Project Stream: Arts Ecologies


This stream grew out of two tributaries: Organograms and the Flexible Art Worlds Map. Organograms were poetic organization diagrams, created from 2006 – 2009, mostly by invitation. They were based on conversations with stakeholders, working in or associated with arts organizations. The Flexible Art Worlds Diagram grew out of my attempt to visualize a syllabus, in 2009. Recent iterations are posted here. Organograms were printed in two versions, large for display at the organization it reflected, and as a poster/postcard for distribution to its users. The Flexible Art Worlds Diagram is a framework for talks and lectures, delivered in small settings with a prepared Whiteboard or more broadly with a Keynote presentation. It is updated frequently, through audience feedback.

There have been 3 Arts Ecology projects to date. All were carried out with students of the Arts Administration and Policy Program at SAIC, a department I currently chair. I believe that the recently conducted Chicago Cultural Plan (2012) has opened a door, locally, for organizations to consider more formal inclusion of art inflected perspectives in community and urban planning processes. I also believe that as an artist with a cultural policy skill set, I ask, observe, listen and hear differently from typically sociology-based researchers. All Arts Ecology projects are located in or near Chicago: in Evanston, and in Chicago south and west side neighborhoods. They are based on interviews with stakeholders in bounded geographic areas. The project in Evanston culminated in an exhibition. The Chicago based projects generated posters for general distribution and feedback sessions with funders and stakeholders.

Project Links:

Evanston Art Center

South East Chicago Commission

Homan Square – North Lawndale