Episode 94: Look at Art. Get Paid.

Through “Look at Art. Get Paid,” artists Maia Chao and Josephine Devanbu pay people who have never been to an art museum to visit one as guest critics. Having both studied social science in addition to art, Chao and Devanbu crave a candid conversation about the structural inequalities of art, critique, and its institutions.

Maia Chao and Josephine DevanbuMaia Chao is an interdisciplinary artist whose work explores play and absurdity as subversive and emancipatory tools for collaboration and collective imagining. Chao holds a BA from Brown University and an MFA from RISD. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Grant (2014), Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship (2017), and Van Lier Fellowship (2018), and is currently artist in residence at Pioneer Works (2019). She is based in Brooklyn, NY.

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Episode 93: Creating Public Space for Community Health

Matthew Mazzotta is an artist and activist. His work utilizes – and fuels – community dialogue. Through the creation of public artwork and space, he aims to leave people with an experience that expands their view of where they live.

Matthew MazzottaMatthew Mazzotta works at the intersection of art, activism, and urbanism, focusing on the power of the built environment to shape our relationships and experiences. He is as much as an inventor as he is an activist using artistic sensibilities to bring real world issues into the social discourse and lead collective public imagining. His community-specific public projects integrate new forms of civic participation and social engagement into the built environment and reveal how the spaces we travel through and spend our time living within have the potential to become distinct sites for intimate, radical, and meaningful exchanges.

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Episode 92: Youth Voice Transforms a Neighborhood

Celina Miranda, Executive Director of Hyde Square Task Force (HSTF), discusses the integral role of young people in the creation of Boston’s Latin Quarter Cultural District. She says that HSTF youth were compelled to speak up about the importance of having a place to call home and a place that recognizes their strengths and assets. The voices of these young people were powerful and central in the transformation of their neighborhood.

Celina MirandaCelina Miranda is Executive Director of Hyde Square Task Force (HSTF), a youth development organization located in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston. Before joining HSTF in August of 2016, she was senior program officer at the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation, where she managed grants in education and economic mobility.

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Episode 91: Igniting Community in Central Mass

Heather Cook founded Three Match Creations with an aim to spark community in Central Massachusetts through creativity, innovation, and education. Their Co-Lab offers a center for connection between whoever is looking for a support system – artists, makers, creatives, and/or growers.

Heather CookRaised in the backwoods of Montana, completely off-grid, Heather Cook learned at an early age the necessary skills to keep herself alive and how to make her own heat. Because of this, she grew up understanding the crucial need for community, creativity, and innovation for the betterment of life. In 2018, Three Match Creations was formed.

As a child in rural Montana, Heather was endlessly motivated by things that challenged her endurance and would often take just three matches into the woods and see how long she could survive. She found that even with limited resources, she was able to develop life-sustaining support. Heather has carried this analogy with her in her professional life for the past 16 years. Through her humanitarian work and massive life challenges (her own and within her community), she thrives on survival.

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Episode 90: Technology as an Expressive Medium

George Fifield, Director of Boston Cyberarts, says, “Anytime you have a technology which can create an expressive medium, artists are some of the first people there – after it’s invented – to really explore it, and to stretch it, and to see what it really can do.” He discusses the evolution of media arts and details some recent projects using augmented reality and artificial intelligence.

George FifieldGeorge Fifield is the founding director of Boston Cyberarts Inc., a nonprofit arts organization which programs numerous art and technology projects, including the Boston Cyberarts Gallery in Jamaica Plain and Art on the Marquee, on the 80 foot video marquee in front of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. In 2017, Boston Cyberarts curated The Augmented Landscape, large augmented reality sculptures at The Salem Maritime National Historic Site and other public artworks.

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