The Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley is sponsoring the symposium "ART/CITY" on March 16, 2012. Participants have been invited to respond to the prompt “in relation to the arts and civic life, the question I am wrestling with right now is…” in advance of the event. This guest posting is by Suzanne Tan, Director of the Berkeley Art Center.
“In relation to the arts and civic life, the question I am wrestling with right now is…” how can smaller organizations like Berkeley Art Center continue to play an important role in the civic dialouge in connection with and collaboration with larger arts organizations and other multi-disciplinary organizations, in a way that encourages collaborative and community input and a sense of belonging in one's own community--our city being one that is highly unique, educated, and creative. I would like to explore the importance of organizations and institutions as community meeting places and "hubs" of activity, and ways to be responsive to community-based issues and create individual and collective ownership in the organizations that serve the cultural life of the city.