Creative collaborations tackling the vital issues of our time
Deepen your understanding of the innovative new work being done in our field. We invite you to connect with FORWARD, our fresh digital publication and conversation series highlighting how artists are partnering with cities, institutions and communities to courageously tackle the vital issues of our time, from public health to the fate of our climate.
Designed for anyone who wants to keep their pulse on work happening at the intersection of arts, culture, place and equity, this conversation series began with the vision of taking expertise off the pages of our magazine Public Art Review and bringing it to you direct from leading practitioners and artists.
Join us for a series of conversations.
Scroll down to preview upcoming conversations and refresh yourself on our previous discussions.
Check back soon
PREVIOUS FORWARD SERIES EVENTS
Learn from a panel of speakers across sectors how public artists are, and can be, critical partners for climate resilience.
Featuring the following speakers:
- Emma Robbins (Diné), an artist, activist, and community organizer, Managing Director of Planet Women and the founder of The Chapter House.
- Travis Sheridan, Chief Community Officer at Wexford Science + Technology, where he forges strong ties with university partners, civic leaders, and community groups.
- Dr. Galen Treuer, head of Climate Tech and Economic Innovation for Miami-Dade County.
This is part of our conversation series for our new digital publication, FORWARD. FORWARD issue #6 focuses on climate. Forecast Public Art offers this program free of cost, but donations are appreciated. Forecast is a nonprofit organization.
Friday, December 8, 2023
A FORWARD series discussion of contemporary public art by Native artists, featuring curator Jessica Mehta and artist Gregg Deal
In her introduction to the Public Art Now collection in FORWARD Issue #5, guest curator Jessica (Tyner) Mehta writes: “I believe the works of these artists and their recent contributions will spark necessary discourse, provide a framework for information exchange and culture bearing that breeds real change, and, overall, make big strides toward re-Indigenizing Turtle Island.” Join Forecast Public Art‘s FORWARD series for a conversation between Public Art Now guest curator Jessica (Tyner) Mehta and artist Gregg Deal (featured in the publication) about how Native artists are critically engaging the public realm.
Wednesday, March 22, 2023
About the panelists
Jessica (Tyner) Mehta, PhD, is an Aniyunwiya (citizen of the Cherokee Nation), Two-Spirit, full-time working artist, writer, and researcher. Jessica has sustained herself as a writer and artist for over a decade thanks to her founding of the writing services company MehtaFor in 2012 and the support of countless fellowships, residencies, grants, and awards for their creative works over the years. Most recently, Jessica was a 2021 GLEAN: Portland artist and created a series of works titled Strong FoundNations that brings attention to the history of the “Indian boarding schools” (of which her father was a survivor). As a Native artist, she knows first-hand the depths and intricacies of systemic racism within the world of “western art,” particularly in settler-based spaces like major art galleries and museums. Jessica is a Fulbright Nehru Senior Scholar in Bengaluru, where she is teaching poetry workshops at Christ University and curating an anthology of contemporary Indian poetry written in the colonizer’s tongue. Jessica is also Forecast’s Change Lab Research Fellow focusing on Indigenous visibility in public art, where she is examining the language used in open calls for Native American public artists.
Gregg Deal, (Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe) is a multi-disciplinary artist, activist, and “disruptor.” His work is informed by his Native identity and includes exhaustive critiques of American society, politics, popular culture and history. Through paintings, murals, performance work, filmmaking, spoken word, and more, Deal invites the viewer to confront these issues both in the present and the past tense.
In a 2018 TED Talk, Deal described his work as “honoring Indigenous experiences, challenging stereotypes, and pushing for accurate representations of Indigenous people in art.” It is in these “disruptions” of stereotypes and ahistorical representations which Deal uses the term to describe his work. Gregg Deal has exhibited his work at notable institutions both locally, nationally, and internationally including the Denver Art Museum, RedLine Gallery, and The Smithsonian Institution. The artist currently lives with his wife and five children along the Front Range of Colorado.
A FORWARD series panel conversation about how artists are helping to address the housing crisis.
