The Alaska Suite features a five-piece chamber jazz ensemble performing the original music of Seattle pianist and composer Nelda Swiggett.  But this is not just a concert. The performance engages the power of artistic expression — live music, spoken words, images and poetry — to connect audiences deeply and emotionally to the scientific realities of climate change. Ultimately a story of hope, the performance leaves audiences inspired to take action.

Listen to Nelda’s podcast interview about the Alaska Suite on Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network.

Why Alaska? While the earth has warmed on average about 2° F since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the Arctic is warming nearly twice as fast.  The impacts of climate change are significant and alarming in Alaska right now, and this should be a wake up call for all of us.

“… wonderfully inspiring… The content was informative without being preachy, the music was magical…”
— Gail M.

“… spliced with a dialogue about climate science and solutions. It touches the emotional edges of our understanding and invites action from a deeper place.”
Louise Stonington

“I saw and experienced the most compelling and beautiful music last night. Thank you Nelda Swiggett for the Alaska Suite. People! Bring this to your town. It’s about climate change, and Alaska, and… see it.” 
— Lisa Seifert

“… conversations and emails have been “a buzz” of enthusiasm and appreciation for your concert and climate message. It was indeed remarkable…”  
Linda Jack


The Alaska Suite debuted at Seattle First Baptist Church on Earth Day 2017. As of November 2019, it has been performed 23 times, touching over 1250 people with its message of hope and call to action.




What have you done, could do, or will do to make a difference

We have been inspired by the responses of our audiences to this question. Here’s a summary of their thousands of ideas:

Our Mission

To use the power of artistic expression — live music, spoken words, images and poetry — to connect our audiences deeply and emotionally to the scientific realities of climate change, and to inform and inspire them to act now to address it.

We believe climate change transcends politics.  It is an unprecedented existential threat that affects us all. We believe our greatest challenge is to overcome misinformation and for each of us to find the courage to act individually and together. Acknowledging the dire consequences and sheer scale of climate change can be deeply emotional, yet our response must be based on scientific understanding, technological innovation, sound economics, and effective policy. We believe the performing arts have a unique and powerful role to play in facilitating society’s response to climate change.


Nelda and her father

Nelda Swiggett (piano, compositions, narrative, curated images) is a Seattle native, and spent her childhood hiking, climbing and skiing the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Her father Jack Christiansen was a passionate explorer of the wilderness. From a young age, Nelda followed him deep into the heart of the Olympic and Cascade mountains, mostly off trail route finding with map and compass. Her love for the natural world started early and over time strengthened into a sense of urgency and personal responsibility to protect it. Continue reading “Biography”

Alaska Suite CD

The Alaska Suite CD features the nine songs (audio only) performed during a live performance of the Alaska Suite. All compositions composed and arranged by Nelda Swiggett except for Havoc (free improvisation).

Listen to excerpts:

Nelda Swiggett – piano, voice
Julian Smedley – violin
Clif Swiggett – trombone, bongos
Chris Symer – bass
Adam Kessler – drums

The Alaska Suite CD is available at Alaska Suite performances for a donation of $10 or more to support future performances of the Alaska Suite.

Talk about it

. . . the most important thing you can do right now to fight climate change is to talk about it.

Americans rarely talk about climate change with family and friends. Research shows that this climate silence reinforces the dangerously wrong belief that climate change isn’t an existential threat requiring urgent action.

The overwhelming majority of climate scientists  — 97% — understand that humans are the primary cause of global warming since 1950. We are as certain that humans are responsible for recent climate change as we are that cigarettes are dangerous to your health.


Your next bar conversation is about climate change. Here’s how to do it.

It is “massively important” we all start talking about climate change, a Yale researcher explains.

Conservatives should change how they think about global warming. I did.

Stay informed. A few suggestions.

Climate Fwd: WEEKLY: What on Earth is going on? Sign up to get our latest stories and insights about climate change — along with answers to your questions and tips on how to help.

Inside Climate News: A Pulitzer Prize-winning, non-profit, non-partisan news organization dedicated to covering climate change, energy and the environment.

Green Tech Media:   Free intelligence and insights from industry experts and leading companies on the global energy transformation.

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