The Midwest Political Science Association held its annual conference in Chicago earlier this month.
As he does each year, the University of Chicago Professor Terry Nichols Clark arranged for several of his students to make presentations on their research on the influence of the arts in urban neighborhoods.
Four of his students have worked with Theaster Gates on variations on these subjects, but this year Yasemin Arikan presented her research on the questions of “Can Artists Drive Growth? In Disadvantaged Neighborhoods? Sometimes”.
Yasemin’s work, and that of some of the other UofC students, were discussed in a panel discussion that I moderated during the conference. Besides Yasemin and Professor Clark, the panelists also included Maxime Jaffre and Elena Raevskikh of the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Marseille, along with Richard C. Hula at Michigan State University. It’s a long discussion (of almost an hour and a half), but the exploration of the multiplier effects of art, neighborhood and community was really fascinating. Watch, and be moved!