Newsletter, 31 October 2014

Cultural Agents Initiative: Arts and Humanities in Civic Engagement

Fifth grade students from Colégio Positivo Júnior in Curitiba work with the book João e o Pé de Feijão (Jack and the
). Students participate in the tangent exercise, exploring connected themes, reading outside texts, and sharing these tangents with their classmates. October 2014. 

31 October 2014

Dear Friends,

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: and

As we hope to support your work as a cultural agent too, please send your news to us at

To all of our supporters, “connectionists” (tejedores, tecelões), and collaborators throughout the world, thank you!

With many thanks,
The Cultural Agents Team

United States
Professor Doris Sommer will be attending a conversation with Sue and Bernie Pucker about her new book The Work of Art in the World: Civic Agency and Public Humanities this coming week. The event will take place on Tuesday, November 4, from 6pm to 8pm at the Pucker Gallery, 171 Newbury Street, Boston.

Professor Doris Sommer also presented The Work of Art in the World at an event organized by the Cultural Center Mapocho Station (Centro Cultural Estación Mapocho). The event was introduced by historian Sol Serrano and Javiera Parada, the Chilean Embassy’s Cultural Attaché in the United States, and was part of the International Book Fair in Santiago (Feria Internacional del libro de Santiago – FILSA), which was held on October 30 at 8:30pm at Mapocho Station, Santiago de Chile.

The fifth grade students from Colégio Positivo Júnior in Curitiba have been working with the book João e o Pé de Feijão (Jack and the Beanstalk). According to reports from the facilitator Aliciana Possinelli, while discussing the contents of the book, students exhibited signs of increased respect for each other. Read more about this project at:

United States
The Cultural Agents Team and Joan Matsalia, the Associate Director of the Harvard Office of Public Affairs and Communication’s Teaching and Learning Partnerships, hosted a breakfast at the Tobin K-8 School in Roxbury on Tuesday, October 28, introducing teachers to the upcoming Pre-Texts teacher training. Interested teachers from the Tobin K-8 School submitted their applications to participate in this workshop, which will commence in January. We look forward to working with these teachers!

Other Active Cultural Agents 

United States
Greg Kloehn, an artist based in West Oakland, is using art to create innovative solutions to help homeless people, while also seeking to counter the improper disposal of waste. With the help of volunteers with basic construction skills, the artist has provided temporary shelters for the homeless using discarded materials found on the streets. To learn more about the project go to:

On Wednesday, November 5, from 5:15 –6:30pm, the South Asian Institute will host a lecture and opening reception for photographer Pablo Bartholomew’s exhibition Coded Elegance in CGIS South, S050. This exhibit will be on display in the CGIS South Concourse, 1730 Cambridge Street, from November 5 to January 31, 2015.
In his talk, “A Personalized History of Indian Photography, 1880 to 2010,” Bartholomew will reflect on his personal collection of historical photographs, works by other photographers from the pre- and post-Independence era, and contemporary practices.

The Cultural Agents Initiative recognizes the arts and humanities as vital resources for positive social change. Working from a long humanistic tradition dedicated to civic development, we focus on identifying artists, educators, and leaders who have developed creative practices and respond to the role of art in building civil society and confronting its challenges.
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October 31, 2014
by Rodriguez