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Studio for Sustainability & Social Action (S3A)

Imagine the visual arts at Penn State with sustainability and social action at their core. Following the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, S3A is dedicated to sustainability and a philosophical and moral call to social action through artistic practice. 

Penn State logo
UN Sustainable Development Goals logo

Four Initiatives

  • Courses and Curriculum

  • Symposium and Exhibition

  • Community Collaborations and

  • Artist Lectures and Workshops. 


Care, Water, Food, Shelter, Cost

S3A Inaugural Biennial Symposium and Exhibition

April 22-24, 2021

We seek proposals that honor the five themes of the symposium while enhancing audience participation and engagement through creative forms, experimental approaches, scholarly research, and artistic production related to:

Care: Stewardship, Empathy, Hospitality, Disability, Injustice
Water: Value, Health, Accessibility, Climate Change, Pollution
Food: Insecurity, Organic Agriculture, Sustainable Agriculture, Foraging
Shelter: Homelessness, Urban Development, Inclusivity, Displacement, Museums
Cost: Human, Environmental, Cultural, Gift Economy, Grassroots Economy

Visiting Artist Series

Nancy Campbell will speak on Tuesday, November 10th, at noon about the challenges of making work about the climate crisis. Campbell will share stories about her time working in the Arctic and Greenland, about her experience in research residencies, and about her experience in producing visual art for communities. 

Art Collaborations

Kris Grey

Nichole Van Beek

Emily Steinberg

Calls for Proposals

The Studio for Sustainability and Social Action seeks proposals from artists and creators from Penn State  campuses who are interested in establishing or continuing a community-based art project that responds to one or more of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We seek to provide mini-grants to artists to work with communities on projects related to sustainability and social action.

UN 17 Sustainability Goals

The snow and ice of Greenland’s Upernavik island

Nancy Campbell is S3A's visiting artist and will be hosted at Abington Campus starting October 2020.   FROM Baffin Bay all that can be seen of the island is the museum on the promontory, its timber frame painted blood red. It’s said to be the most northerly...


Sustaining All Life

COMPROMISO CON TODAS LAS FORMAS DE VIDA | PRÉSERVER LA VIE SOUS TOUTES SES FORMES It is possible to limit the effects of human-caused climate change and restore the environment, but some very large changes in our economy and the lives we live are needed for this to...

Sustaining All Life

Sustaining All Life (SAL) and United to End Racism (UER) believe the environmental crisis cannot be resolved without ending racism, genocide toward Indigenous peoples, classism, sexism, and other oppressions.