Arts organizations once sought patrons primarily from among the wealthy and well educated, but for many decades now they have revised their goals as they seek to broaden their audiences. Today, museums, orchestras, dance companies, theaters, and community cultural centers try to involve a variety of people in the arts. They strive to attract a more racially and ethnically diverse group of people, those from a broader range of economic backgrounds, new immigrants, families, and youth.
The chapters in this book draw on interviews with leaders, staff, volunteers, and audience members from eighty-five nonprofit cultural organizations to explore how they are trying to increase participation and the extent to which they have been successful. The insiders' accounts point to the opportunities and challenges involved in such efforts, from the reinvention of programs and creation of new activities, to the addition of new departments and staff dynamics, to partnerships with new groups. The authors differentiate between "relational" and "transactional" practices, the former term describing efforts to build connections with local communities and the latter describing efforts to create new consumer markets for cultural products. In both cases, arts leaders report that, although positive results are difficult to measure conclusively, long-term efforts bring better outcomes than short-term activities.
The organizations discussed include large, medium, and small nonprofits located in urban, suburban, and rural areas—from large institutions such as the Smithsonian, the Walker Art Center, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the San Francisco Symphony to many cultural organizations that are smaller, but often known nationally for their innovative work, such as AS220, The Loft Literary Center, Armory Center for the Arts, Appalshop, and the Western Folklife Center.
"I cannot overstate how profoundly my experience with the Prison Creative Arts Project has shaped my life. It began my engagement with prison issues, developed both my passion and my understanding of them, and I continue to draw on both as I seek to contribute to a more rational, humane and just criminal justice system. PCAP prepared me to adapt to any situation, to take risks, to collaborate with people very different from myself in a manner infused with total respect."
---Jesse Jannetta, researcher, Justice Policy Center, the Urban Institute
"PCAP provided me with an emotional education that I would not have received otherwise. PCAP continually opens the doors to the stark reality of our criminal justice system as well as our society's ability to right the wrongs of that system and provide justice to millions of men, women, and children . . . PCAP showed me the power I, and the individuals around me, have to make a difference."
---Anne Bowles, Policy and Outreach Associate, Institute for Higher Education Policy
"PCAP looks beyond past mistakes and personal shortcomings to find the beauty and creative energies that help to heal the hurts we've done to others. They have not forgotten that we are human too! . . . Their program has given me a way to reach people that I would otherwise never reach. For that, I owe PCAP everything. They are my lifeline that I cling to."
---Bryan Picken, incarcerated artist
Prisons are an invisible, but dominant, part of American society: the United States incarcerates more people than any other nation in the world. In Michigan, the number of prisoners rose from 3,000 in 1970 to more than 50,000 by 2008, a shift that Buzz Alexander witnessed firsthand when he came to teach at the University of Michigan.
Is William Martinez Not Our Brother? describes the University of Michigan's Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP), a pioneering program founded in 1990 that provides university courses, a nonprofit organization, and a national network for incarcerated youth and adults in Michigan juvenile facilities and prisons.
By giving incarcerated individuals an opportunity to participate in the arts, PCAP enables them to withstand and often overcome the conditions and culture of prison, the policies of an incarcerating state, and the consequences of mass incarceration.
Buzz Alexander is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of English Language and Literature, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, at the University of Michigan and was Carnegie National Professor of the Year in 2005.
More than twenty years ago, a New Jersey artist started a project for the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network that encouraged young people to paint murals on a few buildings around the city. Jane Golden could not have known that the Mural Arts Program (MAP) would become the nation's largest public art program and a model for programs throughout the country. With more than 2600 murals throughout Philadelphia, the program has brightened the lives of countless residents and tourists while providing a creative outlet for an astounding array of artists. MAP now works with more than 3000 students around the city, engaging them in a curriculum that teaches not only artistic skills but civic engagement and personal responsibility. In this sequel to the bestselling Philadelphia Murals and the Stories They Tell, published in 2002, More Philadelphia Murals and the Stories They Tell shares with the earlier work its beautiful color photography, along with profiles of the artists. Featured here is the remarkable story of an unlikely artistic collaboration—between boys who live in a residential facility, a community in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, and men who are incarcerated in a maximum-security state correctional facility. The 1/8 of a mile long mural they created, about balanced and restorative justice, was intended to help the young men give something back to a community they had harmed and help the community wrestle with issues around crime and violence. In the process of creating the mural, it became a life-changing experience for all involved. By recounting this story and the many others behind the works of art, More Philadelphia Murals and the Stories They Tell is as inspirational as it is beautiful.
