Livestream: Institutional Listening

De Nichols
Harry Gamboa Jr.
Svetlana Mintcheva
Sarah Schulman

Common Field Session
Organized by Sarah Williams/ Women's Center for Creative Work (LA)

Cultural production is not a one-directional conversation. As artists and organizations working within and across varying cultural contexts, our work has the potential to elicit dialogue, sometimes expected or desired, other times conflicted and painful. These situations can spark assessment about how we serve and communicate with our intended and unintended audiences, participants, collaborators, and the communities we interact with. We’ll discuss what duties different players have to respond to feedback or criticism and how we create conditions for these conversations–from artists representing themselves as individuals to organizations/institutions with missions and audiences to consider.

Bringing together artists, theorists, and professionals at organizations and institutions, this panel seeks to put forward recommendations, resources, and some best practices for facilitating listening and feedback within our field. Panelists will speak on lessons learned through personal experiences and observations as they answer questions about how to move through complicated situations that require listening to those within and outside our arts communities. Questions will address: how and when conversations turn into action, how to set boundaries for soliciting feedback in ways it can be applied, how to interpret and address what we have heard, how to deal with conflict at varying scales, and how to take feedback seriously while avoiding censorship or self-censorship.