Why is the sky blue? Why does the sky matter?
Sky Day is September 21 - an annual celebration of our one, shared sky. Learn more.
SkyDayProject is a citizen artwork created to celebrate Sky Day. Each year we invite people all around the world stop for a moment, look up at our sky and reflect on what it means to us all while they document it’s dynamic changes in photography. They then post their photo to the SkyDayProject mosaic at skydayproject.org. To celebrate Sky Day 2018 we installed SkyDayProject on the International Space Station!
Inspiring citizen engagements on global sustainability.
To partner with artists and scientists interested in promoting greater understanding of our sky. From the surface of the earth to the edge of space - How does our sky function? What are its vulnerabilities? Why should people care? And what are the implications for our definition of community?
As artists it moves us to observe it, paint it, photograph it and write and sing about it. As scientists it stokes our curiosities and pushes us to understand how it functions.
We want to encourage people to view themselves as members of a larger global community that must unite with a common will to protect our sky for the benefit of all.
Our sky wraps completely around our planet so everyone can see it and feel it. All you have to do is look up or breathe in! Yet this sharing of our sky presents us with great challenges since what we do to it in one place directly impacts our sky across the globe.
SkyDay initiatives combine art and science to challenge us to think in new ways about our relationship to the sky.
Ben founded OnlyOneSky in 2014 after hearing Yo-Yo Ma speak about the need for artists to find new ways of using whatever skills they have to serve community - especially young people. Ben already knew what he wanted to talk about. The environment has been the subject of his work for over 30 years. Looking out the plane window heading home Ben had a something of a vision. People all over the world were looking up, connecting to the sky and reflecting on how it connects us all as one global family. And while they were doing so they were photographing it's dynamic changes and together, all over the globe, posting their photos to an evolving on-line sky mosaic that was as beautiful and varied as the sky itself. This citizen art stood as an emblem showing they recognized how important the sky was to them and how they wanted to come together as an enlightened generation to solve the global warming crisis.
Ben asked his wife Judy Grimmer and friends Sascha Bopp and Chris Frye to help him flesh out the idea. The project sounded like a portal to something. But a portal to what? After long consideration they decided to build an interactive educational platform together called SkyDay so artists and scientists could collaborate on global initiatives that would teach about how our sky functions and what its vulnerabilities are and encourage participants to think of themselves as being part of a global family with a shared problem to solve. To guide these initiatives they created a SkyTeam - a team of artists and scientists charged with advising on the development of SkyDay initiatives. Astronaut and artist Nicole Stott and Northwestern University climate scientist Daniel Horton were the first to join and together they worked to define SkyDay's educational goals. Soon afterwards they were joined by atmospheric scientist, University of Illinois Professor and IPCC lead author Don Wuebbles, scientist, poet and lecturer in science communication Sam Illingworth and poet, performer and producer Dan Simpson.
SkyDay is the name of our educational platform but it is also an annual celebration of our sky held on September 21. The first Sky Day was on September 21, 2017 with the inauguration of SkyDayProject - a global citizen artwork in which people all over the world stop for a moment, look up at our sky and reflect on what it means to us all while they document it’s dynamic changes in photography. They then post their photos to the SkyDayProject mosaic at skydayproject.org. That day schools and organizations took part all over the world. Ben, Nicole Stott and Daniel Horton were interviewed on WBEZ Chicago’s Worldview program (listen) and Chicago’s great Adler Planetarium hosted a beautiful three day installation of SkyDayProject over Sky Day weekend September 22 - 24, 2017.