Episode 96: When Well-Being Takes the Stage

Mandy Precious, Engagement and Learning Director at Theatre Royal Plymouth, shares how social prescription – prescribing the arts or arts activities over medication – has impacted their organization and their community. Through their Our Space program, adults with addiction, homelessness, and/or mental health issues come to see productions and make their own work.

Mandy PreciousMandy Precious is the Director of Engagement and Learning at the Theatre Royal Plymouth, UK. Previously she was the CEO and Artistic Director of the largest Youth Theatre in England.  She was a freelance theatre maker, writer and project manager for 18 years working with communities from all backgrounds. Her work focuses on applied and community theatre, co-creating work with groups least likely to engage but often with the most interesting stories to tell.

Continue reading “Episode 96: When Well-Being Takes the Stage”

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.

Continue reading “Episode 94: Look at Art. Get Paid.”

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.

Continue reading “Episode 93: Creating Public Space for Community Health”

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.

Continue reading “Episode 91: Igniting Community in Central Mass”

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.

Continue reading “Episode 85: Innovation at the Edge”