Episode 85: Innovation at the Edge

David Sun Kong is Director of MIT Media Lab’s Community Biotechnology Initiative; Founder and Board President of EMW Community Space, an art, technology, and community space in Cambridge, MA; a DJ and photographer.

He says there’s a disconnect between the life sciences sector and general public. His work at the intersection of art, science, design, and engineering seeks to “disrupt” our notions of science and the broader human experience of it.

He discusses his work introducing the human microbiome to the public through music and shares how community biology labs around the world are creating an infrastructure to support residents who are excited about science to learn about biotechnology, life sciences, and engage in wonderful hands-on experiences.

David Sun KongDavid Sun Kong is a Synthetic Biologist, community organizer, musician, and photographer based in Lexington, MA. He is the Director of the MIT Media Lab’s new Community Biotechnology Initiative. Our mission: empowering communities through biotechnology.

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Episode 83: Engaging Diverse Artists

Rosemary Tracy Woods, Executive Director of Art for the Soul Gallery in Springfield, MA, discusses how artists can plug into their local arts community and how a community’s efforts to engage local artists can be more inclusive, and ultimately more representative of all the people they serve.

Rosemary Tracy WoodsRosemary Tracy Woods, Executive Director of Art for the Soul Gallery, strives to embody the intersection of art and social justice. Growing up the only girl in a Philadelphia family with eight brothers, one of whom was the late R&B singer, Harold Melvin of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Woods was immersed in art from a young age. Continue reading “Episode 83: Engaging Diverse Artists”

Episode 80: Partnering with New Immigrants

Greg Jenkins, Executive Director of the Somerville Arts Council, shares how he and his colleagues build relationships with Somerville’s diverse new immigrant populations as both arts audience members and programming partners. This type of community engagement identifies new sources of cultural energy and assets, he says, and a willingness to enter a world that may be unfamiliar.

Greg Jenkins. Photo courtesy of Commonwealth Journal.Since 2001,  has been the Executive Director of the Somerville Arts Council. His professional experience includes arts education, public folklore and community-based programming. Since 2005 he has spearheaded cultural economic development initiatives within Somerville. Jenkins holds a BA in Anthropology and an MA in Folklore.

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Episode 59: Listen, Present, and Repeat

David C. Howse, Executive Director of ArtsEmerson, shares how ‘curatorial listening’ leads to better community partnerships in developing programming and initiatives. He also discusses the benefits afforded institutions that shift their imagination in ways that allow them to see the world and ultimately benefit from the world in a much more magical way.

David Howse. Photo by Asia Kepka.David C. Howse joined ArtsEmerson as executive director in 2015 and is fiscally and administratively responsible for multiple cultural venues in Downtown Boston. Prior he served as executive director of Boston Children’s Chorus (BCC), where he was instrumental in helping grow BCC from a pilot project serving 20 kids in 2003 to a vibrant organization educating more than 500 singers in 12 choirs in 5 locations.
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Episode 55: Generate and Cultivate Engagement

Zakiya Thomas, Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Executive Director of Education, Community Engagement and Inclusion, discusses how evaluation and accountability are key for institutions seeking to reach new audiences.

She says the same rigor that organizations apply to visitor experience or to the quality of work on display needs to also be applied around how that organization works with communities and the kinds of outcomes they expect to see.

Zakiya ThomasFor more than fifteen years, Zakiya Thomas has worked to develop engaging educational and public service initiatives designed to strategically align business, marketing, public relations and community engagement objectives.

She currently serves as the Executive Officer for Education, Community Engagement and Inclusion for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Continue reading “Episode 55: Generate and Cultivate Engagement”