The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Creative Time Summit at UMass

Live from Stockholm:  Arts Extension Service and Art Department screens the Creative Time Summit at UMass
The UMass Arts Extension Service (AES) and the Art Department are collaborating to livestream segments of the Creative Time Summit at the Studio Arts Building, Room 240, on Saturday, November 15 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m..  The 6th Annual Creative Time Summit will take place in Stockholm, Sweden, and will be investigating Nationalisms, Performing The City, Activating Public Space, Art in the Age of Surveillance, and Migrations, each presented by a panel of international artists, activists, writers, curators, parliament, and scholars.  According to Creative Time, a New York City-based nonprofit public arts organization, the artists "will unpack the ways in which the financial crisis and subsequent austerity measures have radicalized segments of the population, leading to protest, activism, and a push for immigrant rights, as well as a rise to nationalism and xenophobia." The Summit will pose such questions as: Who is art in the public sphere for and what is it supposed to do? How does art produce debate, contribute to a sense of the civic, or perhaps, more cynically, merely perpetuate the status quo? And more generally, who is the city for and how can our public spheres and its arts work across a heterogeneous space?

Dee Boyle-Clapp, Director of AES said, “The Arts Extension Service and the Art Department are pleased to participate in the Summit.  Last spring we hosted a virtual presentation and live discussion with Anne Pasternak, Creative Time’s Director and UMass Alum, and this summer, one of our students, interned for them, helping to deepen the bond between UMass and Creative Time. In addition to screening three sessions from the Summit: Migrations, Activating Public Space and IntroductionsRobin Mandel and Susan Jahoda, art department professors will facilitate discussion, and Sarah Oh, will introduce Creative Time and share a bit about her internship.  The event is open to 5 College students, area artist, and others, however, advance registration is required as we will provide coffee and lunch.” Participants should register by contacting the Arts Extension Service at 413-545-2360 or by Thursday, November 13. Conversations of how and why artists are affected by these topics will be held during lunch and UMass faculty led break-out sessions.

Creative Time is devoted to the intersection of social justice and art to create social change. They believe that the “art matters, artists’ voices are important in shaping society, and public spaces are places for creative and free expression.” Creative Time is perhaps best known for its Tribute in Light at the site of the former Twin Trade Towers. This past summer they commissioned Kara Walker’s show “A Subtlety or the Marvelous Sugar Baby Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes form the Cane field to the Kitchens of the New World on the Occasion of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant”.

In addition to their many engaging projects, programming, and initiatives, the Summit is the leading conference devoted to exploring the intersection of art and social justice. This year’s Summit - in partnership with Public Art Agency, Sweden - is the first ever to take place outside of New York City.  Presenters and presentation topics will include:

Amar Kanwar,of New Delhi, the Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change winner. The award is given to artists, whose work provokes awareness of and engagement with critical issues of our time, working to advance the causes of equity and justice.  

Of the topics streamed will include a mix of the following: 
“Migrations”.   Migrants straddle the boundaries of nation states, directly under influence of the reality of international economics. These conditions paradoxically place them at both the center of global politics and on the periphery of international human rights. How are artists navigating and producing works at the heart of this paradox?

“Migrations” will be moderated by Sweden’s Soraya Post, who recently made history as being the first-ever elected member of a feminist party to the European Parliament. Presenters include artist Ahmet Ögütfrom Turkey; Russian artist Olga Jitlina; United States-based interdisciplinary artist, cultural organizer, and political activist Favianna RodriguezGhana ThinkTank – A collective featuring Christopher Robbins, John Ewing, and Carmen Montoya from the United States; Cuban artist Tania Bruguera; and independent curator, activist, and educator Tone Olaf Nielsen of Denmark.

Activating Public Space
Public art today seeks not only to adorn, but also to move beyond aesthetics and activate civic engagement. Speakers in this section work with alternative modes of art production to redefine the role of culture in urban landscapes. Through their talks, they will tease out the ways in which underlying structures effect the possibilities of artistic production, how collaborations with state institutions change in moments of conflict, the fields in which a private foundation can act, and what role can art centers play in the development of local culture and politics beyond its own walls.

This section is moderated by Magdalena Malm, director of Public Art Agency Sweden. Presenters include curator Nina Möntmann from Germany; Poland and Germany-based curator Joanna Warsza; theatre arts professional and founder of New WORLD Theater, Roberta Uno of the United States; and a Sweden-specific talk including four Directors of Kunsthalles in the suburbs of Stockholm represented by Maria Lind, Joanna Sandell, Bettina Pehrsson, Carina Gunnars, and Anna Kindgren.

Art in the Age of Surveillance
In this section, we explore “the age of surveillance” and its impact today, particularly the recent revelations of NSA surveillance in the United States and the self-surveilling that has been woven into the global fabric of contemporary living. As private and public become deeply intertwined, their political and personal implications grow increasingly conflated.

This section is moderated by Birgitta Jónsdóttir, from Iceland, a member of the Icelandic Parliament and chairperson of the Pirate Party. Presenters include multimedia Spanish artist Dora García; participants ofVera Ermolaeva Foundation of Contemporary Feminist Art Initiatives; United States-based performance artist Jill Magid; Internationally recognized tricksters and graphic designers Metahaven from The Netherlands; and Director-General and Chief of the Swedish Security Service Anders Thornberg.
Contact Dee Boyle-Clapp, Director of Arts Extension Service, 413-545-5241 or for more information
To learn more about this event, visit

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