Just Placemaking: Arts and Community Development Towards an Equitable City is a free public lecture series co-hosted by the Stanford Human Cities Initiative and the Creative Cities Working Group. The series explores the intersection of social justice and the role of artists, curators, gallery owners, and cultural workers in supporting community efforts towards an equitable and just city. The third talk in the series will feature Tomie Arai and ManSee Kong from the Chinatown Art Brigade in New York City. Abby Chen, Curator and Artistic Director at the Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco, will serve as respondent.
Tomie Arai is a public artist who collaborates with writers, architects, historians, curators, and local communities to create work that explores the rich cultural diversity of the Americas. She has designed permanent public works of art for the NYC PerCent for Art Program, The San Francisco Arts Commission, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Arts for Transit Program, the NYC Board of Education and the US General Services Administration Art in Architecture Program.
ManSee Kong creates films inspired by narratives grounded in social movements and grassroots organizing campaigns.
The Just Placemaking series highlights efforts to support grassroots and artistic practices that advance an equitable city. We will discuss the arts as potential agents to advance creativity without sacrificing inclusiveness. We will also explore the tensions between the human city as an ideal and as a messy and often contentious process of becoming one. What strategies have been employed in the arts to advance social justice? Who should or will ultimately be served by these artistic creations and processes? What are possible methods of evaluating these outcomes? How is it possible to meet the four pillars of sustainability - defined as environmental protection, economic vitality, social equity, and cultural continuity - and what are the tradeoffs and choices that arise in becoming a “human city” that is inclusive and participatory?