Forecast/Forward features conversations with practitioners working at the intersection of arts, culture, place and equity

Forecast is excited to offer this new way to deepen your understanding of the trends, shifts, and innovative new work being done in our field. Designed for anyone who wants to learn more about and 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. 

We now invite you to connect with FORWARD, our new digital publication and conversation series highlighting how artists are partnering with cities, institutions and communities to courageously tackle the vital issues of our time.

Join us for a series of conversations.


Public Art Now with Amina Cooper

Talk with the guest curator for Public Art Now in FORWARD Issue #3

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. Join us for a discussion with the curator about this special group of works that are moving public art forward.

Monday, November 22, 2021
3:00 – 4:00 PM CST / 4:00 – 5:00 PM EST

Register to attend
Upon registration, you will receive an email with a unique access URL from Zoom. Questions? Contact


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
3:00 – 4:00 PM CDT

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
1:00 – 2:00 PM CDT

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
1:00 – 2:00 PM CST

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
12:00 – 1:00 PM CST

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
6:00 – 8:30 PM
All My Relations Arts
1414 E Franklin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55404

At an event, a Somali woman speaks into a microphone while three other people look on. Large artwork hangs on the wall behind them.

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
6:00 – 7:30 PM
Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts, Lobby
528 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403

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
6:00 – 7:30 PM
Forecast Public Art
2300 Myrtle Avenue, Suite 160
Saint Paul, MN

portrait triptych of Satoko Muratake and Kristine Miller and Nathan Johnson

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
6:00 – 7:30 PM
In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre
1500 East Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN 55407

portrait of four artist presenters from left to right Kealoha Ferriera Olivia Levins Holden Aiyana Sol Machado and Candida Gonzalez