Integrating Artists Across City Agencies
Mary Miss believes that artists can improve city agencies’ community engagement and education programs.
The idea, she says, is to get DDC staff to understand what an asset artists can be. Miss points to a recent New York Times article about how the city’s new bioswales, installed en masse to capture stormwater runoff, are collecting trash and weeds, and annoying residents. “Nobody really thought about how you could make what those are doing apparent to people,” she says. Without seeing how these sites are connected to the larger project of managing stormwater and preventing flooding, she can understand why residents wouldn’t feel compelled to care for them.
When it comes to integrating artists at DDC, Miss offers three potential pathways: Artists could be hired as liaisons between a construction project and local residents, before, during and after construction; they could be brought on as a member of the design team; or they could apply to DDC as fellows. DDC might announce its upcoming projects and invite artists to submit proposals. Or they could work with local community organizations to let them pick appropriate artists and projects. – Jen Kinney
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Chris Hamby, Flickr