On November 2, artists, thought leaders and academics from around the country came together at Northeastern University’s Curry Center for the 5th annual National Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru) conference. Northeastern’s College of Arts, Media and Design (CAMD) was thrilled to host this three-day event, to foster such an impressive exchange of ideas, knowledge, and skill.
Using the City of Boston as a backdrop, this year’s conference, Arts in the Public Sphere: Civility, Advocacy and Engagement, sought to address how creative placemaking and placekeeping can be used to bring forth positive changes in local communities and society as a whole. Session themes ranged from research and funding to communication, trust and culture within communities. Speakers such as Kent Devereaux, President of the New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA), emphasized the impact that institutions can have on the communities in which they are housed, despite the challenges that come with creative placemaking and placekeeping.
“We had a lot of frank discussions about issues of equity, opportunity, and promise. We realized our goal of having partners invigorate their commitment to seeing how the principles of creative placemaking can influence their work regardless of discipline,” said Maryrose Flanigan, Associate Director of a2ru.