Developing Civic Engagement in Urban Public Art Programs

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9781442257283: Developing Civic Engagement in Urban Public Art Programs

What can public art do for a community? How can city governments and others that create public art develop projects that build community and engage civil society?

Creating Civic Engagement in Urban Public Art addresses these and other critical questions. It demonstrates how public art can build community unity, identity and cohesiveness.

The focus of this original work is how cities engage their citizens through public art. What has been successful and what has failed? Through case studies of cities that have public art programs - some successful at citizen engagement others less so – the reader will learn how to design public art programs that build community.

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About the Author:

Jessica DeShazo teaches Arts and Cultural Management at California State University, Los Angeles in the graduate program in public administration.

Zachary Smith is a Regents’ Professor at Northern Arizona University where he has taught Arts Management for several years. He is the author of more than 20 books and dozens of articles dealing with local government and environmental matters

Review:

DeShazo & Smith carefully selected eight U.S. cities to demonstrate the breadth and innovation in municipal public art programs today, from vegetable gardens to performance spaces and temporary site-specific installations. But the real value in these case studies lies not in the final products, but in underlining the public engagement process before and afterwards. They teach us that indifference is bad: a sign of low civic interest where people are disconnected, and stress the importance of critique and allowing the public to both adopt and adapt the works/spaces to their own communities to find an organic and long-lasting relevance. (Susana Smith Bautista, Director of Public Engagement, USC Pacific Asia Museum)

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Jessica L. DeShazo (editor), Zachary Smith (editor)
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