Events: Lectures

Lectures

The Public Square Talks Series: Eric Williams

Nightingale-Brown House

What does it look like when a entrepreneurial enterprise is also a community hub? What happens when independent artists and artisans are prioritized over fast fashion? Eric Williams is the Owner and Creative Director of The Silver Room, a retail, events and community space on Chicago's South side. Eric has made his business by developing an involved, socially conscious, fashion forward community.

Lectures

The No-No Boy Project and The JA Incarceration Mobile Workshop

Nightingale-Brown House

The No-No Boy and JA Incarceration Mobile Workshop lunchtime event brings together two projects that grapple with the intersection of public memory and Asian American Studies.

Lectures

Participatory Mapping and Youth Activism

Nightingale-Brown House

This talk spotlights Youth in Action's dedication to participatory learning through mapping and relocalization projects that invite youth to use maps to better understand themselves and their communities.  A map holds a unique narrative that has no predetermined beginning, and it’s this nature that lends itself to the honest, participatory experience of locating oneself.

Lectures

Berlin: Art, Overlay, Transformation!

Nightingale-Brown House

Renata Stih and Frieder Schnock are conceptual artists based in Berlin. Their dialogical work is shaped around art, science and social science; their field of inquiry is focused on how to create platforms for diverse creative activities and new forms of expression in unlikely places. Their multi-media methodology refers to traditional artistic formats and rituals, but also encourages public interaction and engagement.

Lectures

Reimagining the Museum's Community

Nightingale-Brown House

How can we actively engage and learn from new audiences that have traditionally been underserved by museums and other cultural institutions? Danielle Linzer will share case studies from both The Andy Warhol Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art, offering insights into the challenges, successes, and opportunities of community-based museum work. The discussion will offer strategies for building connections with new audiences and a vision for a more inclusive future for the field.

Lectures

Tomaquag Museum, a Vehicle for Indigenous Empowerment

Nightingale-Brown House

The Indigenous Empowerment Network was developed by Lorén Spears, Executive Director of Tomaquag Museum, to promote Indigenous initiatives around education, job training, cultural arts, and entrepreneurship. She will share how the museum’s exhibits, programs and tours promote empowerment by sharing Indigenous perspectives, untold histories and contemporary issues across “Indian Country.”

Lectures

Reimagining Gershwin: Rhapsody in Black and Blue

Nightingale-Brown House

The enduring influence of George Gershwin’s work is explored in this FirstWorks Creative Conversation with journalist and jazz critic Larry Blumenfeld, bassist, composer and producer Melvin Gibbs and saxophonist, composer and arranger Russ Gershon.  Their conversation delves into the relationship between Gershwin’s music — including his controversial 1935 opera “Porgy and Bess” and his iconic 1924 composition "Rhapsody in Blue"— and African American music and culture.

Lectures

Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Public Art and History

Nightingale-Brown House
What is an appropriate monument for a current American city?

Lectures

Dirt Palace at the Wedding Cake House

Nightingale-Brown House

Broadway property last occupied by the Tirocchi sisters and the couture design business that they ran from the location from 1915 to 1947. The renovation will develop artist in residence quarters which will complement the feminist residency program and facilities at the Dirt Palace's current location in Olneyville Square. 

Lectures

Memory Madness: Japanese Americans, WWII Incarceration, and National Mythologies

Nightingale-Brown House

This presentation explores at least three related but separate levels of memory-making with regard to the incarceration of 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry during WWII. First, the official US Government positions. Second, mainstream media and historical treatments.

Lectures

State of a State’s History

Nightingale-Brown House

What does it mean for a state-run public history institution to insert social justice into their exhibitions and programming? Join Margaret Koch, Deputy Director, and Kate Betz, Head of Education and Interpretation, from the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas, for a presentation and conversation about the museum’s efforts to explore the nuanced topics of race, ethnicity, class, and gender throughout Texas history.

Lectures

Why Did It Take Me 27 Years to Conceptualize a Work about the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb?

