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Virtual | ArtTable X Come to Your Census Discussion and Happy Hour!

April 24, 2020 | 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Image: Art+Action’s Come to Your Census campaign. Featured artwork from left to right: Masako Miki, Conversation with Plates, 2018., Clare Rojas, Untitled, 2020., Joel Daniel Phillips, Charlie Lee #3, 2017.

Join ArtTable for a conversation with the creative collaborators behind- Come to Your Census: Who Counts in America? a digital art and civic experience organized by Yerba Buena Arts Center as part of Art+Action’s arts-driven COME TO YOUR CENSUS arts-driven campaign, galvanizing communities to participate in the 2020 Census. As part of ArtTable’s curatorial perspective virtual programming, we’ll be speaking with the curators, artists, and creative collaborators involved in this initiative, as an important model of how now more than ever, arts institutions are embracing collaboration and leaning into their role to advocate with and inspire our communities.

This event will be followed by a 10 minute Census-taking ‘happy hour.’ For all who take their 2020 Census and send proof to Art+Action, they will be gifted an art sweatshirt by artists Arleene Correa Valencia + Ana Teresa Fernández as part of their collaboration SOMOS VISIBLES. This ongoing project takes a political stance on visibility through the use of high visibility ready-to-wear safety gear present throughout many labor industries, and as it relates to the invisibility of the undocumented in the U.S.—and within COME TO YOUR CENSUS campaign, as it relates to being seen and counted in the 2020 Census. Read more about SOMOS VISIBLES—made possible through the generous support of Levi’s—and the artists’ work here.

How to take part!

  1. Register for this event here
  2. Following registration you will receive call-in information in the form of a ZOOM link
  3. Before joining a Zoom meeting on a computer or mobile device, you can download the Zoom app from the Download Center and select the “Zoom Client for Meetings” option. Alternatively, you will be prompted to download and install Zoom when you click a join link.
  4. For further instruction on how to use Zoom, see here.

Before COVID-19 changed our lives and took hold of our collective psyche, independent curator, activist and ArtTable member Amy Kisch was commissioned by San Francisco’s Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs (OCEIA) to develop an arts-driven campaign to mobilize communities around the 2020 Census. Understanding that the Census determines the distribution of federal money and political power across the U.S., Kisch, together with Amy Schoening and Brittany Ficken, formed Art+Action, the first-ever coalition for civic participation across art, creative, community, business, technology, philanthropy, activist, and government sectors. Art+Action approached Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), inviting them to enter into a partnership to amplify and expand this work. YBCA eagerly accepted this call to collaboration—becoming a Lead Partner in the coalition and Art+Action’s headquarters

Meet the participants: 

Ashara Ekundayo is a Detroit-born, Oakland-based, inter-disciplinary independent curator, artist, creative industries entrepreneur and organizer working internationally across cultural, spiritual, civic, and social innovation spaces.  Through her company AECreative Consulting Partners she places artists and cultural production as essential in equitable design practices, real estate development, and movement building. Some of her ventures Evolve Oakland (formally known as Impact Hub Oakland), Omi Arts Project + Space, and Ashara Ekundayo Gallery gained international attention for their groundbreaking methodology and courageous programming and have been featured in publications such as Black Enterprise, Forbes and The Guardian. Ashara is also a “pleasure activist” and her creative arts practice epistemology requires an embodied commitment to recognizing joy in the midst of struggle.Currently she serves as Chief Creative Catalyst for the Bay Area Girls & Womxn of Color Collaborative, sits on the Advisory Board of the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music, and is the Co-Founder of See Black Women – a curatorial collective whose mission is to center and present an understanding of Black feminist thought and creative culture through exhibition, publication and policy.  Her new media platform and forthcoming book, “Artist As First Responder” excavates, documents, and nurtures the next generation of cultural workers whose practices save lives.

re.riddle’s founder and principal and ArtTable member, Candace Huey, brings her extensive knowledge of and experience in the art world to her projects. Huey has worked for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Bonham’s auction house, Alameda County Arts Commission and various galleries in the Bay Area where she curated exhibitions showcasing the work of 20th century masters and contemporary artists. As an independent curator, she conceptualized and produced exhibitions for cultural institutions such as Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco, Consulado General de México, Consulado General de España, and Consulat Général de France, San Francisco. She consults on collection portfolio and development for private clients in San Francisco, Hong Kong, Chicago, London and Paris.

