Piloted in 2019-2020, the Practices for Change fellowship for seven artists and culture workers employed at the intersection of policy, transportation, infrastructure, immigration, public land, community development and community placekeeping. This fellowship was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, in program collaboration with Center for Performance and Civic Practice, and focused on the goal of supporting and making visible the critical interstitial work that happens in community systems and creative placemaking in order to expand this field of practice. Amidst a tumultuous year of deep conversations about racial equity, and the rise of the global pandemic, this pilot program aimed to support fellows’ in research collaborations, focused development time, coaching, and peer to peer connections helped seed and germinate policies and plans to guide more equitable and intentionally considered communities in their respective areas.
Collaborations and responses to COVID-19
During the fellowship, Tara Mei Smith was able to develop and prototype her time travel place-knowing workshop which has now been implemented in community groups and cities across the country. The workshop was featured in collaboration with Carrie Ann Christensen at the National Consortium for Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit in late 2019 and recently with the Albuquerque Public Art program in efforts to guide public art finalists in a deeper practice of designing with attention to the history and sense-knowledge of a place.
Continued relationships and research collaboration blossomed for Mallory Ruhksana Nezam who recently launched an artist support network in collaboration with Amanda Lovelee and ASU Professor, Johanna Taylor called CAIR (Civic Artists in Residence) Lab. CAIR Lab supports artists-in-residence in government through research, public speaking and launching new programs in collaboration with government staff, artists, and communities.
Nazam and Taylor recently published a collaboratively-written guide to advancing racial equity in government facilitated artist residencies. The article can be found on the International City/County Management Association website.
Along with facilitating a program which places artists in municipal artist residencies, Nella Young, also initiated conversations with institutional field leaders for thoughtful responses to the pandemic centered around resilience and healing and the role of cultural activation within the Enterprise Community Development network. Read her thoughts on cultural resilience lessons during COVID-19 and beyond and on healing-centered community engagement.
photo credit: Katie Ann Franklin