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Our Story

For over 25 years, Sarah Sutton has actively supported the cultural sector. She became a sole proprietor in 1993, and in 2006 shifted her work from contract grant writing to environmental sustainability through Sustainable Museums. With demand and opportunity significantly increasing, it is time to adapt again, and expand.

In 2008, Stephanie Shapiro took Sarah’s inaugural The Green Museum course as part of The George Washington University’s Master’s curriculum. Inspired by Sarah, she focused her degree on environmental sustainability and museum administration. At the same time, The Green Museum: A Primer on Environmental Practice was published by Sarah and ECP Board Vice-Chair Elizabeth Wylie. This publication served as a foundational text and change catalyst for many museums.

Since 2008, Sarah and Stephanie have conducted work individually and together across ECP’s environmental leadership portfolio. Activities include serving in various leadership positions on the board of the American Alliance of Museum’s Environment and Climate Professional Network, collaborating on various publications and research initiatives, and representing U.S. cultural institutions at the 2019 U.N. Council of Parties in Madrid, Spain.

Beginning in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic plunged the cultural sector into dire economic distress with layoffs and cut-backs to mission-critical work. The sector pivoted but supported the public as best as it could. Layoffs and decreased operating income did not stand in the way of the sector giving back to their communities even though resources were so scarce. At the same time, Sarah was finding that demand exceeded her individual capacity to lead and facilitate the cultural sector’s response to a changing climate. It was once again time to adapt.

In 2021, Sarah and Stephanie co-founded the non-profit organization, Environment & Culture Partners to strengthen and broaden the environmental leadership of the cultural sector.

Our Team

Sarah Sutton, co-founder and CEO
As CEO, Sarah (she/her) brings her recognition in the field and credibility with national funders and associations to create, and pursue funding for, projects to expand and accelerate the cultural sector’s environmental leadership.

In 2022, Sarah was named to Blooloop’s Power 10 List of Museum Influencers. Sarah holds a LEED-AP certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, served as a Salzburg Fellow in 2017, and earned the American Alliance of Museum’s Environment and Climate Professional Network’s Individual Impact Award.

Sarah lives in Tacoma, WA and can be found paddling, backpacking, gardening, and tending to her chickens.

Stephanie Shapiro, co-founder and Managing Director
As Managing Director, Stephanie Shapiro (she/her) brings her strategic thinking, change management, program management experience and humor to oversee operations, infrastructure, and organization of ECP. She has spent the last decade managing programs and teams implementing high-impact, tailored data-driven solutions for lasting change across the government, non-profit, and private sectors. She also holds her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute.

Stephanie lives in Washington, DC with her husband Devin and dog Duncan. She can be found baking, needlepointing, and visiting local breweries and wineries.

Danielle Sakowski, Program Manager
Danielle Sakowski (she/her) completed her MA through the Museology program at the University of Washington in 2020. She has worked with five museum collections, coordinated volunteers, supported fundraising, researched museum climate engagement, and assisted in the creation of ECP projects. Danielle delights in learning about the compelling intersections of culture and climate and believes strongly in the cultural sector’s power to inspire hope and action. She is thrilled to be a part of this work with ECP and their partners.  

When she wants to bliss out, Danielle wonders over long walks, explores unfamiliar places, visits new worlds with chocolate cake (finding allergen-friendly options in the wild is an excellent challenge), and of course, visits new museums every chance she gets.