What is Connected and Consequential all about?
Now, more than ever, artists are working collaboratively across disciplines to find creative, equitable and intelligent ways of transitioning to a more sustainable and just future. We see art that connects to and deals with real-life situations, work that is research-based and action-based, an art that focuses on the design of new conditions to live, think and act differently. We refer to this emerging segment of contemporary collaborative art practice as socially-engaged “hybrid” or “integrated” practice.
Connected and Consequential is a series of four regional conferences in New England that gathers artists, activists, academics and other creative civic actors who want to explore the intersection of art and other fields. Through case studies and moderated discussions, conference participants examine and discuss how artists and their collaborators are using their creativity and finely honed skills to intervene in the major issues of our time to produce positive social outcomes. Each conference is bracketed with pre- and post-conference programming that both amplifies existing relevant work in that region and creates programs to offer new learning and knowledge to advance the work in that region. Our overall aim is to create and foster an environment in New England where artists and other creative thinkers and practitioners can find the connections, relevant training, supportive infrastructure and resources to advance and deepen their practice.
It's a series of conversations.
In each region, we are building a conversation to focus on ideas, writing, research and projects that reflect the philosophy and intention of socially engaged, collaborative, creative practices. We are creating situations for networking, relationship building, learning and fostering new work that embeds art and creativity within the social change process.
It's a new model for learning from and collaborating with other disciplines.
We are examining the fundamental beliefs and assumptions that create boundaries between disciplines in order to foster a deeper and more complex understanding of each others' practices. We focus on issues of positionality, privilege and self-awareness; the ethics of research; and the core values of authenticity and sustainability.
It's a platform for professional development.
By presenting and critiquing existing projects, we advance understanding of best practices, including those of collaboration, research, communication and sustainability.
It's a network of creative thinkers.
We draw on the significant intellectual, creative and community resources of each region - and of New England as a whole - to forge connections between artists and academics, policy makers, social advocates and activists. We assemble people who have had no previous interaction but share a common interest and passion about finding innovative ways to address and act upon the critical issues of our time.
It's a space to think.
In a time when we so often must merely react to our volatile environment, we are taking the time and making the space to think about how we want the world to be, and to gain insight into the evolving role artists and other creative thinkers play in contemporary society.