Tag Archives : civic life


City, Arts and Public Spaces: Christian Frock

As much of my work as a writer, curator and educator focuses on the ways artists work in public space, I am drawn to dialog that parses the meaning of public space in civic life. Recently I have been thinking about two (seemingly) unrelated articles by New York Times critic Michael Kimmelman that explore the value of public spaces in an urban context. In an article dated May 31, 2013, titled “A Streetcorner Serenade for the Public Plaza,” Kimmelman considered the trend towards revitalizing marginalized spaces as “public” plazas largely for the benefit of nearby businesses, while only superficially addressing the failure of POPOS to function as truly public platforms (a revelation heightened by the Occupy movement).

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ART/CITY: Susan Medak

“In relation to the arts and civic life, the question I am wrestling with right now is…” what is the future of ‘place based’ arts when the concept of community is being to radically redefined. So much artistic creation has, historically, been informed by a specific location, a relationship with a specific geographic community, and a very real sense of presence and live engagement.

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medak

ART/CITY: Suzanne Tan

“In relation to the arts and civic life, the question I am wrestling with right now is…” how can smaller organizations like Berkeley Art Center continue to play an important role in the civic dialouge in connection with and collaboration with larger arts organizations and other multi-disciplinary organizations, in a way that encourages collaborative and community input and a sense of belonging in one’s own community–our city being one that is highly unique, educated, and creative.

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ART/CITY: Noah Simblist

What is the role of the university in a city? Are we, as an institution, cultural producers providing the city with content such as exhibitions, lectures, or public projects? Are we organizers, facilitators or interpreters of civic life? Or is our primary role to train students to be cultural practitioners that can either act as cultural workers in our city or elsewhere? This last question can often become a significant choice between encouraging students to stay and act locally within Dallas or to travel to major global cultural centers such as New York, Los Angeles, London or Berlin.

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ART/CITY: Kathleen Reinhardt

In relation to the arts and civic life, the question I am wrestling with right now is… how engagement-based practices through an anchoring of the artist in the community and space-making through art can occur and why. I am focusing on several projects by black artists (Wangechi Mutu, Edgar Archeneaux, Rick Lowe, Theaster Gates) committed to creating sustainable cultural moments, and how these cultural moments can be of importance not only for the community they are created in, but also for an art audience.

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ART/CITY: Sue Bell Yank

In relation to the arts and civic life, the question I am wrestling with right now is whether it’s possible for arts organizations and artists to willfully create the conditions for long-term civic redevelopment and permanent social change on a large scale. I have recently participated as an advisor and evaluator for projects of differently-sized ambitions, primarily focusing on neighborhood revitalization through the arts – Watts House Project in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, The Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia’s Chinatown, and the UCLA CityLAB visioning project in Westwood, Los Angeles.

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ART/CITY: Mary Ann Merker

“In relation to the arts and civic life, the question I am wrestling with right now is…” leveraging funding due to the budget problems currently in place with local governments. The silver lining in this money challenge is the new partnerships we have been able to forge with community agencies that are not the “usual suspects.”

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