Amidst a national housing crisis, artists continue to push for bold solutions that aim at alleviating the root causes of housing instability and inequity. Learn how artists are partnering with housing organizations and others to make changes to help bring about housing justice. With:
- Dr. Lisa Yun Lee (National Public Housing Museum, featured interviewee in FORWARD 5)
- Tiff Beatty (National Public Housing Museum, featured interviewee in FORWARD 5)
- Mark Valdez (artist, and co-creator of The Most Beautiful Home… Maybe, featured in FORWARD 5)
- Jennifer Lamb (Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership, and helped create A Prairie Homeless Companion, featured in FORWARD 5)
- Moderated by Paul Singh (NeighborWorks America, and FORWARD 5 guest editor)
Tuesday, November 15, 2022
A FORWARD series panel discussion about how the built environment can uplift a community’s notions of art, culture, and place.
How can we center artists & culture bearers alongside designers to overcome bureaucratic racism in the design field? Design impacts peoples’ lives. Let’s talk about it. Joseph Kunkel is the director of MASS Design Group‘s Sustainable Native Communities Design Lab and citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Nation. Joseph also served as the guest editor of FORWARD Issue 4. Jeremy Liu, is an award-winning artist, social impact strategist and real estate developer. Jeremy also served as the featured essayist of FORWARD Issue 4. Angela Two Stars, an artist, curator, and director of All My Relations Arts, is an enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate.
Thursday, June 2, 2022
Talk with the guest curator for Public Art Now in FORWARD Issue #3, with artists Lava Thomas and Martha Jackson Jarvis
Guest curator Amina Cooper says in her introduction to the Public Art Now collection in FORWARD Issue #3, “Across the full range of materials, styles, and degrees of permanence, public artworks by Black artists have made essential contributions to the built environment and to community spaces.” This second Public Art Now selection in the FORWARD series features projects by Simone Leigh, Abigail DeVille, Dr. Fahamu Pecou, Jessica Moss, and April Banks. The curator was joined by guests artists Lava Thomas and Martha Jackson Jarvis for a discussion about contemporary public art policy, their experiences as Black artists entering this field, challenges, and policy changes they would like to see.
Thursday, January 6, 2022
The Role of Artists in the Future of Community Safety
Talk with Andrea Jenkins and Dr. André de Quadros
One of the most pressing and precarious issues of our time is community safety. Safety is a basic human right. Community safety emphasizes community/ies self-determination of what it means to be safe. Artists have long been integral to these efforts to center the needs of the most marginalized members of society as they reimagine safety through criminal justice, emergency response, gun violence reform, policing, community control and freedom from harm. They have done this by creating pathways for transformative confrontations, by highlighting the unseen, by helping people feel welcomed and whole, and more.
Thursday, September 16, 2021
This panel discussion featured Minneapolis City Council member and poet Andrea Jenkins, as well as ethnomusicologist and human rights activist Dr. André de Quadros. It was moderated by Mallory Rukhsana Nezam, Guest Editor of FORWARD #3.
Read the FORWARD publications:
Self-Initiated Public Art: A Public Art Now Conversation with Muna Malik
Talk with our first Public Art Now guest curator, Tricia Heuring, and artist Muna Malik
The first event in our Public Art Now series features a conversation between artist Muna Malik and guest curator Tricia Heuring. Malik discussed her public art project, Blessing of the Boats, featured in the inaugural Public Art Now collection. The artist shares more about her process of building this self-initiated public art project from the ground up, and joins Heuring in reflections on the collection. Watch the conversation on the Public Art Now page within FORWARD, or on Forecast’s YouTube channel.
March 18, 2021
Freedom of Movement: Art, Culture and Transportation in 2021
Talk with Charles T. Brown, MPA, CPD, LCI
How are artists and the transportation sector collaborating to solve intractable problems and envision a more just future of mobility & infrastructure? Amidst a change in political leadership, our roundtable features leading voices at this intersection and tackles issues like transportation policy, construction mitigation, COVID-19, safer streets, local ownership and creative solutions. With Charles T. Brown (Rutgers University), Naomi Doerner (Nelson Nygaard), and Melvin Giles (community artist and organizer); moderated by Ben Stone (Smart Growth America).
