Today we’d like to introduce you to Alexander Zastera.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Alexander. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I learn by following my interests. A mix of a history of marching band flute, fascination with frog life cycles, a practice in painting and public education. I approach my life and work as an artist, educator, and activist in a multidisciplinary sense of visuals, sound, performance, policy, film, and educational pedagogy. I grew up in Florida, born and raised in Jacksonville where soggy oak trees and wooded pinelands instilled a love of nature. Attending Florida State University (FSU) as well as working as a clown on the weekends, honed my knowledge & humor when majoring in art history and studio art. After receiving my diplomas, I moved to South Florida for an internship with the Bass Museum of Art on Miami Beach and for the past seven years, where I have continued to work for various South Florida cultural institutions as well as build my own personal practice and business as an artist focused on environmental issues.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My most recent endeavor, Climate Crusader has been a new challenge of taking on an environmental super persona. Clad in yellow and blue knit and tights, the superhero has led and continues to have me reducing my personal carbon emissions, sculpting my body, and honing my knowledge of the local ecological issues through research and engaging communities in civic policy.
In my work, I try to strike an understanding of our natural world and the peril it faces. The way we live in society is unsustainable so I’m pushing to shift our societal habits to be better caretakers to the planet. It’s a struggle! The road has been bumpy and winding. While there have always been trials and tribulations of life: family deaths, living in one of the most expensive cities on an artist’s teacher wage, self-induced heartbreak– but through it all my friends, family, and community have always supported me in ways I’ve needed. Growing a company from the ground up and learning all the facets is grueling work, and it is going to take so much more time than you think, but I’m starting to see the rewards of heartache. The process is truly transformative, and I enjoy each new chapter of my life as I get there.
Climate Crusader – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Climate Crusader is a persona that found me. A quirky environmental superhero building climate literacy by connecting the cause and effect of what it means to be living on a heating planet: stronger storms, rising seas, and shifting cycles. Climate Crusader, Inc makes videos, educational materials, does workshops and appearances at schools, libraries, parks, beaches, nature centers, and museums. More recently with COVID 19, Climate Crusader has been in the CC home studio tinkering with calls to public action against the crumpling of land protections, mercury poisoning, and gutting of EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) regulations from the US federal government.
What I’m most proud of is knowing that the work I am doing is having an actionable impact. Families tell me about how they thought about Climate Crusader when they brought their reusable water bottle, took their bike to the store or told me about what they learned. The climate crisis we are facing is huge, daunting and the looming effects have already begun. While that might paralyze some, my hope is to help to drive actionable solutions that are fun and digestible to the public at large.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I think the proudest moment of my career has been seeing the impact I have made on my students and the community.
- Subscription to the Climate Crusader Chronicles on the CC Patreon ($6/month)
- Website: www.climatecrusader.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @climate.crusader
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/climate.crusader
- Other: www.alexanderzastera.com
Images provided by Climate Crusader, Inc