Climate Change: Our Response as Artivists

Center for the Arts, Monson Grand Tier III, Fairfax Campus


Climate Change: Our Response as Artivists (Artist-Activist Speaker Series) 

Co-presented with the Inclusive Collaborative Arts at Mason (ICAM) project with panelists 

BaoBao Chen, Co-Founder and Producer of Small Island Big Song; Mark Cooley, Associate Professor and Director of New Media Arts, Mason School of Art; founder of Green Studio; Moderated by Edward Maibach, Distinguished University Professor at George Mason University and is the Director of Mason’s Center for Climate Change Communication


As the climate crisis quickly rises to the top of world concerns, different sectors scramble to figure out ways to respond to its impending pressures. The elephant in the room puts the onus on governments and corporations, but we all have a vital role to play. During this panel, we will explore ways in which artists can use their voices to push the needle on political, economic, social and cultural questions at the root of this global concern. Offered in conjunction with Mason Artist-in-Residence Small Island Big Song’s April 20 performance at the Center for the Arts at George Mason University, the discussion features representatives from Small Island Big Song, Mason’s School of Art, and Mason’s Center for Climate Change Communication. The Artist-Activist Speaker Series is an initiative of the Inclusive Collaborative Arts at Mason (ICAM) project.

Center for the Arts at George Mason University, Monson Grand Tier (third level) 

FREE, registration required


BaoBao Chen, Small Island Big Song Producer & Manager, is one of Taiwan’s most prominent producers of cross-cultural arts projects. Having produced Small Island Big Song’s concert productions and international tours across 19 countries in Europe, the USA, Asia and Oceania, involving artists from sixteen Indo-Pacific island nations, whilst releasing music albums, curating impact programs and bringing a feature film to screen. BaoBao is an ISPA (International Society for the Performing Arts) fellow 2023–25. A vivid storyteller and fluent in English and Mandarin, she has a social media following of 140K+, and has been invited to speak at TEDx, APAP NYC, Stanford Live, and numerous arts festivals. 


Mark Cooley, an interdisciplinary artist and educator, is Associate Professor in George Mason University’s School of Art, where he teaches media production and theory, and ecological art. In 2010, Cooley founded The Green Studio, a concept for an outdoor eco-art studio meant to connect art, design, science, and engineering students in a living studio/lab space for the creation of eco-focused creative projects. Land was granted in 2010 on the grounds of Mason’s Art and Design Building, and Mark has since directed the project, which has offered hundreds of students from across disciplinary boundaries a conceptual and physical space to creatively explore the interdependence of cultural and natural systems. Mark’s work primarily focuses on social and environmental issues in a variety of forms, including museum installations, documentary film, sound art, and permaculture design, and has been screened, exhibited, and performed internationally in venues such as Exit Art, NYC; FADO Performance Art Centre, Toronto; St. Louis Science Center; The World Social Forum, Mumbai; MediaLabMadrid, Spain; Anthology Film Archives, NYC; The Phillips, D.C.; and online at,, and more.


Edward Maibach, PhD., is a Distinguished University Professor at George Mason University and is the Director of Mason’s Center for Climate Change Communication. His research focuses on understanding and promoting public engagement in climate change. Previously, Ed served as Associate Director of the National Cancer Institute and as Worldwide Director of Social Marketing at Porter Novelli International. Ed was recently identified by Reuters as the most influential scientist working on climate change in an American public university, and last year he was awarded the Beck Family Medal of Excellence in Research and Scholarship—Mason’s top research honor. He holds a BA in psychology (University of California at San Diego), a Masters in Public Health (San Diego State University), and a PhD in communication science (Stanford University). He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and serves on the board of the Global Climate and Health Alliance.

As a Mason Artist-in-Residence, Small Island Big Song will also work with the community through classes and workshops during the week surrounding the performance, to build personal connections and inspire the participants to take action for the one ISLAND we all share.
Small Island Big Song: Trash to Music Workshop
Small Island Big Song: Cooking a Traditional Meal with Local Twists