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  • Boston Public Library 700 Boylston Street Boston, MA, 02116 United States (map)

Cross-City Arts Partnerships: Challenges, Models & Impacts to Amplify New Voices

Thursday February 28, 6-8pm (with reception to follow)

Boston Public Library’s Central Library in Copley Square, Johnson Building, Rabb Hall

The Curatorial Network Accelerator BOSTON (CNAB) welcomes all to this free public conversation. The CNAB Team will convene speakers from Boston and beyond to share case studies of partnerships that have amplified the voice and visibility of curators working to reframe the cultural canon. The focus is on effective models toward change. The event will allow Boston-area curators, artists, students, funders, and all interested in the arts to engage in important questions, including: What are challenges in cross-city arts partnerships in connecting across differences in mission, audience, budget and scale? What arts partnership models have resulted in program innovations? What broader cultural/social impacts can collaborative curatorial projects have--new programming practices? structural shifts? cultural equity? With an introduction, moderated discussion and audience Q&A by Jen Mergel of CNAB, these panelists will share their experiences on cross-city collaboration:  


This event is located in a space accessible for ranging mobilities. Learn more HERE.

More about the Panel Speakers and Moderator:

David Leonard has led the 170-year old Boston Public Library as its President since June 2016. As steward of one of Boston’s educational, cultural, and civic treasures, David oversees a collection estimated to contain more than 23 million books, maps, manuscripts, prints, and an ever-expanding digital collection, along with the historic Central Library in Copley Square, 25 neighborhood branches, and an archival center. He completed the $78 million renovation of the Central Library in Copley Square, several significant branch improvements, and enhancements to the Library’s collections management. David’s focus has been on ensuring that the Library develops as a leading 21st-century institution, able to provide dynamic, necessary library experiences to the residents and scholars of Boston, and beyond. David will speak to the BPL, as both historically central and community connected, is civically positioned to partner with individual artists for community projects, as well as institutions like the MFA Boston

Terry Marshall is Founder and Strategy Architect of the creative action design lab, Intelligent Mischief. Terry has been involved in social justice movements for over 20 years and established Intelligent Mischief in 2013 to “hack social change.” Terry's work has spanned a range of intersecting creative and social justice endeavors including cultural organizing, creative production, curation, writing, cultural research, dance, event production, design, and political strategy. Prior to Intelligent Mischief he founded Streets is Watching and the Hip Hop Media Lab. He is an affiliate trainer and consultant for the Center for Story-based Strategy(CSS), a Beautiful Trouble trainer, co-founder of The BlackOut Collective, and sits on the board for Center for Artistic ActivismTerry will speak to how Intelligent Mischief has (or hasn't) been valued and validated as a cultural partner in Boston, and what that recognition has meant.

Jasmine Wahi is a curator, activist, and the Founder and Co-Director of Project For Empty Space. Her practice predominantly focuses on issues of female empowerment, complicating binary structures within social discourses, and exploring multi-positional cultural identities through the lens of intersectional feminism. Jasmine is also on faculty at the School of Visual Arts: MFA Fine Arts, where she focuses on Intersectional Feminism and Art Praxis. Her curatorial work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Vogue India, Hyperallergic, Whitewall, Artnet, and ARTnews to name a few. In addition to this work she has served on several boards including the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective, and the SPEAK Mentorship Program. She has also served as a Master Class professor for YoungArts and The Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) organization. Jasmine lives in Brooklyn, NY with her dog momo. Jasmine will trace how cross-city curatorial partnerships between the Lower East Side and Newark led to the program that is now Project For Empty Space, and how collaboration is the basis for her curatorial practice, her exhibition programming and the new Feminist Incubator at PES.

Jen Mergel is a curator and arts leader who has interviewed over 100 colleagues across Boston about the need to accelerate networking among local curators toward greater access, diversity and inclusion. By June 2017, she gathered curatorial colleagues to co-author a proposal for the Curatorial Network Accelerator BOSTON(CNAB) and continues to cultivate the team launch of the co-mentorship program. A Boston native, Jen has held curatorial and leadership roles with the Addison Gallery, Harvard’s Adam House ArtSpace, ICA Boston, MFA Boston, the Armory Show, and most recently the Emerald Necklace Conservancy to organize the citywide collaborative exhibition and performances for Fog x FLO: Fujiko Nakaya on the Emerald Necklace. She was a 2017 fellow of theCenter for Curatorial Leadership, which inspired the development of CNAB. Jen will introduce the panelists with her insights on cross-city curatorial partnerships and then moderate the panel discussion before opening ample time for for audience Q&A

Carol A. Stakenas is a curator and educator based in Brooklyn. Her work is deliberately varied in scope, content, and context. She has worked with artists across media including Natalie Bookchin, Cassils, Mel Chin, Fallen Fruit, Jeanne van Heeswijk, Suzanne Lacy, Marjetica Potrč, Raqs Media Collective, Ultra-red, Denise Uyehara with James Luna, and Marina Zurkow, and has produced numerous public projects at sites including Times Square, Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, the Los Angeles Police Department, and Kings County Hospital in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. Carol has taught at Bennington College, the Roski School/University of Southern California, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts, where she was head of the Gallery program from 2015-16. She is curator at-large for Social Practices Art Network (SPAN). Previously, she served as executive director of No Longer Empty (NY) and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) as well as deputy director/curator of Creative Time (NY). Carol will share ideas about what a curatorial partnership with community really means, what are best efforts, and why this work is an ongoing learning process.

This initiative is generously supported by a grant from The Krupp Family Foundation, and is hosted by the President's Office of the Boston Public Library in the Central Library in Copley Square. Fiscal sponsorship is provided by the Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston.   

Later Event: March 1