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Around the Corner: Community Arts and Activism Symposium

This symposium and related activities address the question: What can art do? To address the overall topic of art’s purpose in society and possibilities as it relates to transforming people, places, and politics, we will look no further than “around the corner”: to our own neighborhoods and the often-overlooked artistic work and community assets that reside there. Drawing upon local faculty, artists, and organizational leaders that are committed to arts in action, this symposium seeks to bring community expertise into conversation with campus knowledge about the power, purpose, and practice of art. As a culmination to the day’s events, Nato Thompson, author, curator, and self-described “cultural infrastructure builder” will offer a keynote address, “The Utility of the Impossible: Art and Infrastructure in the World of Destruction.” 

This virtual event is free and open to the public, but registration is required:

The symposium features Swarthmore faculty and staff in conversation with community partners, including:

Kris Henderson (Amistad Law Project)
Anne Ishii (Asian Arts Initiative)
Allan Edmunds (Brandywine Workshop and Archives)
Ulysses "Butch" Slaughter (Chester Made)
Mahasweta Dutt (Courtyard Dancers)
Louis Massaiah (Scribe Video Center)
Erik Ruin (independent artist)
Sinta Storms (Modero & Company)
Pamela Draper (Mural Arts Porchlight)
Naomi Sturm-Wijesinghe (Philadelphia Folklore Project)
Dont Rhine (Ultra-red)

Along with the Cooper Foundation, this event sponsored by the Arts in Action program at the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility. Additional co-sponsors include Asian Studies, the Dance Program, and Film and Media Studies. We are particularly grateful to our community partners—Amistad Law Project, Asian Arts Initiative, Brandywine Workshop and Archives, Courtyard Dancers, Modero & Company, Mural Arts Porchlight, Philadelphia Folklore Project, Scribe Video Center—for their participation and their ongoing collaboration.