As members of the steering committee for our local nonprofit community organization, Arts Gowanus, we are hyper-aware of artists' (our) roles in the community, which are particularly important when we have studios in gentrifying neighborhoods. We loved this recap of The Studio In Crisis meeting by William Powhida from April 4th because of the call to action at the end for all artists to be part of the larger community conversation. Artists working in affordable studios do not have to have a passive experience in the community, but should have an engaged, productive one!
This article in the World Economic Forum asks if art could change the world. It provides a great example of the Canadian Brandaid project, which connects artisans in developing countries with brands, and therefore new customers, to make their beautiful craft work. It is more commercial in nature than other examples we are citing, but incredibly relevant since educated consumers can bring about change in an important way.
The Percent for Art Program has existed for thirty years, and runs on a New York City law that requires that one percent of the budget for eligible New York City-funded construction projects be spent on public artwork. Their Tumblr is an amazing resource of artwork existing in public space, some posts with commentary from the artists. We love this commission below by Natasha Johns-Messenger whose piece, Alterview, "frames the East River view for students and staff at the Hunter's Point Campus in Queens, capturing scenes of the ever-changing cityscape through the orange glass panel and its lens-like cutout." You can read more about the new facility – which houses three public schools serving over 1,000 students–in Architectural Record.