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Arts, Media, Performance & Design

The following resources will provide instructors with materials to support, introduce and infuse the SDGs into Arts, Media, Performance & Design lessons.

  • The Aga Khan Foundation of Canada has created lessons and activities in toolkits for Teaching the Sustainable Development Goals Through Arts. See the following:

Lesson Plan for SDG #3

Lesson Plan for SDG #5

Lesson Plan for SDG #6

Lesson Plan for SDG #15

  • Read Geomedia by Michael John Long. Three chapters form Part 3 of the guide Engaging STEM: A Guide to Interactive Resources. The author provides practical OER resources such as interactive maps, sample activities, guiding questions and teaching guides on how to use geomedia projects in the classroom.
  • Visit the Wakelet SDG page for lesson plans, links, videos, student challenges, activities, infographics and tasks for all of the 17 SDGs.
  • The Bygone Theatre in Toronto has made the decision to commit to following the 17 SDGs. Emily Dix stated that in 2020 when the global pandemic hit, they realized it would be a while before they could get back onstage. So, they focused on their Sustainability Plan, addressing all 17 United Nations SDGs, which align with their mandate and brand. 
  • The Sustainable Development Goals Fund has an online database of sustainable development case studies and a selection of effective practices on how to achieve a sustainable world and advance the 17 SDGs.

  • The Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth initiative in Vietnam and Kenya focuses on protecting and revitalizing endangered cultural heritage. In Vietnam, emphasis is placed on education, conservation, and community tourism. In Kenya, the #CultureGrows project promotes inclusivity and transmission of cultural heritage through contemporary practice and technology. Both initiatives contribute towards poverty eradication and equal access to economic resources.
  • Women of the World (WOW) Launched in 2010, WOW is a global initiative celebrating women and addressing their challenges. The British Council supports WOW activities empowering women and promoting gender equality, aligning with SDG 5: Gender Equality.
  • Running from 2012 to 2016, Transform enhanced artistic dialogue between the UK and Brazil for long-term impact. With 148 projects, this initiative created a platform for social inclusion and empowerment, including disability arts and vulnerable communities. Several initiatives remain active today, embodying SDG 10 through social, economic, and political inclusion.


