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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 Founders

Sarah Sutton

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.

Since 2017, Sarah has led the cultural sector for We Are Still In, the largest coalition of non-state supporters of the Paris Agreement anywhere in the World. 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
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.

Our Board

Chair, Scott Pollock
Scott (he/him) is a driven museum leader who is passionate to see museums stewarding people and the planet. Scott is the Executive Director of the Minnesota Maritime Art Museum (MMAM) in Winona, MN. As Vice-Chair of Minnesota Association of Museums and then Director of Museum Experience at Minnesota’s first LEED-Gold Certified museum, the American Swedish Institute (Minneapolis, MN) Scott led a state-wide effort to encourage museum leaders and practitioners to better understand their role in fostering healthier communities, including the natural communities we operate from. Scott is currently the executive director of the Minnesota Marine Art Museum (Winona, MN), a destination museum rooted in community committed to being a mentor and leader in creating sustainable and resilient futures.

Vice-Chair, Elizabeth Wylie
Elizabeth Wylie (she/her) is Principal of WYLIE projects and co-authored The Green Museum: A Primer on Environmental Practice with CEO, Sarah Sutton. She is an engaging collaborative professional with significant museum, development, marketing, programming, and planning experience and the ability to think and communicate strategically on the triple bottom line of community, environmental, and fiscal sustainability.

Treasurer, Laura Roberts
As a consultant, Laura Roberts works with cultural nonprofits on strategic planning, assessment, staff and board training, and organizational development. She was executive director of the New England Museum Association and director of education at three history museums in New England. Laura is the chair of the board of Central Square Theater in Cambridge, MA, on the board of History Cambridge, and is the former chair of the Tufts Art Gallery advisory board and MassHumanities. Laura teaches museum management at Harvard University and holds an M.B.A. from Boston University and an M.A. from the Cooperstown Graduate Program.

Secretary, Charles Walbridge
Charles Walbridge (he/him) is Lead Collections Photographer at Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA). With more than 15 years of experience documenting varied collections of fine art objects under exacting standards, Charles has been at the leading edge of digital capture, color management and studio workflow processes for cultural heritage. Since 2013, he has played a key role in developing 3D modeling techniques for MIA’s Visual Resources studio, forming cross-discipline collaborations with developers, animators, and maker spaces. He has presented at museum conferences on topics ranging from DAM to LED lighting. An avid biker, Charles is a leading voice on the Museum’s Green Team, a group driving MIA’s commitment toward sustainability. Charles also enjoys visiting elementary schools as a MIA Art Ambassador and leading kids in Art Adventure Tours.