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11/09/2016
VAN ALEN VARIETY SHOW

Photos: Kait Ebinger
Our most recent public programs festival, Mandate, was supported by the NEA and looked at how cities are shaped by electoral politics at every level, asking how citizens can get involved in the process in ways large and small.

What will the aftermath of the 2016 election mean for cities? Participants joined us for a post-Election Day reflection of the mandate of everyday city dwellers to improve one another’s lives. Following the November 8 election results, we applied performance, satire, and rapid presentations to mix policy and play and proclaimed the power of participation:

  • Concrete Justice and Theatre of the Oppressed presented “Homestead Instead: Reclaiming the Dream,” an interactive play that addressed issues of homelessness, gentrification, and homesteading, based on the real-life experiences of the actors
  • Protest Karaoke with artists Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere: We chose from thousands of popular titles in the artists’ hand-bound karaoke songbooks and decontextualized pop into politics
  • Everything you’ve always wanted to know about Community Boards but were afraid to ask: Van Alen Director of Strategic Initiatives Anne Guiney discussed finding a sense of home in the maze of subcommittees, long meetings, and strong personalities of city politics at its most local
  • “Connecting Initiatives” explored international models for how elected leaders can better connect with citizens and communities through alternative initiatives, with Yazmany Arboleda (Nairobi: “Color in Faith”), New York-based artist; Hanif Yazdi (New York City: “NYC ID”), urban planner, Office of the Mayor; Kouki Mojadidi (Kabul: “Women Centers”), architect; Discussion Convener: Francisco Brown; (Kabul: “Border Protection”), design professional and ARQUINE Magazine correspondent

This event was designated for AIA CES (1.5 LU)