How does a so-called bad neighborhood go about changing its reputation? Is it simply a matter of improving material conditions or picking the savviest marketing strategy? What kind of role can or should the arts play in that process? Does gentrification always entail a betrayal of a neighborhood’s roots? Tackling these questions and offering a fresh take on the dynamics of urban revitalization, The Philadelphia Barrio examines one neighborhood’s fight to erase the stigma of devastation.
Frederick F. Wherry shows how, in the predominantly Latino neighborhood of Centro de Oro, entrepreneurs and community leaders forged connections between local businesses and cultural institutions to rebrand a place once nicknamed the Badlands. Artists and performers negotiated with government organizations and national foundations, Wherry reveals, and took to local galleries, stages, storefronts, and street parades in a concerted, canny effort to reanimate the spirit of their neighborhood.
Complicating our notions of neighborhood change by exploring the ways the process is driven by local residents, The Philadelphia Barrio presents a nuanced look at how city dwellers can make commercial interests serve the local culture, rather than exploit it.
The Mural Arts Program of Philadelphia began in 1984 as a summer youth program with modest support from city government. Under the guidance of Jane Golden, however, it gradually grew into one of the largest and most successful public art organizations in the country, garnering support from local corporations, foundations, and individuals to extend the reach and effectiveness of its innovative programs.
Now three decades later, the Mural Arts Program has created more than 3,800 murals and public art projects that have made lasting imprints in every Philadelphia neighborhood. In the process, Mural Arts has engaged thousands of people of all ages from across the city, helped hundreds of ex-offenders train for new jobs, transformed the face of struggling commercial corridors, and developed funding partners in both public and private sectors.
While the Mural Arts Program has significantly changed the appearance of the city, it has also demonstrated how participatory public art can empower individuals and promote communal healing around difficult issues. Philadelphia Mural Arts @ 30 is a celebration of and guide to the program's success. Unlike Philadelphia Murals and the Stories They Tell and its sequel, More Philadelphia Murals and the Stories They Tell, Philadelphia Murals @ 30 showcases the results of 21 projects completed since 2009 and features essays by policy makers, curators, scholars, and educators that offer valuable lessons for artists, activists, and communities to emulate.
Philadelphia Mural Arts @ 30 traces the program's history and evolution, acknowledging the challenges and rewards of growth and change while maintaining a core commitment to social, personal, and community transformation.
Contributors include: Dr. Arthur C. Evans, Jr., Arlene Goldbard, Thora Jacobson, Rick Lowe, Dr. Samantha L. Matlin, Paulette Moore, Jeremy Nowak, Maureen H. O'Connell, Elisabeth Perez Luna, Robin Rice, Dr. Jacob Kraemer Tebes, Elizabeth Thomas, Cynthia Weiss, Howard Zehr, and the editors.
In June 1984, Jane Golden, a young muralist from Margate, New Jersey, headed up a project that was originally planned as a six-week youth program in the fledgling Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network. This small exercise in fighting graffiti grew into the most vibrant public art project in the United States. Led by Golden and dozens of artists, neighborhood residents, and volunteers, the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program has adorned the city with over two thousand murals. In the process, this vibrant art, painted mostly on city walls, helped to change the look of the city, creating an enduring legacy in all of the neighborhoods in which the murals were added.In this lavishly illustrated chronicle of the Mural Arts Program, you will see the murals in all of their beauty and learn about their inspiring legacies in neighborhoods throughout the city. Go behind the scenes to find out how murals are made and why the process is as much an art of diplomacy and consensus building as paint and perspective. Discover through pictures and text how murals give communities a new way to define themselves, not in terms of the streets and intersections that border them, but in terms of the people who came together to create something of dramatic beauty.