Thursday, February 18, 2021
This virtual roundtable features:
Charles T. Brown, MPA, CPD, LCI (senior researcher and adjunct professor within the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University and a fellow of the OpEd Project and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication)
Naomi Doerner (Principal and Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Nelson Nygaard)
Melvin Giles (Peace Maker, Curator, Community Artist and Organizer in St. Paul, MN)
Moderated by Ben Stone (Director of Arts & Culture at Smart Growth America and its program Transportation for America, and the current guest editor of FORWARD‘s Issue #2)
About the panelists
Charles T. Brown MPA, CPD, LCI, is a senior researcher and adjunct professor within the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University and a fellow of the OpEd Project and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. As a “street-level researcher” and “pracademic,” he has gained international attention for helping to create safe, healthy, and livable communities for all. His recent and notable contributions through research and practice include understanding barriers to biking and walking for women and minorities; analyzing the impact of crime on walking frequency and propensity; centering and prioritizing equity in transportation planning and decision-making; and analyzing barriers to accessing parks and open spaces.
Follow him on Twitter: @ctbrown1911
Naomi Doerner is a nationally recognized transportation equity and mobility justice strategist with expertise facilitating and implementing systems change inside of organizations, agencies and institutions for fair and just community outcomes.
She currently serves as the first national Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) at Nelson/Nygaard, a national leader in transportation planning, where she’s developed a firm-wide internal EDI training curriculum and applies a racial equity approach to transportation projects for clients.
Prior to joining Nelson/Nygaard, Naomi served as the nation’s first citywide Transportation Equity Program Manager at the City of Seattle Department of Transportation. She is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leaders cohort member, a multi-year professional development program for leaders doing multi-disciplinary systems-change work related to creating a culture of health and racial equity. Ms. Doerner is the co-founder and a national co-organizer of The Untokening, a multiracial collective of leaders advancing mobility justice. She also serves on the Advisory Boards of PlayBuild and the Vision Zero Network, is a NextCity Vanguard alum (2017), and a recent TransitCenter Women Changing Transportation mentor (2019).
Melvin Giles is the Co-Coordinator of the Urban Farm & Garden Alliance and is a veteran peace and diversity educator. His current work includes being a member of Forecast Rice Street Artist Liaison Team and on the Engagement & Outreach Team of Bolton& Menk, Inc. Since 2010, Giles has facilitated a community & citywide peace campaign – The Peace Pole and Peace Message Campaign. This campaign is intended to decrease violent crime as well as creating places, spaces, and opportunities for peaceful gatherings and racial and cultural appreciation, education, and healing in the greater St. Paul area.
Ben Stone is Director of Arts & Culture at Smart Growth America and its program Transportation for America. Ben leads the organization’s broad efforts to help communities across the country better integrate arts, culture and creative placemaking into neighborhood revitalization, equitable development, and transportation planning. Ben has written and lectured extensively about the intersection of art and transportation; he holds a Master in City Planning from MIT.
How Artists Can Address Public Health Challenges
Talk with Mindy Fullilove, MD, LFAPA, Hon AIA
Esteemed author and social psychiatrist Dr. Mindy Fullilove is joined by Elizabeth Hamby (NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene), and Miguel Angel Vazquez (Riverside County Department of Public Health), in a roundtable on the importance of the work around arts, culture, racial justice, and public health. Facilitated by Mallory Rukhsana Nezam (Justice + Joy).