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  • 30 Self Nudges for the SDGs is an SDG i-Level Project that launched the Self-Nudging Online Toolkit for University Staff on SDGs. Self-Nudges help remind university teachers and staff of the relevance of their work to the SDGs, prompting them to think about sustainable development, apply this mental framework to their work and as a result create more contributions to SDGs while feeling better about what they do. A continuous and reinforced engagement with the SDGs will create a mindset conducive to forging new individual contributions to sustainable development and the SDGs.
  • Visit the Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education for a breakdown of the event Realigning Curricula for the Future: Arts and Design and Sustainability. There were examples of good practice when embedding sustainability in the art and design curriculum, teacher discussions of experiences of embedding ESD and their reflections on how their curriculum represents the SDGs in a mapping activity. Watch the event on YouTube.
  • Visit the AP Archive, the film and video archive of The Associated Press (AP), one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent news gathering. The collection includes over 1.7 million global news and entertainment video stories dating back to 1895, sourced both from AP's own coverage and from our premium content partners. Hours of new video footage are added daily with coverage from AP's global news gathering network. 
  • Read Arts, Education and the SDGs for activities from Mark Reid, an Arts Education Coordinator at the British Columbia Ministry of Education.
  • The British Pathe is considered to be the finest newsreel archive in the world and is a treasure trove of 85,000 films unrivalled in their historical and cultural significance. Spanning the years from 1896 to 1978, the collection includes footage from around the globe of major events, famous faces, fashion trends, travel, science and culture. 
  • Visit Canva, an online design and publishing tool with a mission to empower everyone in the world to design anything and publish anywhere.
  • Visit NLP's Checkology with lessons and resources to show you how to navigate today’s challenging information landscape. Identify credible information, seek out reliable sources, and apply critical thinking skills to separate fact-based content from falsehoods. Checkology gives you the habits of mind and tools to evaluate and interpret information.
  • The UNESCO Creative Cities Network was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. The 246 cities which currently make up this network work together towards a common objective of placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level.
  • Visit CuriPow, a platform that lets curiosity empower people with a short untold story each day on the diversity of history through cultural identity and heritage. All of the CuriShorts are researched and curated from The Library of Congress.
  • Visit DigCitCommitt to learn about teaching digital citizenship that encourages being inclusive, informed, engaged, balanced and alert.
  • Visit Faculty for a Future and search the Seed Library It is a searchable database of open-access educational resources that can support educators and students by integrating sustainability into discipline-specific teaching and learning. Search by issue, discipline, resource type and characteristic.
  • Read Dr. Mark Terry's book The Geo-Doc – Geomedia, Documentary Film and Social Change . Terry's book introduces a new form of documentary film: the Geo-Doc, designed to maximize the influential power of the documentary film as an agent of social change. He also talks about The Youth Climate Report, a project he created and maintains in conjunction with the UNEP, which is a temporal, locative, evolving new form of a documentary film which he pins 3-minute videos submitted by students from around the world that examine climate change and other environmental issues.
  • Visit KQED for television, radio, digital media and educational services that change lives for the better and help individuals and communities achieve their full potential. They celebrate diversity, embrace innovation, value lifelong learning and partner with those who share our passion for public service. They partner with NPR and PBS. 
  • Visit Krita, a free and open-source painting program. The site is made by artists that want to see affordable art tools for everyone and includes concept art, texture and matte painters and illustrations and comics.
  • Visit My Shakespeare for media-rich, full-text editions of Shakespeare's plays. The myShakespeare learning tools are free for everyone. Instructors can encourage deeper classroom engagement and gain a richer understanding of Shakespeare’s most popular plays and create a free account.
  • Visit the News Literacy Project (NLP) , a nonpartisan national education nonprofit. It provides programs and resources for educators and the public to teach, learn and share the abilities needed to be smart, active consumers of news and information, and equal and engaged participants in a democracy. 
  • Visit the Planetary Health Film Lab where 4 Indigenous youth from the Canadian north portray environmental issues in their communities with the common theme of water. There is still and motion photography and interviews with local elders, residents, researchers, and planetary health experts. Profiles of Indigenous perspectives, impacts, and solutions to planetary health issues in their communities are examined from different approaches. Each film runs between three and seven minutes in length. Watch the 4 films.
  • Visit Reimagine Sustainability to find resources and articles to help you become a change agent and apply sustainability principles in your life as teacher or student through concept, mindset and action.
  • Visit the SDG Media Compact  for articles, events and resources as part of an initiative marking a new drive to advance awareness of the SDGs. The SDG Media Compact seeks to inspire news and entertainment organizations to leverage their resources and talent to amplify and accelerate progress towards achieving the Goals.
  • Visit the SDGs in Action Film Festival coordinated by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. It is an initiative to mobilize the creative community around the SDGs. The Festival offers grass-root filmmakers around the globe the chance to submit animated or live-action films up to 20 minutes long that showcase a person or project working on tangible solutions to the world’s biggest threats and making the Global Goals our reality. 
  • Visit Sketchbook. The goal is to exemplify all of the things that a sketchbook can be. A place where concepts are captured, kept and referred to in moments of need or reflection, and where creativity can take any shape, determined by the individual, because they have the tools and the freedom to surface their ideas in whatever form they see fit. 
  • TeachSDGs helps instructors to connect to the SDGs through resources such as videos, global projects, social media and teacher connections. 
  • Arts guiding the way to the SDGs is a live conversation report by The SDG Action Zone. The introduction states that "Art has long played an integral role in conveying messages of evolution, revolution, freedom and creativity, and a messenger to the masses of global issues. Art has the transformational power of taking macro ideas of worldwide transformation and communicating them in a digestible manner for society. The opportunities it presents highlight possibilities for change and bring to the forefront the urgency of working towards accomplishing the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Like everyone in society, artists also have a responsibility for using the work they put out into the world for a greater purpose. Art is not just a pretty painting, it is the pulse of society, the heart of the change they want to see in their local and global communities." 
  • This is an interview by SDGs Japan Portal with Japanese playwright Oriza Hirata called 'Theater and the Pursuit of a Sustainable Society'. The Japan Portal is a new platform covering the efforts to realize the SDGs in Japan and around the world.