Posted April 15, 2016
  • Ken Lum kicks off the conversation. Image Credit: Lou Caltabiano

  • Paul Farber recounts experience with Monument Lab. Image Credit: Lou Caltabiano.

  • Nancy Chen tells story of community involvement through artists at the Asian Arts Initiative. Image Credit: Lou Caltabiano.

  • Nick Stuccio, of FringeArts, discusses the role of arts organizations in Philadelphia, and the evolution of FringeArts. Image Credit: Lou Caltabiano.

  • Todd Bressi compares experiences as a public art consultant throughout the country. Image Credit: Lou Caltabiano.

Praxis Dialogues 2: Arts and Culture held at Fringe Arts

On April 11, 2016, PennPraxis hosted the second installment of Praxis Dialogues, an ongoing program co-hosted with PlanPhilly to gather design professionals, practitioners, leaders, and students to discuss the constantly shifting concept of the “public good” and its impact on practice. The notion of public good poses a challenge to designers, stewards and managers of public space, as well as to politicians, elected officials, community leaders and citizens. The first panel, held in December 2015, invited panelists to question how public good ideals are rendered and tended in public spaces, sites, buildings, infrastructure and institutions. The summary of this event may be read here.

For this second event, PennPraxis was joined by four esteemed panelists: Todd Bressi, Interim Director, muraLAB and Interim Coordinator of Artistic Planning at Philadelphia’s MuralArtsProgram; Nancy Chen, former Senior Program Manager at the Asian Arts Initiative; Paul Farber, Visiting Assistant Professor of Writing and Postdoctoral Fellow at Haverford College and Director of Monument Lab; and Nick Stuccio, President and Producing Director of FringeArts. Each described example projects, the history of their work, and their experiences at the intersection of art and the public interest. The panel was moderated by Ken Lum, Professor and Director of the Fine Arts Undergraduate Program, Penn Design.

Prior to the event, PennPraxis’ partner, PlanPhilly, hosted essays published by each of the panelists, which touched on the interpretations of public good at the heart of each of the panelists’ practice. They can be read here:

Ken Lum: Public art and its questions 

Paul Farber: Public art in the age of urban renewal

Nancy Chen: Colaborative works by Asian Arts Initiative and Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission 

Nick Stuccio: Does Philadelphia need a Culture Plan? 

Todd Bressi: Public art and urbanism 

The entire conversation can also be viewed online here:

Please stay tuned for the next installment of Praxis Dialogues!