Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Temple University Libraries’ Artist-in-Residence Series: An Introduction


by Nicole Restaino

I’m delighted to share Temple University Libraries’ Artist-in-Residence Series as we prepare to launch the initiative’s third iteration. This month, I’ll be providing background on our libraries, our programming, and how the artist-in-residence project fits into our overall programming strategy here at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.

First, a bit about who we are and our Beyond the Page public programming series. Temple University Libraries serve our university community of more than 45,000 graduates, undergraduates, faculty, and staff. Located in North Philadelphia, the central campus library is also open to our neighboring communities, scholars and researchers visiting our unique special collections, and the general public. We also have branch and satellite libraries at our suburban and international campuses. Main Campus is in the heart of the second largest city on the East Coast, and as such, we leverage programming to position our organization as a unique and vibrant participant in the city’s rich cultural fabric.

…we leverage programming to position [the library] as a unique and vibrant participant in the city’s rich cultural fabric.

Our Beyond the Page public programming series consists of 50-80 events, lectures, exhibitions, performances, and other programs per year. The series’ major objectives are to:

  • emphasize the interdisciplinarity of the Libraries and promote our organization’s status as an active center of creation and ideation
  • highlight Temple’s role as a major cultural producer in Philadelphia,
  • attract new audiences throughout the campus and city to our organization,
  • support curricular goals and objectives at the university,
  • and develop programming that highlights our library collections and archives.

To meet these goals, we partner with individuals and organizations across the campus and the city. In the past, we’ve designed programs with everyone from our university’s offices, programs, departments and centers, to major museums across the city and other universities in Philadelphia.

Though the Libraries have always hosted talks and exhibitions, this comprehensive series has grown over the past ten years—last year we welcomed over 2,000 individuals to events in the Beyond the Page public programming series. Frequently, programming is organized around broad, interdisciplinary themes, such as Digital Cultures, Music, Games/Gaming/Play, and Sustainability. These themes are loose organizing principles, a central concept along which we develop interdisciplinary, interactive programs. We select topics that are urgent or emergent in contemporary culture, meet with partners and conduct our own research to develop content, and, from there, curate a robust series.

Frequently, programming is organized around broad, interdisciplinary themes, such as Digital Cultures, Music, Games/Gaming/Play, and Sustainability.

The artist-in-residence series developed to more deeply explore a chosen theme through a single practice. While on campus, our visiting artists present workshops, a public lecture, a talk on theory that informs their practice, and a performance, exhibition, or artist-curated event. By approaching such a broad variety of topics and methods, our artists highlight the interdisciplinarity of the Libraries. And, as an experiential, performative program, our artist-in-residence series demonstrates how the Libraries actively support cultural production. Finally, by hosting artists and makers with national reputations, we accomplish our goal of providing unique cultural programming that resonates throughout the city.

We bring in artists from outside our immediate region, contracting with creators from the Midwest and West Coast, as we also take care to research and contact artists with emerging and unique practices. This generates audience interest and helps us to reach new patrons; attendees feel like they are getting a really special experience with an avant-garde artist they wouldn’t be able to see perform or exhibit otherwise. Participants thus far include micha cárdenas, director of the University of Washington’s Poetics Operative Lab and member of Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0; Angela Washko, performance/video/installation artist and faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University; and Fallen Fruit, a social practice collective out of Los Angeles.

Next month, I’ll provide more specifics around micha and Angela’s practices, their presentations at Temple, and how they engaged with our audiences. Stay tuned!


headshotNicole Stengel Restaino is an art historian, arts administrator and public programming curator. She is currently the manager of public programming and communications at Temple University Libraries, setting strategy, content, and assessment plans for cultural programming and events, publications, and outreach. Nicole contributes to ProgrammingLibrarian.org on best programming practices and regularly presents at and attends arts administration and scholarly conferences. 

Get in touch with Nicole at restaino@temple.edu.

from Library as Incubator Project http://ift.tt/2bxpXqz
via IFTTThttp://ift.tt/2bxpUee

No comments:

Post a Comment