techniques, processes and spaces for holistic approaches to mitigation and adaptation locally and nationally?
  4. How can creative practices be embedded within local policy consultation processes toward inclusive engagement on climate action?
  5. How can research learn about modes of resilience from residents in areas of high deprivation?
  6. What new “artivism” forms, spaces and outcomes emerge from interdisciplinary approaches around climate action

The issue we will explore include:

  • How a community articulates its perspectives on social justice and equality with regard to climate resilience;
  • How interdisciplinary creativity can be researched and applied to activate community climate resilience;
  • How a community can create, own and embed creative outcomes for resilience;
  • The means to best transfer these methods to policy-makers for wider implementation.

We define resilience as “the ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from, and more successfully adapt to adverse events” (Centre for Climate and Energy Solutions 2019).

Planned outputs

  1. Pageant performances in Miles Platting & Newton Heath 
  2. Materials held in an online Open Access website repository 
  3. Schools resource licensed learning & performance pack 
  4. A toolbox for creative methods workshops for policy practitioners and neighbourhood managers 
  5. A co-authored paper by the researchers on results of interdisciplinary creative practice for climate resilience.
  6. Recommendations Report for Transferability of creative practice on climate action for urban and non-urban contexts will evolve with partners.
  7. Project book by PI : a core text on communities and climate resilience through arts participation and practice.


PI - Dr Jenna C. Ashton


Twitter: @heritagemcr

Project site and Twitter

Website: Creative Climate Resilience

Twitter: @CreativeResMcr