Tell us a story…
No story is harder to tell than the one about our changing climate and what it means for each of us. Reciting the facts is not enough to move people to action, in fact, many shut down when they hear even the mention of global warming. How we break through the collective silence in creative and effective ways?
At the 2017 Northeast Regional Citizens’ Climate Conference, Peterson Toscano will present a breakout session that explores methods you can use to develop stories that inspire people to be curious about climate change.
Climate and the Art of Storytelling
Saturday March 18, 2017
NE Regional CCL Conference at UMASS Amherst
Conversations that entertain and enlighten
As an active climate leader, Toscano finds inspiration in his Quaker faith, and while that certainly has a lot to do with his motivation, it's far from his only method of relating to diverse audiences. For Toscano, a character actor who regularly performs his climate-minded theatrics in live productions across the country, the art is to bring people in with laughter and not scare them away with doom and gloom scenarios. He purposefully avoids shame and instead provides hope accompanied with a chuckle, giving audience members something to feel good about.
Who is Peterson Toscano?
Peterson Toscano is a performance artist, activist and comic storyteller. Although he performs throughout North America and Europe, he actually lives in Sunbury, PA. Toscano presents original one-person comedies that explore gender, sexuality, faith, and climate change.
His own personal story is bizarre. At first he struggled to accept himself seeing a conflict between his Christian faith and his gay orientation. After 17 years and over $30,000 trying to “de-gay” himself, he came to his senses and came out gay. He created the one-person play, Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House, helped produce the award winning documentary film, This is What Love in Action Looks Like, and contributed to the Lambda Award winning anthology, Gender Outlaws–The Next Generation.
As someone concerned with human rights, for the past two years Toscano has taken on climate change as his primary focus as he considers LGBTQ, faith, and comic responses to the climate crisis. His does not dole out the typical gloom and doom, shame and guilt global warming messages. Instead he infuses his work with hope. He challenges audiences to pursue community building as he helps them connect climate change to everything from immigration to a cup of coffee. He is the creator of Climate Stew and the host of Citizens Climate Radio.
Peterson Toscano led a transformative lunch-time discussion exploring the intersection between race, justice, and climate change, focusing on environmental racism in disaster relief efforts. From beginning to end, Peterson made Bates students feel welcomed, supported, and hopeful - a task nearly impossible when discussing the climate crisis. Peterson Toscano, a true beam of light, touched hearts and minds as he equipped Bates students with the rhetorical tactics and perspective necessary to create a more equitable world, and for that we are so thankful!