Arlene Birt

Graphics Officer


Arlene Birt is an infodesigner, visual storyteller, public artist, and educator.

Founder and creative director at Background Stories, Birt is an expert in information visualization and visual storytelling for social and environmental topics, translating complex ideas, systems, and metrics into clear visuals, helping people (especially non-experts) understand sustainability, and creating infographics, data visualization, and visual storytelling. As an associate professor in Arts Entrepreneurship at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), Birt teaches courses on infodesign, data visualization, arts entrepreneurship, and sustainability since 2008.

Birt has consulted with the UN’s Environment Program, received a Fulbright grant to research visual communication methods to ‘explain’ sustainability, and was trained by Al Gore to give Climate Reality presentations.

Birt’s work on sustainability rides the line between art and communication.