CalArtian-Edited Art Book Positions Artists as First Responders to Injustice

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Artists, activists, and academics challenge monoculture by cataloging myriad voices in a demographically shifting America in FUTURE/PRESENT: Arts in a Changing America, a new art book published by Duke University Press. Co-edited by Elizabeth M. Webb (Film/Video MFA 16), Daniela Alvarez (Critical Studies MA 17), and Roberta Uno, the volume features multiple CalArtians among its contributors.

Throughout its 568 pages, FUTURE/PRESENT showcases visual and performance art pieces, interviews, essays, criticisms, poetry, artists manifestos, and more. The book finds its roots in five years of national organizing by artist-led initiative Arts in a Changing America, which centers “people of color who are leading innovation at the nexus of arts production, community benefit, and social change.” 

ArtChangeUS: Arts in a Changing America was a five-year initiative that began at CalArts in 2015 and explored the dramatic demographic transformation of the United States and its profound impact on arts and culture. Uno, a director, dramaturge, and former Ford Foundation program officer, served as its first director.

More about the book from Duke University Press:

Throughout, contributors examine issues of placekeeping and belonging, migration and diasporas, the carceral state, renegotiating relationships with land, ancestral knowledge as radical futurity, and shifting paradigms of inequity. Foregrounding the powerful resilience of communities of color, FUTURE/PRESENT advances the role of artists as first responders to injustices, creative stewards in the cohesion and health of communities, and innovative strategists for equity.

The volume boasts an impressive roster of contributors, among whom are many CalArtians: Daniel Alcazar (Art MFA 19), Jeff Chang (Film/Video BFA 19), Genevieve Fowler (Theater MFA 21), Guillermo Gómez-Peña (Art BFA 83, MFA 85), Arshia Fatima Haq (Art MFA 05), Antoine Hunter (Dance 02), Dareen Hussein (Art BFA 16), Douglas Kearney (Critical Studies MFA 04), Silvi Naçi (Art MFA 19), Aydinaneth Ortiz (Art MFA 18), Scott Oshima (Art BFA 12), Jaklin Romine (Art MFA 17), Sarah Sophia Yanni (Critical Studies MFA 20), School of Art faculty Ashley Hunt, Elisa Harkins (Art MFA 15), Vinhay Keo (Art MFA 20), Sadie Barnette (Art BFA 06), Jazmin Urrea (Art MFA 17), Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle (Art, Critical Studies MFA 12), J Molina-Garcia (Art MFA 16), Evelyn Hang Yin (Art MFA 20), and Carrie Mae Weems (Art BFA 81). 

To learn more, find a link to read the introduction, or to purchase the book, visit the Duke University Press website. Use the CalArts Friends and Family code E23FUPRS at checkout to receive 30% off the book.

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PUBLISHED BY Taya Zoormandan

As digital content and social media producer, Taya enjoys lifting up the stories and accomplishments of CalArts' students, alums, and faculty. She fancies herself a visual artist but is really more of an overzealous collector of art supplies.

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