Opening Plenary: “The Politics of Presence”



What does historic and community memory mean to a sense of belonging to a place?


How can the arts help move us toward a just city?

Many cities and locations across the country are facing an unprecedented acceleration in gentrification that threatens historic neighborhoods and communities. Artists have both been important resources in communities and harbingers of displacement. Arts organizations of color in historically marginalized neighborhoods are vital cultural anchors that provide community cohesion and inspiration. They are facing waves of gentrification, compounded by persistent underfunding, and are also undergoing a generational shift in leadership, as organizations catalyzed by Civil Rights era activism. In this Call and Response, we hope to uplift ideas on how the arts can play a larger role in advancing creative strategies towards a pluralistic community and country.

The Call: Lisa Bates, Director of the Center for Urban Studies at Portland State University

The Response: Mishuana Goeman (Towana Band of Seneca), Associate Professor of Gender Studies, Chair of American Indian Studies Interdepartmental Program and Associate Director of American Indian Studies Research Center at the University of California, Los Angeles;  Scott Oshima, Artist and Lead Community Organizer, JACCC; Jazmín Urrea, Visual Artist 

Artist Respondent: Kamau Daáood, Performance Poet, Educator and Community Arts Activist

Interlocutor: Daniela Alvarez, ArtChangeUS Education & REFRAME Coordinator

Presented in partnership with: