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Creative Providence: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
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The Brown Center for Public Humanities seeks $34,100 to cover the costs of planning and testing a series of pop-up installations and events that tie Providence’s past as a locus of invention and entrepreneurship to its future as a “Creative Capital” of art- and science-based innovation. The project brings museums and humanists together with artists, makers, industrial firms and technology labs to consider the city’s history of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship; to help the public understand the nature of technological and artistic change; and to encourage a nuanced discussion about the city’s future. We want to connect old and new, encouraging the city to build on its past and move beyond it. How can Providence use its roots in creativity, craftsmanship, and innovation to create a prosperous and equitable future? We hope to help guide Providence through the tricky terrain of creative economic development and suggest models for museums of technology and art across the country. Working with local cultural institutions and other community partners, this planning grant will allow us to experiment with ways to connect Providence’s industrial past with its creative future. Over the course of a year, we will establish a solid humanities foundation for our work; experiment with the best ways to connect past, present and future in museums and in the business and creative community; create a series of experimental installations and programs on which to build ongoing collaborations; and to evaluate that work. These programs will include pop-up installations at museums, factories, schools and public spaces, and programs aimed at bringing these groups together for conversation and collaborative work. Longer-term, should this planning grant prove successful - should we find that this new approach to history creates enthusiasm, deepens understanding, encourages new conversations, and shapes a more nuanced policy discussion and new directions for museums - we will apply for an implementation grant for a continuing series of programs and installations to showcase ways that Providence can leverage its past to better make decisions about its future. We would expand to include youth programs, engaging middle and high school students in the world of creativity. We will also plan a recurring annual or biennial festival to institutionalize the best of our experiments, solidify the community we’ve built, and make the important conversations we’ve had a regular part of life in Rhode Island. This project is designed not only to foster the networks and relationships so important to a healthy and creative community, but also to create an ongoing space for humanities scholars to participate in the conversation about the future of our city. Our believe that historians and other humanists, the philosophers of the maker movement, and the champions of creative urban development might have something important to offer one another. Can we find a model for maker-centered city planning that renders creative strategies more sustainable and equitable, while scaling up maker culture to the level of mass participation and empowerment that its champions have been dreaming about? Can we bring together the enthusiasm of the maker community with the larger perspectives of humanists and museums? We hope that this project has three outcomes: that it deepens understandings of technology and creativity, helps shape urban cultural policy, and establishes a model for the revitalization of museums of decorative arts, technology, and industry.
Long before it was the Creative Capital, Providence was known for making things. Does that mean it’s always been creative? How does work in the Knowledge District today compare with artisanal and factory production in the same neighborhood fifty or one hundred years ago, when it was known as the Jewelry District? Who can call themselves the inheritors of Providence’s rich industrial history? How do we all inherit the past - physically, in how it shaped our city and what it left behind, and intellectually, in how we understand our city’s project? Many of Rhode Island’s contemporary makers and entrepreneurs identify with state’s industrial past, and our leaders invoke it in setting forth visions for future economic prosperity. Inspired by that sense of heritage, this project will explore how Rhode Islander’s talk about their industrial past, and suggest how we might harness that conversation to most equitably and successfully make Rhode Island a center of making once again. This project brings together historians of industry, technology, labor, art, and architecture, museum curators and educators from technology and art museums, urban planners, engineers, makers, artists and entrepreneurs to create public presentations - installations, programs, events, and more - to start to answer some of those questions for a general public We want to shed light on how we made things in the past, how we make things today, and how “making” - a term that has come to include creativity, manufacturing, industry, technology, art, and more - has shaped our built and social environments. Industrial museums and museums with decorative arts collections will show off examples of historical creativity, and provide historical context for it. Contemporary makers of all stripes, from fine artists to craftspeople, programmers and hackers, and workers and engineers at Rhode Island’s leading manufacturers, will demonstrate the state of creativity and production today. And most important we’ll put past and present in conversation with each other, to consider the future. Together we will think about why Rhode Island has been a center for making for so long, and what we want to be making in fifty years. The series will provide a venue for these conversations, and will also yield new plans, drawings, artworks, and models that we hope will serve as touchstones for future development, both here, and in other cities. . This planning grant will allow us to not only work with consultants from around the country to plan our larger project, but also allow us to undertake parts of it at a small scale, to test our ideas and evaluate their outcomes. We will construct a easy-to-move exhibit kiosk that allows us to undertake several experimental pop-up installations in museums, maker spaces, and at events. We will test the possibilities of factory tours that provide both historical perspective and contemporary relevance. And we will participate in Providence’s Maker Faire, adding an historical perspective to the work of contemporary makers. We will work with local schools, after-school programs, museums, and art and maker spaces to design a program for middle and high school students. We will evaluate these projects, write about them so that others might learn from our work, and use them to plan a larger project that expands our work geographically to reach a larger and more diverse audience.
Our partners for this project will include museums, universities, artist spaces, startup spaces and industrial workplaces. The Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, the state’s largest museum, is an official partner, interested in connecting its collections to the creative community, and, in particular, in reinterpreting its decorative arts collections for a new generation. Local museums, including Slater Mill Historic Site and the Rhode Island Historical Society, represent an earlier era of innovative creativity. AS220 and the Steel Yard are artists’ and makers’ spaces. The area’s organizations of makers, designers and entrepreneurs include Revolution by Design, Maker Faire Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Museum of Science and Art, Better World by Design, and the Providence Geeks. The Master’s students in Brown’s public humanities program, the student entrepreneurs of Brown’s School of Engineering and program in Business, Entrepreneurship, and Organizations, entrepreneurs at Betaspring, a startup accelerator program for technology and design entrepreneurs, traditional industrial firms and new manufacturing companies represents the future. We will bring these organizations together to provide perspective not only on the past but also on the decisions being made today about the future. We will work with our community partners to widen the circle as much as possible. These are themes already well represented by local organizations, and by bringing our network of minds, venues, and communities to bear on this project, we hope to truly create a sense of civic culture and a venue for building relationships. This project will take us beyond the traditional locations of humanities work. While we will work with traditional museums, from the Museum of the Rhode Island School of Design to Slater Mill Historic Site, we will also have installations and programs at factories, maker faires, and art spaces. Our work will be added onto existing interpretation, making new connections. For example our pop-up kiosk, with video about contemporary metal workers and three-dimensional printers, and contemporary manufacturers and entrepreneurs, might appear next to the history nineteenth-century machine shop in the Wilkinson Mill. Contemporary craftspeople will appear in person to comment on traditional decorative arts at the RISD Museum. Historic machinery collectors and historians of technology will add a layer of contrast and interpretation to the Providence Maker Faire, to the welding shop at the SteelYard, and the 3-D printing lab at AS220, contemporary artist spaces, and to high-tech manufacturers. . Should our planning grant prove successful - should these pilot projects prove interesting to the diverse publics that discover them, should the conversations about the creative and manufacturing future of the city become richer and more nuanced - we will apply for an implementation grant to build on this work, to consider permanent installations in some of our partner spaces, and work with the Providence Maker Faire to develop a new, larger project, a Makers Bienniale, that will help participants and visitors, historians and contemporary makers, entrepreneurs, business people, and politicians, understand the complexities of creative industrial development, past, present and future. We want to put the past in dialogue with the present, finding new ways for our community to talk about its future.
Humanities ideas, themes, and questions
This project, like much work in the public humanities, is part of a search for a usable past: how can knowledge of history shape a better future? We intend to carry out this memory work critically, with input from scholars who appreciate not only history, but also the ways that communities come to know and use
their past. Our exploration of the relationship of art, science, technology, entrepreneurship, and the creative life of the city, past and present, stands at the intersection of three important ways that humanists understand the place of technology and creativity in American society: ● Technology and creativity has historically been central to the American imagination. In recent years this cultural attitude has been reinvented with notions of technological creativity as a source of personal fulfillment, on the one hand, and as an essential element of economic growth, on the other. The rise of Maker Faires, artisanal production, and the explosion of YouTube auteurs are just some manifestations of the former, the renewed debate on industrial policy of the latter. ● Cities, always a contested element of American identity, are re-emerging as centers of creative endeavor. Cities are looking to the “creative class” to revitalize their economy and urban life. This trend began with Richard Florida’s Rise of the Creative Class (2002) and has gone through critique and revision ever since. We want to bring historical perspective to this conversation to make Providence’s planning better. ● Changing ideas of the place of technology, creativity, and urban culture have implications for museums: how can they highlight creativity in the past in a way that allows them to participate in, and give historical depth and understanding to, creativity today and tomorrow? Museums of art, industry and technology, and history museums more generally, are looking for a way to reinvent themselves for new audiences and to be relevant to contemporary cultural issues. We hope to provide example and direction to museums looking to use art and history collections and the work of humanities scholarship to consider issues of importance to contemporary audiences, including economic growth, urban development, and skills building. 1. The new interest in technology, creativity and work Historian David Nye argues that technology plays a key role in America’s myths of creation. We defined our nation through our creative endeavors, finding both transcendence and common ground in technological accomplishments. Though the technologies we situate at the center of our national myths have changed from the steam engine to the internet, the notion of inventiveness and creativity remains central to national identity.1 These technological origin myths also shape Rhode Island history and self image. In the 2009 cultural policy master plan, Creative Providence, we read that “Providence is a place built upon” hundreds of years of “innovation and creativity.” But the word creativity in everyday speech is less than one hundred years old. So what do we mean by it? How does creative work in the Knowledge District today compare with artisanal and factory production in the same neighborhood fifty or one hundred years ago, when it was known as the Jewelry District? Do we still possess the spirit of Samuel Slater, who kicked off the American Industrial Revolution when he built his mill on the banks of the Blackstone River? In what ways are we carrying on a tradition, and in what ways are we doing something entirely new? Moreover, who can call themselves the inheritors of Rhode Island’s rich creative history? And was does that mean? Rhode Island today is filled with people who identify as creative, and who link their work to the past. Providence has one of the highest populations of artists per capita, and one can see in much of their work