Remembering the AIDS Quilt
Charles E. Morris III Michigan State University Press, 2011 Library of Congress NX180.A36R46 2011 | Dewey Decimal 362.196979200973
A collaborative creation unlike any other, the Names Project Foundation’s AIDS Memorial Quilt has played an invaluable role in shattering the silence and stigma that surrounded the epidemic in the first years of its existence. Designed by Cleve Jones, the AIDS Quilt is the largest ongoing community arts project in the world. Since its conception in 1987, the Quilt has transformed the cultural and political responses to AIDS in the U.S. Representative of both marginalized and mainstream peoples, the Quilt contains crucial material and symbolic implications for mourning the dead, and the treatment and prevention of AIDS. However, the project has raised numerous questions concerning memory, activism, identity, ownership, and nationalism, as well as issues of sexuality, race, class, and gender. As thought-provoking as the Quilt itself, this diverse collection of essays by ten prominent rhetorical scholars provides a rich experience of the AIDS Quilt, incorporating a variety of perspectives, critiques, and interpretations.
2017 American Book Award Winner from the Before Columbus Foundation
In 1911, a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City took the lives of 146 workers, most of them young immigrant women and girls. Their deaths galvanized a movement for social and economic justice then, but today’s laborers continue to battle dire working conditions. How can we bring the lessons of the Triangle fire back into practice today? For artist Ruth Sergel, the answer was to fuse art, activism, and collective memory to create a large-scale public commemoration that invites broad participation and incites civic engagement. See You in the Streets showcases her work.
It all began modestly in 2004 with Chalk, an invitation to all New Yorkers to remember the 146 victims of the fire by inscribing their names and ages in chalk in front of their former homes. This project inspired Sergel to found the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition, a broad alliance of artists and activists, universities and unions—more than 250 partners nationwide—to mark the 2011 centennial of the infamous blaze. Putting the coalition together and figuring what to do and how to do it were not easy. This book provides a lively account of the unexpected partnerships, false steps, joyous collective actions, and sustainability of such large public works. Much more than an object lesson from the past, See You in the Streets offers an exuberant perspective on building a social art practice and doing public history through argument and agitation, creativity and celebration with an engaged public.
In What We Made, Tom Finkelpearl examines the activist, participatory, coauthored aesthetic experiences being created in contemporary art. He suggests social cooperation as a meaningful way to think about this work and provides a framework for understanding its emergence and acceptance. In a series of fifteen conversations, artists comment on their experiences working cooperatively, joined at times by colleagues from related fields, including social policy, architecture, art history, urban planning, and new media. Issues discussed include the experiences of working in public and of working with museums and libraries, opportunities for social change, the lines between education and art, spirituality, collaborative opportunities made available by new media, and the elusive criteria for evaluating cooperative art. Finkelpearl engages the art historians Grant Kester and Claire Bishop in conversation on the challenges of writing critically about this work and the aesthetic status of the dialogical encounter. He also interviews the often overlooked co-creators of cooperative art, "expert participants" who have worked with artists. In his conclusion, Finkelpearl argues that pragmatism offers a useful critical platform for understanding the experiential nature of social cooperation, and he brings pragmatism to bear in a discussion of Houston's Project Row Houses.
Interviewees. Naomi Beckwith, Claire Bishop, Tania Bruguera, Brett Cook, Teddy Cruz, Jay Dykeman, Wendy Ewald, Sondra Farganis, Harrell Fletcher, David Henry, Gregg Horowitz, Grant Kester, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Pedro Lasch, Rick Lowe, Daniel Martinez, Lee Mingwei, Jonah Peretti, Ernesto Pujol, Evan Roth, Ethan Seltzer, and Mark Stern