14 November 2014
We hope you enjoy this weekly update, which highlights some of our recent activities and the work of other cultural agents. Please see our websites for more information, news, and a list of our upcoming events:
http://www.culturalagents.org and www.pre-texts.org.
As we hope to support your work as a cultural agent too, please send your news to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To all of our supporters, “connectionists” (tejedores, tecelões), and collaborators throughout the world, thank you!
With many thanks,
The Cultural Agents Team
Lisa Crossman, the Executive Director of the Cultural Agents Initiative, attended the conference “Unruly Engagements: On the Social Turn in Contemporary Art and Design” at the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA), November 6-8. This interdisciplinary and international conference brought together artists, scholars, curators, and administrators of non-profit arts organizations to examine the multitude of contemporary socially engaged practices in art and design. The conference began with a keynote address by Shannon Jackson, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Arts and Humanities of Rhetoric and Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, setting a critical tone for the ensuing examination of major concepts and debates related to “unruly engagements.” The conference is part of the CIA’s yearlong academic program, Community Works: Artist as Social Agent, which focuses on the theme of social engagement through such activities as courses, exhibitions, artist residencies, and community collaborations.
Professor Doris Sommer presented her new book The Work of Art in the World: Civic Agency and Public Humanities at the New School for Social Research. The event, sponsored by the Janey Program in Latin American Studies, was held on Thursday, November 13 at 4pm.
Professor Sommer is also presenting at “Contact Zones: A Conference in Honor of Mary Louise Pratt” on Friday, November 14 at New York University.
The Cultural Agents Initiative is looking for an intern to help manage our visual materials and inform the public of our activities. In addition to helping us archive documents, this intern will help us continue to update our websites, and contribute to such projects as our Civic Humanities map. If you are interested, please email us at email@example.com.
Lisa Crossman and Elena Fratto, a Harvard PhD Candidate in Comparative Literature, facilitated a Pre-Texts workshop for a group of ninth graders visiting Harvard University as part of Project Teach.
Project Teach is an early college awareness program that demystifies college and presents higher education as an attainable and affordable aspiration. A collaboration between local urban public school systems, Harvard College, and Harvard University’s Office of Public Affairs and Communications, Project Teach aims to motivate more youth to think about college by familiarizing them with the university environment.
For more on Project Teach, see:
Other Active Cultural Agents
Off Color is a series of videos, published in The New York Times, that address the subjects of race and racial stereotypes through the arts. From comedians to screenwriters, the artists question common assumptions about race and the ways racial minorities participate in the media. To watch this series:
The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture is recruiting a second group of Cultural Agents. The USDAC provides online trainings, and support from its national network to help initiate creative local projects. Applications are due on November 21, 2014. For more information and to apply, please visit:
One night, the Argentinean artist Gastón Pauls encountered a group of homeless children living on the streets of Buenos Aires. When the artist asked a boy what he needed, the child replied: “I need a place to express what I feel.” The answer shocked Pauls, and this remark became the starting point of the Casa de la Cultura de la Calle (Home of the Culture of the Street), an initiative that promotes creativity as a tool to reconstruct social connections among children and adolescents in situations of social exclusion. Since its beginning in 2004, the initiative has involved over 400 kids in art-based projects ranging from theatre to book publications. To learn more about this initiative, see: