Open Engagement (OE) is an annual, three-day artist-led conference dedicated to expanding the dialogue around and creating a site of care for the field of socially en- gaged art. Founded in 2007, OE has evolved into an unparalleled hub for practitioners and audiences of socially engaged art to assemble. The conference highlights the work of transdisciplinary artists, activists, students, scholars, community members, and organizations working within the complex social issues and struggles of our time. OE has presented seven conferences in two countries and four cities, hosting over 1,100 presenters and over 4,000 attendees.
OE is excited to announce the next phase of growth: a national consortium that will sit- uate the conference in the Bay Area, Chicago, and New York. The three-year cycle will begin with the Bay Area in 2016 in partnership with the Oakland Museum of California and the California College of the Arts, Chicago in 2017 in partnership with University of Illinois Chicago, and in New York in partnership with the Queens Museum in 2018.
Each year will focus on a singular theme, exploring major issues at play and at stake in socially engaged art. The cycle of themes include POWER in Oakland 2016, JUSTICE in Chicago 2017, and SUSTAINABILITY in New York 2018. Annual programming will be chosen from an open call for proposals, under the direction of an appointed curator from the region and selection committee comprised of national consortium members, local partners, educators, students, community members, and organizations including New York-based non-profit A Blade of Grass.
Open Engagement 2016 — POWER will take place April 29–May 1, 2016 at the Oakland Museum of California and additional sites throughout the Bay Area. The conference theme will be guided by the curatorial vision of René de Guzman and feature keynote speakers Angela Davis and Suzanne Lacy.
OE works to honor multiple ways of engaging in dialogue, to foster the community surrounding socially engaged art, and to serve as a site that supports multiple forms
of knowledge. OE is ADA and family welcoming, and encourages local, national, and international artists, activists, academics, cultural producers, administrators, curators, educators, writers, thinkers, doers, makers and non-artists of all ages to apply. The free, open call for proposals closes November 2, 2015.
Please visit www.openengagement.info for details.