Nightingale-Brown House

Alan Nakagawa discusses Peace Resonance; Hiroshima/ Wendover, a sound-based semi-autobiographical work that combines the interior ambiance of the Hiroshima Atomic Dome and the Wendover Hangar to explore ideas about peace, war, sound and the Japanese-American experience. This artwork, begun in October 2016, is supported by funding from the Art Matters Foundation, the City of Hiroshima, the City of Los Angeles and the Center for Land Use Interpretation.

Lectures

A Proposal on the Table: Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab

Nightingale-Brown House

The Wolfsonian–FIU Museum on Miami Beach, which holds the largest permanent collection of material tracing the development of the modern age, has proposed the creation of a new space and academic enterprise to be called the Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab. This new endeavor will bring together professors from across the humanities, humanities students, and the community into conversation with the extensive collection held by the museum.

Lectures

Abandoning Museum Neutrality

Nightingale-Brown House

The Tenement Museum was founded in 1988 with a clear social justice mission – to help modern Americans empathize with the ongoing immigrant experience. But being an activist museum is hardly straightforward. Is it possible to take a non-partisan political stand and still please a diverse audience of visitors, donors, and board members? What does this look like in education programs? Behind the scenes? Let's discuss.

Lectures

Arts/Advocacy: Strategies and Challenges

Nightingale-Brown House

Debi Cornwall's photographs of former Guantánamo detainees make up the exhibition Welcome to Camp America: Beyond Gitmo, in our Carriage House Gallery from September 14 - October 19, 2017. In this presentation, Cornwall will use her work on Guantánamo Bay as a starting point for discussion on art as/in advocacy. We'll explore how to infiltrate institutions to gain access and raise funds, how to develop a plan of action, and ideas for confronting challenges along the way. That evening, you are invited to attend the exhibition opening at 5pm.

Lectures

Making it Work: Deploying Public Humanities Skills in Public Sector Positions

Nightingale-Brown House

As Public Humanists, we all have a tremendous diversity of skills and interests, and during our time in the program, we refine those skills and hone those interests in preparation for long and fulfilling professional careers. Because of our adaptability, these careers can take any number of tracts. During this lunch talk, we’ll talk about how these skills can be great assets to the public sector, from working in government historical/cultural organizations like the National Park Service to managing construction projects for museums and cultural facilities at the state level.

Lectures

Works on Memory: Memory-Works

Nightingale-Brown House

The architect practices an art of ethical and purposeful transformation, creating spaces that frame human experience and contribute to a better future. While we imagine projects that leave traces over the skin of the earth, our process often lies in unveiling, unearthing, uncovering as well as anchoring histories and memories in and onto territories, cities and sites. It is in the face of catastrophes, historic traumas, and human injustices that the architect’s (and the artist’s) roles become increasingly complex, problematic and, hopefully, necessary.

Lectures

#NoDAPL and Settler Indigenization

Nightingale-Brown House

Tying together four "moments" in the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline, this presentation will look at the ways settlers incorporated or distanced themselves from the movement at Standing Rock, and the ways the media narratives reinforced problematic stereotypes of Native peoples through their reporting. In a fight that should be centered on Indigenous peoples and their rights, what are the ways non-Natives usurped and shifted the narrative?

Lectures

Defiant Braceros: How Migrant Workers Fought for Racial, Sexual, and Political Freedom

Nightingale-Brown House

This talk interrogates the private lives of migrant men who participated in the Bracero Program (1942– 1964), a binational agreement between the United States and Mexico that allowed hundreds of thousands of Mexican workers to enter this country on temporary work permits.

Lectures

Vital Little Plans: A Conversation about Jane Jacobs and Public Writing

Nightingale-Brown House

Many consider Jane Jacobs the most influential urban thinker of the twentieth century. In "Vital Little Plans", Zipp and Storring collect for the first time a career-spanning selection of her short writings on a wide range of topics, from urban design to economics to morality, feminism to environmentalism, protest to politics. In this talk, the editors will explore the difficult process of collecting, curating, and interpreting the anthology, the delicate balance of honoring and challenging Jacobs's legacy, and what we can learn from her dual life as a public intellectual and activist.

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