2017 GIA Conference
Detroit, MI   October 28–31
Legacy and Leadership

Artists & Place: Insights/Incites on Site


Saturday, October 28, 8am-4pm
Artist Village

Individual artists simultaneously occupy and transform the sites where they reside, work, and perform. This preconference explores artists’ roles in our understanding of “place”; how their literal and figurative positions in the arts ecosystem inform, inspire, activate, or sometimes suppress their creative work; and the funder’s role in supporting or impeding them. Discussion questions include: How are artists’ power and positionality used in place, especially in the historic preservation, equitable development, or transformation of community? What is the responsibility, if any, of funders to tear down walls that restrict access? In addition to these questions, we will interrogate common ideas and language used to describe creative work in places, including the premise that belonging to community is inherently geographic in nature.

The day will be facilitated by Ryan Myers-Johnson, Detroit-based choreographer and dancer, founder of Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts, and assistant director of Kresge Arts in Detroit. The morning will start with an artist panel featuring stories and insights from Brad Kik, co-founder and co-director of Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology in rural Michigan; Yosimar Reyes, LA-based artist and artist-in-residence at Define American; and Jenenne Whitfield, executive director of Detroit’s The Heidelberg Project. The afternoon panel will feature funder insights on the topic from rural, public agency, and private foundation perspectives: Sharon LaRue, executive director of Kentucky Foundation for Women; Matthew Richter, cultural space liaison at Seattle Office of Arts & Culture; and another funder to be confirmed. Each panel will be followed by 90-minute interactive, peer-to-peer sessions where participants can explore issues facing their own artists and communities.

Preconference Planning Committee:

with additional assistance from:

This preconference is supported in part by 3Arts, Inc.