Mighty Dreams: Designing and Fostering Belonging in ‘America’

Rising global inequality, political instability, violence, food insecurity, climate change: these and other factors have resulted in a worldwide refugee crisis unprecedented in scale. From Syria to South Sudan, Myanmar to Guatemala, tens of millions of people around the world have left their homes in search of safety and survival. In the United States, fires, flooding, and lack of affordable housing and job opportunities are among the environmental crises and economic injustices influencing internal migration and sweeping demographic change within cities, states, and regions. With migration often painfully disrupting personal and collective understandings of culture and place, displaced, recently arrived, and changing communities are seeking new meaning and hope around what it means to live and belong in America and the world.

Despite the urgent challenges we face, we are also living in a time of renewed civic, activist, and human spirit. Indigenous peoples continue to fight for sovereignty, self-determination, and thriving ecological futures. Cross border and international immigrant rights coalitions are building sanctuaries and diverse coalitions to combat nativist ideology and violent state policy. Instead of giving up or retreating with despair, youthful and more seasoned artists, designers, scholars, and organizers are together creating spaces to heal, find a sense of belonging, and construct new ways of being, living, and working in community. This work requires compassion, courage, strength, experimentation, and an expansive imagination of the world as it could and should be.

This year Imagining America (IA) celebrates twenty years of supporting publicly engaged artists, designers, scholars, and organizers who imagine, study, and enact a more just and liberatory America and world. Inspired by the cultural landscape of New Mexico and the upcoming 2020 U.S. presidential elections, IA’s 20th Anniversary National Gathering will consider how we define, design, and foster belonging in our home communities and as a nation state. With belonging, indigeneity, and migration serving as framing concepts, IA invites proposals that advance public scholarship, dialogue, collaboration, research, programs, and advocacy on realizing an America that, as in Langston Hughes’ mighty dream, is the land it must be – a place of opportunity and equality for all. The gathering will explore such questions as:

●    How do our diverse relationships to land, displacement, and migration inform and interact with the ways we envision place and belonging – culturally, socially, politically, economically, spiritually, ecologically, and agriculturally?
●    How may Indigenous, traditional, cross-border, and community-based ways of knowing be used to shift how belonging is defined and designed, and who participates in this process?
●    In what ways can public memory, history, art, and design be used to address living legacies of oppression and to foster belonging within our institutions and communities?
●    Given that our own histories and narratives of land, belonging, and migration are often different from one another, how do we build cross-movement solidarities towards the long haul project of social change for a more just, equitable and liberatory future?

IA also welcomes proposals that provide participants with new skills or tools, create opportunities for collaboration, and/or more generally strengthen publicly engaged knowledge and practices that integrate the methodologies of arts, design, and the humanities.

For general questions on the proposal process before submitting your proposal, please join us on May 14, 2019 from 10-11 AM PT for an informational webinar.

Instructions on how to submit your proposal are available on IA’s website atwww.imaginingamerica.org >> National Gathering >> Submit a Proposal.
The submission deadline is Friday, June 7, 2019 at 11:59 PM PT.

Sponsorship Opportunity:
Would you or your organization like to sponsor event programming or travel to the IA 20th Anniversary National Gathering? Sponsorship comes with opportunities to promote your work while also supporting students and community based participation in the gathering. For more information on sponsorship, please contact Erika Prasad, Associate Director of Membership and Development: eaprasad@ucdavis.edu.

Learn more about the Session Format here.

Imagining America 20th Anniversary National Gathering
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Friday, October 18, 2019 – Sunday, October 20, 2019
Submission Deadline: Friday, June 7 11:59 PM PT

Religion, Spirituality and the Arts Presents Eighth Annual Exhibition: Exploring the Story of Lot’s Wife

The Religion, Spirituality & the Arts Seminar (RSA), a project of the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute, invited 12 Indiana artists to explore and expound upon the story of Lot’s Wife during the eighth annual Religion, Spirituality and the Arts Seminar and the accompanying art exhibition. Artists include Stan Blevins, Peggy Breidenbach, Alys Caviness-Gober, Marjie Giffin, A. Paul Johnson, Kasey May, Michael McAuley, William Peacock, Katherine
Simmons, Jennifer Strange, Teresa Vazquez, and Kevin Wilson.

In this exhibition, the artists consider questions that delve far beyond the story Lot’s Wife who, as told in Genesis 19, turns to see the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and becomes a pillar of salt. Did she act in disobedience or out of compassion? What is our responsibility to bear witness? Is looking back redemptive or paralyzing? Might we see contemporary events (mass tragedies, refugees) in the light of this text? Exploring the story through
religion, art, poetry, and music, this exhibition will ask questions fundamental to the human experience

Directed by Rabbi Sandy Sasso, the RSA Seminar explores the varieties of religious experience and understanding. Through seminars led by an interdisciplinary faculty, artists gain the knowledge and inspiration to develop new artistic works. Artists share their creations through exhibitions and presentations to members of the Central Indiana community, including religious organizations, schools, libraries, and community groups.

