Phase 2

The Expert Projections

Afrofturist Li Sumpter conducted research interviews with BIPOC artists and field experts working at the intersection of the arts, community building, and place-making/place-keeping. Practicing artists and arts professionals from noted institutions and grassroots organizations in Philly and beyond, including The Barnes Foundation, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, The National Gallery, Vox Populi, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Ice Box Project Space, and The Brotherhood/SisterSol participated in this process.

The trailblazing work of these experts, along with a focus on community engagement, made them an ideal foundation for this research and development inquiry.

Their expertise and first-hand feedback from experiences in the field helped us move toward realizing a Futures Gallery that is an accessible, responsive, state-of-the-art, future-proof, community-centered space for exhibition and engagement in an ever-changing world. We were particularly interested in the visions and insights of curators, artists, and arts administrators of color.

7 areas of feedback focus:

  1. Programming
  2. Access and Audience Development
  3. Community Engagement
  4. Curatorial Process
  5. Technology + Digital Engagement
  6. Staffing
  7. Covid response

Essential Questions:

  1. How do we create a space that both creatively and critically responds to the times?
  2. What does a space like this need to support lives in constant flux and communities striving for social and civic change?
  3. How do we “future-proof” the gallery for the impact of potential environmental and economic crises, local protests, and civic unrest?
  4. What new media tools and technology does the gallery need to be equipped with to keep up with the quickly growing field merging the arts + technology?
  5. How can The Futures Gallery best research and present this community’s investigation and interpretation of timely issues impacting this neighborhood, Philly, and the world?
  6. How can the gallery offer a platform to engage the community/general public of all ages in the process of creative problem-solving and even conflict resolution of local issues and concerns?