Issue Eleven (January 2024)

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January 2024[edit | edit source]

Sustainability and Graduate Education - Survey and Results

In August 2023, the AIC Sustainability Committee Student Sub-Committee sent a survey to current students and recent graduates (2020-2027) of the Buffalo State University, Delaware/Winterthur, NYU, Queen’s, and UCLA graduate conservation programs. The aim of the survey was to gauge how emerging professionals perceive environmental, social, and economic sustainability. For this issue of Sustainability Now, we share our survey findings with the aim of providing insight into the ways in which emerging conservators value sustainability within the training programs and in the larger context of their careers.

Other AIC professional communities, including the Emerging Conservation Professionals Network and Conservators in Private Practice, have distributed surveys  (Expectations and Realities: The State of Emerging Professionals in the Field and Internships in Private Practice respectively) with similar aims of understanding the experience of conservation students and emerging professionals. We hope the data presented here can complement these initiatives and contribute to conversations that advocate for increased transparency and support for conservation practitioners.

There were 23 questions on the survey.  The graphs corresponding to the first five questions are presented below.  For the full survey results, please visit this special page on the Sustainable Practices Wiki.  For data scored on a sliding scale of 1 – 10, 1 indicates the least amount of agreement with each statement presented, and 10 indicates the most agreement.

Please reach out to us at with questions or comments.

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Updates from the Sustainability Committee Did you know the Sustainability Committee now hosts a podcast on Spotify called Green Tea with the AIC Sustainability Committee?

Episode 1: No Cost-Low Cost Tips for Sustainability with Lorraine Finch

ICON accredited conservator, Lorraine Finch, talks about her newest book, "No Cost, Low Cost Tips for Sustainability in Cultural Heritage" and de-bunks the many reasons why sustainability is perceived as more expensive than current practices giving listeners great starting points to consider in their own practice.

Episode 2: Communities of Care with Bianca Garcia

We speak with Bianca Garcia, from the Balboa Art Conservation Center in San Diego, California, about the changing landscape of the art conservation field towards engaging more directly with local communities and their heritage. This episode outlines a fascinating philosophy for conservation in a changing world and it is a must-listen for everyone working in the field today.

Episode 3:  The Impact of Repair Cafes with Netanya Schiff

Objects conservator Netanya Schiff speaks about the history of and their experience with Repair Cafes in the UK. Listeners will learn the basics about what is needed to start a Repair Cafe, the impact it has on our local communities, and how it can help conservators increase visibility of our field with the public to expand our skills and services. Thinking about conservation in relation to the growing movement for a repair revolution is impactful and reminds us that we can move to serve growing populations of people.

Episode 4: Engaging with Climate Activists with Annabelle Hornung

Annabelle Hornung, director of Nuremberg's Museum of Communication, speaks with Roxy about her experience inviting climate activists into museum spaces to communicate about the climate crisis in an unobtrusive way: without any glue or paint. She showcases the process, challenges, and successes of these kinds of partnerships and gives some recommendations for other institutions who also want to join in this reinterpretation of museum spaces as social arenas for change.

Follow Green Tea on Spotify to never miss an episode!

Do you have an interesting topic you would like to share on Green Tea? Reach out to us at with the subject heading "Green Tea."

Have you registered for the AIC Annual Meeting 2024 in Salt Lake City? Whether attending virtually or in person you can take the Green Attendee Pledge to model more sustainable conference attendance and build momentum for a more sustainable annual meeting in the future.

Sustainability updates from around the field (and beyond): COP28 was hosted in the United Arab Emirates this year and recently wrapped up. While the climate talks were shrouded in controversy, frustrating stagnation, and resistance to committing to “phasing out” fossil fuels, there was also some good news. While commitment to the complete “phasing out” of fossil fuels was not included in the final agreement, the nearly 200 participating nations did sign on to “transition away from” fossil fuels. The Resilience Hub which aims to “bring together a global community with diverse perspectives and experiences to share knowledge, co-create solutions and catalyse action” was present and continuing their work to strengthen communities and bring people together.  Additionally, the ‘Group of Friends of Culture-Based Climate Action’ was launched in response to the Global Campaign by Cultural Voices. Read more about it here! Stay tuned to the Sustainability Forum on the AIC Member Community for a full round up of take-aways from COP28 from the Sustainability Committee.

In other news, have you read the recent report from Museums Moving Forward about social and economic sustainability in our field? If not check out, Workplace Equity and Organizational Culture in US Art Museums.

Looking for Even More Resources? Check out our recent post on Instagram to coincide with COP28!

Visit the Sustainable Practices Wiki where you can find all of the previous Sustainability Now e-blasts and much, much more.

You can also join the Sustainability Forum on the AIC Member Community. It's an easy and effective way to stay informed on sustainability events throughout the field, learn about valuable resources, and share questions and ideas! To join, login to the member community, browse “all communities” and request to join the “Sustainability Forum.”