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UMass Amherst Libraries


Growing healthier communities based on sustainable energy use, agricultural production, building design, economic development and more.

Celebrate Art and Sustainability

The 2021 Undergraduate Sustainability Award is a collaboration between the UMass Amherst Libraries and Lillian Kurina ’21, a Natural Resource Conservation major and part of the Waste and Recycling Fellowship through the Physical Plant. For her semester project, Lillian developed the concept of the 2021 Sustainability Award focusing on art to inspire UMass Amherst undergraduates of all backgrounds to reflect on their relationship to the environment and how they experience climate change.

Five awards will be given in the form of $700 scholarships.

See winning submissions of previous student awards in the Sustainability Student Showcase on ScholarWorks, the University’s digital repository:

For information about the award, contact Lillian Kurina
For information about the Libraries role, contact Madeleine Charney



  • Be a full- or part-time UMass Amherst undergraduate enrolled in any discipline and at any level; student teams may also apply. 
  • Diversity of age, ability, race, religion, gender, social class, educational background is welcome

  • Any type of art, submitted via video of up to 5 minutes (e.g painting, dance, sculpture, textile, poetry). If your art is an actual video, any length is accepted. 

  • Art that reflects the student’s  relationship to sustainability and the environment. 

  • If awarded, agree to add your project to ScholarWorks, the UMass Amherst digital showcase (with a Creative Commons license of your choosing). You can view award winning projects in the Student Showcase on ScholarWorks. If not awarded, your project can be added to a website designed for this project.

Timeline and Submission instructions

By 11:59pm March 12 - Complete this application of intent (art does not have to be completed until April 9)
By 11:59pm April 9 - Submit a video (up to 5 minutes) showing your art project and a short essay (up to 250 words) describing the project and meaning to the artist

Each participant will receive a Box folder link for submitting their video (up to 5 minutes) and essay (up to 250 words).

Interviews with Lillian (optional) will take place as submissions are received 

Earth Day, April 22 - Notification of awards

Reception to celebrate winners, April 29 5:30-6:00pm - Watch here for ZOOM LINK


Review Process

The following criteria will be used for evaluating the art project submissions:

1) Effect for sustainability change or broader sustainability awareness/appreciation (environmental, social, and/or economic) 

2) Creativity

3) Essay (up to 250 words) describing the project and meaning to the artist

Lillian Kurina, Natural Resources Conservation student
Lauren Weiss, Office of Communications, Libraries 
Madeleine Charney, Research Services, Libraries