The Tales of Four Cities: Art as a Creative Strategy in Civic Systems & Process

Monday, October 13, 3:30 pm – 5:45 pm
Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce
235 Andrew Young International Blvd

Organized by Pam Korza, co-director, Animating Democracy, Americans for the Arts and Barbara Schaffer-Bacon, co-director, Animating Democracy, Americans for the Arts. Presented by Mary Briggs, director of cultural development programs, Arlington Cultural Affairs, Arlington, VA; Pat Finnigan, assistant city manager, City of Portland, Maine; Marty Pottenger, director of the Arts and Equity Initiative, Terra Moto Inc. and City of Portland Maine; Michael Rohd, founding artistic director, Sojourn Theatre; and Betsy Rosenbluth, northeast director of projects, Orton Family Foundation

In innovative efforts across the country, artists are working with and within city systems to reinvigorate public processes and advance civic goals. In Portland, ME, artist Marty Pottenger is engaging local artists with City Departments, from police to DPW, in artmaking to foster cross-cultural understanding. Toward revitalizing a traditionally African-American neighborhood in Arlington, VA, county staff and citizens have been working with a folklorist to re-imagine their neighborhood’s central square. In Chicago, Hartford, and Portland, OR, artist Michael Rohd aims to deepen conversations about housing and urban growth through “Built,” a project stimulating civic engagement via site-specific, game-based performances. And, in rural Vermont, the Orton Family Foundation is piloting an effort to integrate artists into community planning in small towns. This session explores what difference art makes in public process and what is needed to deploy creative resources to re-engage citizens in planning for their communities.

Suggested links:

Arts & Equity Initiative, Portland, ME
BUILT Home, Sojourn Theatre
Heart and Soul, Orton Family Foundation
Animating Democracy, Americans for the Arts