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Embedding Artists: Residencies, Creative Placemaking & Social Justice

As part of the 2017 a2ru national conference: Arts in the Public Sphere: Civility, Advocacy & Engagement, please join us for Embedding Artists: Residencies, Creative Placemaking and Social Justice. A moderated panel that includes presenters:

Robert Blackson, Curator & Director of Temple Contemporary, Tyler School of Art
Luis Edgardo Cotto, Executive Director of Egleston Square Main Street
Karin Goodfellow, Director Boston Art Commission and Boston AIR
Bree Edwards, Director Northeastern Center for the Arts
Throughout history artists, musicians, and designers have been catalysts for civic engagement and social change. Creative placemaking brings the cultural sector into strategic collaboration with sectors more traditionally engaged in urban planning and development, such as transportation and housing. It is a strategic effort by governmental, commercial, nonprofit, civic, and philanthropic stakeholders to position the cultural sector as a crucial component of holistic, place-based planning in the Unities States. This holistic planning is intended to result in more equitable policy decisions and improved general well-being of all residents.
Through strategic partnerships with public health providers, community development corporations, low-income housing developers, and municipal governments, the cultural sector will be better able to ensure sustainable and lasting impacts in planning and development efforts. While artists already contribute to the economic vitality and well- being of place, “art engaged in community development imagines a different future and helps enact it” writes Jeremy Liu, PolicyLink Senior Fellow for Arts, Culture and Equitable Development.
This session features three models for creative placekeeping and artist residencies from within a variety of different types of institutions: municipal government, higher education and a Main Street local merchant organization.

Selected Projects:

Symphony for a Broken Orchestra
Philadelphia, PA
There are over 1,000 musical instruments owned by The School District of Philadelphia that cannot be played because they are broken and there is no available budget to fix them.  Symphony for a Broken Orchestra is a city-wide effort initiated by Temple Contemporary, Tyler School of Art  in partnership with the School District of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Orchestra, The Boyer College of Music & Dance, the Curtis Institute and numerous professional/amateur musicians throughout the city.  Together, these hundreds of musicians will perform a composition in October 2017 that is written specifically for the sounds these instruments can only make in their broken state.  This once in a lifetime arrangement is being written by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang to unite generations of Philadelphia musicians and audiences in support of music education for our public schools.

Following the performance, Temple Contemporary, Tyler School of Art, in collaboration with instrument repair professionals throughout the region, will repair all of the fixable instruments and return them back to the public schools they came from in the fall of 2018. Instrument repair kits will also be installed in every public school offering instrumental music classes, allowing any minor repairs to be fixed in the future.
Major support for Symphony for a Broken Orchestra is provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from the Barra Foundation.

Creative Placemaking in El Barrio
Boston, MA
Luis Edgardo Cotto, Executive Director of Egleston Square Main Street will speak about the ways in which art and creativity have been a tool for economic, increasing literacy & community development in Egleston Square, a changing Spanish speaking neighborhood of Boston.

Boston AIR 2.0
In October, 2016 the City of Boston’s Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, and Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) selected ten artists selected for the City of Boston’s second year of artists-­in-­residence program, Boston AIR.  Boston AIR is one initiative as part of the plan that will integrate creative thinking into the work of municipal departments and planning efforts.

The ten selected artists are invited to study and expand their own civic and social practice, alongside a parallel cohort from ten BCYF community centers and other City employees who will explore methods to incorporate artistic social practice into government and community work. Both the artist and City cohorts share examples of their work, attend master workshops and lectures by guest artists, and have opportunities to exchange ideas and co-design proposals.

Karin Goodfellow, Director Boston Art Commission will speak about this innovative pilot program that is becoming a national model for ways that artists can be embedded within municipal government and community centers across the city. Each artist was awarded a $22,500 stipend for a nine-month-long residency to develop and test ways that creative approaches can meaningfully impact the work of the public sector and society at large. Each artist was paired with one of ten designated BCYF community centers and provided a studio space at that center.