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
About the panelists
Mindy Thompson Fullilove, MD, LFAPA, Hon AIA, is a social psychiatrist and professor of urban policy and health at The New School. Since 1986, she has conducted research on AIDS and other epidemics of poor communities, with a special interest in the relationship between the collapse of communities and decline in health. From her research, she has published numerous articles, book chapters, and monographs. She has also written: The House of Joshua: Meditations on Family and Place, Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America and What We Can Do About It, and Urban Alchemy: Restoring Joy in America’s Sorted-Out Cities. A third edition of Homeboy Came to Orange: A Story of People’s Power, which she helped her father, Ernest Thompson, write, was released in May 2018 by New Village Press. She is co-author, with Hannah L. F. Cooper, of From Enforcers to Guardians: A public health primer on ending police violence, issued by Johns Hopkins University Press in January 2020. Her latest book, Main Street: How a City’s Heart Connects Us All, was released in September 2020 by New Village Press.
Elizabeth Hamby is an artist who serves as the Director of Take Care New York (TCNY) at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Take Care New York is the City’s Health Equity Roadmap. Elizabeth leads storytelling campaigns, develops multi-sector collaborations, and designs policy to eliminate health inequities and advance social justice. Her art practice includes projects across media that make complex issues legible and help people work together. She has led a waterfront planning studio out of a neighborhood laundromat, formed a bike collective to address transportation issues in the Bronx, and worked with youth in public housing to develop haikus about littering. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of the City of New York and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, among other venues. She holds degrees from Eugene Lang College and Parsons School of Design.
Miguel Angel Vazquez, AICP is one of the first planners hired by a public health department in the nation. His role at the Riverside University Health System-Public Health is to strengthen the integration of planning and health through collaboration with non-traditional partners. He is a member of the California Planning Roundtable and co-leads the California’s Planners4Health Initiative. Over the past 18 years, he has provided professional planning and community development services to the private, public, and military sectors. He received a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies and Planning from California State University, Northridge and is a fellow of the California Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health. In 2014, he was named finalist for the Loeb Fellowship at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. The American Planning Association has recognized his leadership and projects with numerous awards and recognitions including the APA President’s Award in 2018 and the APA California’s 2020 Distinguished Contribution Award.
Mallory Rukhsana Nezam is an civic artist and consultant who believes that we have the tools to make places more just and joyful. She runs the creative consulting practice Justice + Joy, serves on the Steering Committee for the Planning for Health Equity, Advocacy & Leadership (PHEAL) initiative and is a 2020 Monument Lab Transnational Fellow. She holds a Master of Design from Harvard University.
PREVIOUS Forecast/Forward EVENTS
(events held prior to the digital FORWARD publication)
Decolonizing Public Art, Part I: Standing Rock
At this first conversation, artists Votan and Missy Whiteman explore how artists are standing up and fighting back against colonization and protecting land and water, and how this impacts the future of public art in the U.S. The talk was facilitated by Angela Two Stars.
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
All My Relations Arts, Minneapolis
Art, Culture and Transportation: MnDOT Community Vitality Fellowship
MnDOT is among the first state transportation agencies in the country to participate in the artist-in-residence program by hosting a Community Vitality Fellowship position. Meet the new fellow, Marcus Young, and speak to the director of MnDOT’s program, and the Director of Arts and Transportation for America to talk about the future of arts and culture in our country’s transportation infrastructure. Facilitated by Forecast Board Member Hally Turner (Planning Program Coordinator at MnDOT), featuring Ben Stone, Transportation for America, Artist Fellow Marcus Young, and Highway Sponsorship Program Director at MnDOT, Jessica Oh.
Thursday, October 24, 2019
Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts, Lobby, Minneapolis
Designing for Justice and Equity: Creating Power through Spatial Design
A conversation about equity in architecture and design, facilitated by Forecast Board Member, Nathan Johnson, 4M-ULA Architecture, featuring Satoko Muratake from 10 x 10 and Kristine Miller, Professor at University of Minnesota.
Thursday, November 14, 2019
Forecast Public Art, Saint Paul
Decolonizing Public Art PART II: from Puerto Rico to Mauna Kea
From Standing Rock to Puerto Rico to Mauna Kea, artists are standing up and fighting back against colonization and protecting land and water … how does this impact the future of public art in this country? Facilitated by Candida Gonzalez featuring Olivia Levins Holden, Kealoha Ferriera, and Aiyana Sol Machado.
Thursday, February 6, 2020
In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, Minneapolis