Thank you for registering for our third program in the Necessary Relevance Arts & Culture Series, "Public Art." For those who were able to participate live, we hope you enjoyed hearing from our panel about the many ways in which supporting art can build up and bind local communities.
Unfortunately, we were unable to record the event due to a tech snafu, but here is a summary:
We began with opening remarks about the series, gave some background data points on the Federal and State budgets and private philanthropy in the US, and then we moved into the program:
- Jonathan Harris gave a brief history lecture on the history of federal arts grants in the US starting in a similar crisis of power and transition in US history in the 1930s during the New Deal and the community art centers operated by the Federal Art Project; he raised the issue of not having a commonly understood definition of what is “public” -- never mind what constitutes “art” in a multicultural society like ours; he also advocated for radically de-centralized control of resources that help support the creation of and access to art as a way for democracy to move forward;
- Samantha Matlin and Sara Ansell discussed the Porch Light Project and the study of whether public art can improve public health;
- Tova spoke about her experiences as a public art and mural artist, and her flexibility of engagement with the local communities in which she travels and works; and
- Emily Hooper Lansana described the empowering work of developing storytelling for individuals to be living tributes to culture and history in their communities