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ASU's Herberger Institute helps shape the future of the arts

What does the future of the arts look like?

Alexis Moore of ASU (left) and Emma Plotkin of Bennington College traveled to the Future Arts Forward Conference in California as part of ASU's Studio for the Future of Arts and Culture.

That’s what a group of ASU students are puzzling out this month and the next, in a course called the Studio for the Future of Arts and Culture.

Ten students from ASU and four students from Bennington College traveled to San Jose, California, as part of the studio, to participate in the Center for Cultural Innovation’s Future Arts Forward conference Jan. 23. There the students, together with 250 other young artists and art leaders, addressed such questions as whom the arts should serve, and how the arts sector might shift to serve a changing America.

While in California, the students also spent the day at Stanford University’s Institute for Diversity in the Arts.

The six-week studio course, which began Jan. 9 and continues through mid-February, is a collaboration among ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Bennington College and the Center for Cultural Innovation, and is funded in part by a grant from the Ford Foundation.

The goal of the studio is to work with students using futurist methods and design thinking and to expose them to a variety of artist innovators, like the members of Herberger Institute’s Ensemble Lab, in order to generate new ideas about how to organize and support cultural life and the work of artists and designers in the future. 

Students will each be coached in presenting a powerful three-minute talk that advances a radical idea for innovation in our cultural system and will become art and design’s ambassadors to the field. Their mission? To shake up existing thinking and spur change in our country’s cultural policy framework.  

More news of the future to come after the students give their final presentations in February.