On March 7, 2019, the first public exhibition of the 2018-19 RSA Seminar’s work will open featuring new works of painting, sculpture, music, and poetry developed by the cohort. A reception begins at 5:30 p.m. with performances beginning at 6:30 p.m. The exhibition will remain on display at the Jewish Community Center of Indianapolis through April 30.

This opening event and exhibition is free and open to the public at the Jewish Community Center of Indianapolis (6701 Hoover Road, Indianapolis, IN 46260). Refreshments will also be served at the March 7 reception.

Thursday, March 7, 2019
Reception begins at 5:30 PM; performance begins at 6:30 PM
We’ll see you there!

The 2018-19 Religion, Spirituality & the Arts Seminar programming is made possible by a generous grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc. and is offered in partnership with Christian Theological Seminary and the Jewish Community
Center of Indianapolis. Additional information about the seminar is available at
https://www.culturalecologies.org/rsa/.

REGISTER NOW!

Religion, Spirituality & The Arts Seminar

Please join Rabbi Sasso on Wednesday, June 3 from 6:00pm-8:00pm in Shelton RSA Exhib June 2015_Page_2Auditorium at Christian Theological Seminary for a reception and art opening.

We are also inviting artists to apply for the 4th round of workshops held this Fall. Please see attached Call for Entry and pass this along to any artists you think might enjoy this experience and connection with other artists.

Artist applications will be accepted for round 4 starting May 19 through, and including, June 8, 2015.

Applicants may be anyone in the community who is active (as a professional or amateur) in one of the artistic disciplines. Selected applicants must be able to make a commitment to attend all six seminar sessions and engage in open and respectful dialogue. There will be a matriculation fee of $100. Seminar participants will produce creative work to be performed and/or exhibited in a public forum.

Please visit our webpage below.

https://www.butler.edu/religion-arts

Al-Mutanabbi Street Project

al-mutanabbi streetThe Herron Art Library—a full-service branch of the University Library—has recently been selected to house a unique collection of artists’ books.

On March 5th 2007, in the middle of the Iraq war, a car bomb exploded in Baghdad, destroying a busy avenue of cafés and bookstores that had served as a meeting place for generations of middle-eastern writers and thinkers. In response to the attack, a San Francisco bookseller, Beau Beausoleil, rallied a community of international artists and writers to produce a collection of letterpress-printed broadsides (poster-like works on paper), artists’ books (unique works of art in book form), and an anthology of writing, all focused on expressing solidarity with Iraqi booksellers, writers and readers. The coalition calls itself Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here.

The coalition has agreed to donate a complete run of the Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here collection to the Herron Art Library. Valued at over $250,000, the Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here collection includes 260 artists’ books; a publication entitled Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here: Poets and Writers Respond to the March 5th, 2007, Bombing of Baghdad’s “Street of the Booksellers”, plus 130 broadsides—one for every person killed or injured in the bombing of al-Mutanabbi Street. The Herron Art Library will be one of only three libraries worldwide to be a permanent home to the collection, and the only library in the U.S.

Along with the collection, the library is hosting a conference this fall on the IUPUI campus and a show featuring some of the collection in August at the Harrison Center for the Arts. For more information on the collection, please go to this website.

ArtPlace invites letters of inquiry for creative placemaking projects

logo artplace

ArtPlace, a nationwide initiative to drive community revitalization through the arts, is inviting Letters of Inquiry for its fourth round of funding through its Innovation Grants program.

A collaboration of thirteen major national and regional foundations, six of the nation’s largest banks, and eight federal agencies, ArtPlace works to accelerate creative placemaking — defined as “a means of investing in art and culture at the heart of a portfolio of integrated strategies that can drive vibrancy and diversity so powerful that it transforms communities” — in the United States.

Grants will be awarded to projects that involve arts organizations, artists, and designers working in partnership with local and national partners to have a transformative impact on community vibrancy. Applications are encouraged from all fifty states and any U.S. territory. Certain ArtPlace funders also are committed to working in specific states or communities. Currently, these include Akron, Charlotte, Detroit, Macon, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, San Jose, and St. Paul, as well as communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin. Projects in these areas are particularly encouraged, although applications are welcome and grants may be awarded to projects from anywhere in the U.S.

Award amounts are decided on a case-by-case basis. To date, ArtPlace America has awarded 134 grants to 124 organizations in more than 79 communities across the U.S. for a total of $42.1 million.

While ArtPlace grants are intended to fund a range of costs associated with implementing a creative placemaking project, ArtPlace loans should be used to finance costs associated with a capital project such as pre-development, acquisition, construction, and real estate improvements.

Complete guidelines and Letter of Inquiry submission instructions are available at the ArtPlace Web site.