Monday, November 2, 2009 - 5:00am - 6:00am
Recita Hall November 2, 2009
Public Space and Social Change
Shawn Van Sluys is the Executive Director of the Musagetes Foundation. Musagetes works with artists, cultural mediators and other partners to understand the consequences of artistic creativity in culture and communities, on policy makers and the general public.
The Greek agora, the Renaissance piazza and the coffeeshops of Europe were all harbingers of immense social changes. The mixing and re-mixing of human potentials in these public spaces gave rise to the most innovative ideas and creative concepts that are still foundational to our culture and society. These spaces should be in constant flux, questioning the status quo and defending that which is most human. Shawn Van Sluys will talk about how Musagetes, an international arts foundation, encourages activist interventions in public spaces through dialogue and performative methodologies that are rooted in community engagement.
Art is transformative and its power was never more evident than in the revolutionary 1960s. With the anti-establishmentarianism of Conceptual art, the performative and the improvisational became the medium of the political: Black art liberation, gay rights, women’s rights and anti-war demonstrations. Today, improvisational art that is integrated into many facets of society forms the catalyst for social transformations; it is this that Musagetes nurtures.
Previously, Van Sluys was the Executive Director of the Canadian Art Museum Directors' Organization (CAMDO), a national service organization representing 80 directors of Canadian art museums. In 2005 he worked in the performing arts sector at the Canadian Arts Presenting Association (CAPACOA). A native of Lethbridge, he started his career at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery and the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery. He has a BFA (Art History/Museum Studies, 2005, Distinction) from the University of Lethbridge.
attached image: Karin Schneider, Pomerio Playground: A Vernacular Modernism Project in Rijeka, Croatia (2008). (A project of Art in General in New York and Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka in Eastern European Residency Exchange program, and built by the City of Rijeka.)