2007 International Conference on Social Theory, Politics & the Arts – Call for Papers

From: Professor Ruth Ann Stewart, ruth.ann.stewart@nyu.edu
Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service,New York University

Kindly post the attached announcement for a cultural policy conference being held at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service October 11-13, 2007. As you will note, historic preservation is one of the important topics that will be the focus of the conference. We hope to attract participants from the historic preservation community who will give papers or organize panels. The deadline for submission is June 15. Contact me if you have further questions.


New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, the Arts Council Manhattan, the Research Center for Leadership in Action, and the New York Foundation for the Arts are happy to invite proposals for the 33rd Conference on Social Theory, Politics and the Arts (STPA) being held on October 11-13, 2007 in New York City. STPA brings together researchers, students, policy makers, artists, foundation staff, and managers of arts institutions and advocacy organizations to explore key trends, practices, and public policy issues affecting and shaping the arts around the world. Conference participants are drawn from a broad range of disciplines including, but not limited to, sociology, political science, management, economics, law, urban planning, art and art history, museum and curatorial studies, education, and policy studies as well as managers and artists in the visual, performing, written and multi-media arts.

This year’s conference is organized around 5 central themes. We have provided questions on each theme as examples of possible topics, but realize there will be a wide variety of conversations on each overarching theme.

· Artists, Activism and Social Change – How do the arts change policy and social mores? What is the role of the artist in a social movement? What roles do political art, public art, guerilla art, and more play in the changing politics of cities, states, countries, and the global community? How can grassroots arts groups lead social and political change? What is the role of arts in the emerging field of social entrepreneurship? Is there a difference between arts activism and arts-led social change?

· Leadership in, of, and through the Arts – How do we understand leadership in the cultural industries? What are the roles of artists, arts administrators, boards, and donors as leaders in cultural organizations? How can the arts advance leadership development? How will the creative sector face the looming succession challenges posed by thinking middle management and retiring leaders? What management and leadership training is needed for the next decade?

· Sustaining Cultural Industries and Organizations – What are the challenges to individual artists, cultural organizations, and creative industries of the changing economic realities for the arts, e.g., mega art fairs, escalating cost and internationalization of art markets, proliferation of “star-chitect” facilities, excess artistic production, and increasing competition within and between charitable sectors? How will these and other pressures affect relationships with individual and institutional donors, artists, and government? What are the implications for public, individual, and institutional philanthropic support and funding of the arts?

· Role of the Arts in Bridging Ethnic, Cultural, and Regional Differences – How can the arts foster dialogue and generate new understandings between people and groups across ethnic, religious, political, and cultural divides? What role(s) can the arts play in diplomacy and reconciliation? Can the arts provide common ground for bridging differences? What are the current global challenges facing the arts today (e.g., issues of intellectual property rights, displaying sacred objects, questionable/ objectionable cultural object acquisition practices)?

· Local and Regional Revitalization through the Arts – How can cultural activities and spaces contribute to the renewal of communities, regions, and cities distressed by post-industrial disinvestment, changing demographics, and cataclysmic events like 9/11? What role can the arts play in preserving both the built and human fabric of neighborhoods? What are the financing and funding mechanisms for these activities? How can the arts foster social justice, physical revitalization, community cohesion, and economic sustainability?

Please note that the deadline for all proposals has been extended to June 15, 2007. This year’s conference will present an opportunity for lively debate and discussion, and a chance to experience the artistic diversity of New York City. We look forward to welcoming you to the Big Apple in October! For more info, visit http://stpa.culture.info or email stpa2007@gmail.com .

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