Florida Family Melts at Orlando City Hall to Raise Awareness of Florida’s Rising Heat & Climate Crisis

Mayor Buddy Dyer and State Representative Anna Eskamani to Support Orlando September Series of CLEO Institute Florida Climate Crisis Campaign

ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 24, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Is the hottest summer on record in Florida capable of actually making people melt? In a way, yes, and in less than a week. The CLEO Institute, in concert with Volo Foundation, has partnered with Miami ad agency Zubi and award-winning artist/inventor/director Bob Partington to show us just how fast-rising temperatures are affecting the state, its wildlife, and its people.

Partington, well-known for hosting The History Channel’s ThingamaBob show and for his unique inventions that combine art, science, technology, math, and engineering, was challenged by Zubi earlier this year to bring to life a creative concept the agency had to help CLEO put the state’s climate crisis in the spotlight.

Zubi’s idea was to create a series of wax sculptures that would literally melt in the Florida heat in less than a week. The agency then reached out to Partington, who was tasked with creating the melting sculptures. Working with colleagues at mixed media production company 1stAveMachine’s Los Angeles studios, Partington created three sculptures that will each reveal a secret message related to their subject when they have melted. The next step was to decide what to depict. “Florida is such a visually enthralling state,” said Partington. “There are so many things that make it special. But the Zubi team asked us to hone-in on three icons that represent what Floridians and the world stand to lose – forever – if action is not taken now.”

The first sculpture, depicting a lifeguard house of the kind to be found on beaches around the state, was unveiled on September 9th at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Miami and melted to reveal a message- “More Heat, Less Beach.” According to Zubi’s Executive Creative Director Iván Calle, the hope is that people will stop and think about how the sea-level rise and coastal erosion caused by rapidly warming global temperatures threaten both quality of life in the state and Florida’s tourism-driven economy.

The second sculpture – unveiled last week at ZooTampa – is of a Florida Panther mother and cub. The message? More Heat, Less Wildlife. “Real panthers don’t actually melt,” continued Calle, “but we wanted to artfully show how extreme heat and other effects of the climate crisis, like rising seas, are a threat to their continued existence, and that’s something all Floridians want to prevent.”

The third and final sculpture, featuring a grandfather and granddaughter enjoying a pleasant day on a park bench and called simply “Florida Family,” will be unveiled today in front of Orlando’s City Hall. The idea is to connect the impacts of rising temperatures and our health, as well as Orlando’s globally famous tourist attractions and natural beauty to the legacy Floridians will leave behind for future generations.

“The climate crisis is a threat to our health. From respiratory and cardiovascular disease, to mental health and infectious diseases, we must do more to lower our global warming pollution,” said Yoca Arditi-Rocha, CLEO’s Executive Director. “Extreme heat is a threat to everything we care about. We need to understand that this is not just an environmental issue but the biggest challenge to our livelihoods here. All Floridians need to come together and demand bold climate action from our elected leaders. We encourage everyone to take the Florida Climate Pledge to lend a hand.”

The CLEO Institute’s #FlClimateCrisis campaign this month has included not only the three melting sculptures but also numerous events to highlight multiple threats to the state’s quality of life. The campaign has won the support of several elected leaders from Florida, including the Mayor of Orlando, Buddy Dyer and Florida State Representative Anna Eskamani, who will both attend a press conference at the unveiling of the Florida Family sculpture at City Hall in Orlando today. “In Florida and around the world, vulnerable and marginalized populations are hit first and hardest by the climate crisis,” said Eskamani. “This is a challenging moment in our nation’s history – but it’s also an opportunity to set new norms for generations to come.”

Following are the remaining events that The CLEO Institute has planned for September:

Sept. 18-25Florida Panther Family Sculpture ExhibitZoo Tampa at Lawry Park
Sept. 24-30Florida Family Sculpture ExhibitOrlando City Hall
Sept. 24Surviving Florida Summers: Heat Stress on Outdoor Workers(Virtual)

The Florida Climate Crisis campaign has been made possible via a grant from VoLo Foundation, private, Florida-based philanthropic foundation led by Thais Lopez Vogel and David S. Vogel that seeks to accelerate change and global impact by supporting science-based climate solutions, enhancing education, and improving health.

“This year’s temperatures around the world are among the highest ever recorded,” remarked VoLo’s Thais Lopez Vogel. “That trend will continue and accelerate if we don’t take collective action and rein in warming emissions. By working together and listening to our climate scientists, Floridians can limit days of extreme heat and sea-level rise and save the state they treasure.”

People seeking more information about the wax sculptures and The CLEO Institute’s month-long focus on the numerous ways in which climate change is threatening Florida are encouraged to visit FlClimateCrisis.org. The public is invited to ask questions and comment on social media using the hashtag #FlClimateCrisis.

About The CLEO Institute
Founded in 2010, The CLEO Institute (CLEO) exists for the sole purpose of building climate literacy and spurring climate action. As the only nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Florida that is exclusively dedicated to climate change education and engagement, CLEO is viewed as the go-to regional source for credible, vetted climate science and expert insights into a variety of fields impacted by climate. The CLEO Institute is a 501(c)(3) working with communities across Florida to build climate literacy and mobilize climate action for a resilient future. Learn more at cleoinstitute.org.

About VoLo Foundation
(VoLo) is a private, non-operating foundation in Jupiter, Florida. VoLo believes in developing knowledge and sharing information that has the potential to create a global impact. Through original research and analysis, and in collaboration with philanthropic and academic partners, we aim to enrich the lives of individuals, strengthen communities, and educate future generations. Learn more and subscribe to VoLo Climate News at VoloFoundation.

About Zubi
Zubi is a full-service Multicultural Communications unit of WPP’s Specialist Communications division. It was founded by American Advertising Federation Hall of Famer Tere Zubizarreta (1937 – 2007). Specializing in communications that target growth segments, Zubi has been creating best-in-class creative work–always anchored on strong consumer insights and business analytics–for the likes of Fortune 100 companies since 1976. Zubi’s current client list includes Ford Motor Company, Lincoln Motor Company, Ford Dealers Association of California and Arizona, JP Morgan Chase, Grupo Rodilla, Mars Petcare, The CLEO Institute, and the Inter American Press Association. Zubi leverages its national footprint with offices in Miami (HQ), Los Angeles, and Detroit.

About 1stAveMachine
1stAveMachine is a mixed media production company and storytelling outfit. They create video, digital, and experimental content for TV, print, web, and mobile, all with a unified singular vision. They have won numerous awards since their formation, including Gold, Silver, and Bronze Cannes Lions, AICP, One Show, and ANDY awards, and many others. Their work has been featured across the globe and during the Super Bowl, and their division 1stAve Content has been instrumental in pairing the perfect influencers and creators with agencies and brands.

Joe Ramirez

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/74b0b46a-112c-4a95-9cbd-68852e63d240

Florida Family for Release