Huey holds degrees from The Courtauld in London and U.C. Berkeley, and has presented her academic research on 17th century Dutch Art at renowned conferences in the United States and the Netherlands.  She currently teaches art history at a private university, sits on the executive council for SECA SFMoMA, de Young Museum College Programs Advisory, ArtTable and is an active member of Artadia San Francisco Council and Headlands Center for the Arts.

Sarah Cathers is the Director of Public Life at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) in San Francisco where she develops the organizational focus on radical hospitality; participation rich public spaces; deep and generative relationships with community; and a culture of invitation. Making sure that people, aka ‘the public’, are at the center of everything we do at YBCA, Sarah works alongside other departments to lead projects out of traditional roadblocks and help connect the work we all do in a more holistic manner.

She has 24 years of experience in arts leadership, curation and operations, including producing 7 years of the renowned SFFilm Festival and 9 years at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio. She has performed in and produced stage and film works for SFMOMA and Di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, designed costumes for independent short films and music videos and was an internationally touring performance artist. She has served on the Board of The Lab, one of San Francisco’s most beloved experimental performance spaces and managed a 15-artist gallery and studio space in her hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

Martin Strickland is the Associate Director of Public Life at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) in San Francisco where he develops the organizational focus on radical hospitality; participation rich public spaces; deep and generative relationships with community; and a culture of invitation. Making sure that people, aka ‘the public’, are at the center of everything we do at YBCA, Martin works to commit the model of the art institution as a public resource — to pledge the institution to artistic practitioners and constituencies who understand art and culture as forms of knowledge and experience that support civic inquiry.

He has curated multiple exhibitions and public programs, including co-curating YBCA’s signature triennial Bay Area Now 8 in 2018, and has collaborated with Lucía Sanromán on The City Initiative, a series of exhibitions and public programs featuring architects designers, planners and artists that focus on creating provocative works in the urban environment. Prior to YBCA, he worked as the programs assistant at the Arts Research Center, UC Berkeley, as an independent contractor with the San Francisco Arts Commission, and as a community organizer for public health in New Orleans.

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) is one of the nation’s most innovative contemporary arts centers. Founded in 1993, YBCA’s mission is to generate culture that moves people.

Amy Kisch is the Founder + Artistic Director of Social Impact for the Art+Action Coalition. For over two decades, Kisch has worked as a strategist and cultural producer, developing major global, art, culture, and brand initiatives for high-profile private, corporate, institutional, and non-profit clients including Sotheby’s, ABC TV, The Armory Show, AT&T, NYFA, and the Williamsburg Gallery Association, among others. Having spent six years in clinical and community social work, her projects are underscored by efforts to democratize access, while upholding integrity and quality in curatorial vision and programming. In 2018, Kisch launched Collect For Change™—collaborating with artists to offer artwork with a portion of sales benefiting a charity selected by each artist.

Brittany Ficken is cultural producer who has worked in the arts for the last eight years at art museums, arts organizations, and on various independent projects. She is the Executive Producer and Project Director of Art+Action, an arts-driven cross-sector coalition for civic participation—mobilizing around the 2020 Census—headquartered at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and powered by San Francisco’s Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs.

Brittany Ficken is the Co-Director of The Painting Salon, a bi-monthly roaming lecture series that creates conversation around contemporary art in the San Francisco Bay Area. From 2016-2019, Brittany Ficken worked with Headlands Center for the Arts to manage the production of outdoor public artworks in the National Park, produce events, fundraise, manage Board relations, and to run the artist limited edition program. While in the Bay Area, Brittany has also worked with McEvoy Foundation for the Arts, Rena Bransten Gallery, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Previously, in New York, Brittany Ficken developed arts programming and communications for Artis. She also worked on the Foundation for Contemporary Arts’ annual benefit art exhibition at Matthew Marks Gallery. From 2012-2014 Brittany Ficken was Assistant Curator at City Ice Arts in Kansas City. In 2012 she worked with the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. The same year, Brittany Ficken co-founded Archive Collective, an active organization that provides opportunities for communities to engage with photography by hosting group critiques, gallery visits, artist talks, studio visit, and local and traveling exhibitions.


April 24, 2020
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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