The history of ART is a window into the evolution of environmental music in Canada. In the late ‘80s I was performing at environmental benefits steadily—for the Wilderness Committee, Greenpeace, Stein Festival, Northwest Wildlife Preservation Society, on and on. You name the group, I probably did a benefit for them. We heard the leading speakers of the day, and it was a big influence on our songwriting; we began accumulating a library of songs. We couldn’t survive by playing benefits of course. Everyone else got paid—the sound guys, the venue, the poster printers—but us musicians were always expected to do it for free!

So Stephen Foster and I founded ART based on the belief that there is a market for entertainment with heart and soul and a focus on nature. The vision behind ART was to create an organization to support artists and ecological literacy, one that embodies enlightened capitalism: make money by doing good things.

Surviving as environmental artists was a roller coaster ride. Stephen’s vision and determination carried us through. He utterly believed that we were doing the right thing, and refused to give up. We became survival artists. We used to say, during the financial downturn of the early 80s, “We lost our jobs long ago!” However… we’re still here. And Kevin Wright and I carry on this work.

These stories are our history.   Holly Arntzen  😉
Listen to Why Does The Rain Fall?

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Artists are conveyors of powerful messages.
Beauty adds colour to the simplest life.
The singer resonates;
the artist illuminates; the writer rearranges,

the humourist laughs at the unyielding Leviathan.
A spoonful of sugar…

Culture reflects society’s values.
We have nothing to fear…but fear itself.

Cultivating positive beliefs,
a faith in ourselves, our neighbours,

and our common future will inspire us to act.
We can get the job done!

Listen to I Believe 

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CHAPTER 1. The Artist Response Team was born in 1989 on the decks of a 20-foot sailboat.  We had been invited to join a Greenpeace flotilla that was circling a massive US nuclear-armed warship lurking in Vancouver harbour. Bill Henderson was there.  Stephen and I had lugged my keyboard on board, along with our Bose speaker system.  We were playing a new song we’d just written, called Three Minute Culture. 
Listen to 3 Minute Culture
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CHAPTER 2. We knew we had to raise money, so we got busy creating the most kick-ass proposals you ever saw, with the help of our trusty Imagewriter dot-matrix printer, and colour photocopiers at Kinko’s.  We did it all by paste-up; we didn’t have the software to do it digitally on computer.  Featuring Carl Chaplin’s immortal artwork and Gary Larsen Far Side cartoons.

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