David Nye, American Technological Sublime, MIT Press, 1994. See also his America as Second Creation: Technology and Narratives of New Beginnings, MIT Press, 2003 5
reflections of an industrial past. We have world-class arts organizations operating out of historic theaters, shops and museums. We also have a strong DIY ethic, and a desire to get back to a time when more people made things. We have artisanal beer brewers and meat smokers, bicycle frame welders, and spinners and weavers. And, of course, despite over one hundred years of industrial decline, we still have significant industrial manufacturing. The lines between these sectors are blurry, which may be one of the reasons we call it all creative. But that doesn’t mean it’s all the same, or always has been. There’s also a new blurring of producer and consumer. Bill Ivey and Steven J. Tepper, who write about the changing face of the arts in America, observe that, “in tandem with the democratization of cultural production and the establishment of a pervasive do-it-yourself creative ethos, we are witnessing the emergence of the ‘curatorial me’ in place of the traditional arts consumer.”2 This person is somewhere between the old model of cultural producer and consumer. They don’t produce in the sense of playing an instrument, but their consumption habits involve much more active decision making than before, and are done as self-expression. These “prosumers” are exemplary of the creative economy, wherein value is often created by the participation of users. This is part of a more general trend. There are websites like HowStuffWorks.com. The New York Times Magazine runs a weekly column asking “Who made that?” TV shows like How do they do it and even Dirty Jobs suggest a fascination with technology and work. Most important, for us, is the Maker movement. An article in The Economist last year heralded this do-it-yourself technology movement this way: “The ‘maker’ movement could change how science is taught and boost innovation. It may even herald a new industrial revolution.”3 The magazine may have overstated the case, but in noting the parallels to the personal computer revolution of the 1980s, it makes a strong argument for the importance of enthusiastic amateurs, empowered by digital tools, cheap hardware, and a culture of sharing, can have a profound effect on education and technological change. This appropriation of technology has a history: Appropriating Technology: Vernacular Science and Social Power argues that “there are many instances in which they reinvent these products and rethink these knowledge systems, often in ways that embody critique, resistance, or outright revolt.”4 This project will consider this close up, but also step back to include the big humanistic questions: the changing nature of creativity, the changing meaning of the word as used by artists, inventors, and entrepreneurs, and its changing place in economic and industrial development. We want to denaturalize the idea, to show how it is historically contingent, and to compare the nature of creativity in different historical periods, and in different kinds of work. We want to shed light on the nature of “making” - of skills, knowledge, creativity - past and present, as well as its changing place in the economy and in plans for economic development. We will give “creativity” a history that will usefully shape its future.5
Bill Ivey and Steven J. Tepper, “Cultural Renaissance or Cultural Divide?,” Gia Reader, Vol. 17, No. 2 (Summer 2006). http://www.giarts.org/article/cultural-renaissance-or-cultural-divide 3 “More than just digital quilting,” The Economist, December 3, 2011. http://www.economist.com/node/21540392 4 Ron Eglash, Jennifer Crossiant, Giovanna Di Chiro, and Rayvon Fouché, eds, Appropriating Technology: Vernacular Science and Social Power, University of Minnesota Press, 2004 5 For a useful anthropological understanding of creativity see Elizabeth M. Hallam and Tim Ingold, 6
Our core group and consultants, which includes anthropologists, historians of technology, art, and museums, and interdisciplinary scholars from urban studies and American studies, will help us place Providence’s story in the larger context of American and global economic history. We will contrast the long history of work on skills and deskilling in the history of technology with recent work by Richard Sennett and others on craftsmanship, and contemporary work on creative cities.6 The relationship of entrepreneurship and technological change has a long historiography as well, from Schumpeter’s grand theories of creative destruction to a significant body of work on local industry, including the textile, steam engine, and jewelry industries.7 2. Creativity in the Life of the city Being in the Creative Capital affords us a front row seat to an experiment in culture-led development. It also gives us a chance to critique that movement, to provide a deeper historical understanding, and to bring a humanistic depth that can contribute to its success. As we see how the idea of creativity plays out in our town, we hope to add to the rich conversation about the role of the arts and culture in urban planning, bringing historical perspective. At the same time, our programs will contribute to the cultural milieu and sense of civic identity that proponents of culture-led development claim is key to success. We believe that by bringing the central questions of the policy and planning scholarship to a larger public we can help distribute the responsibility for Providence’s future more widely by informing a wider public conversation. We want to use history and heritage to help the public ask questions about cities, creativity and economic development. Providence is just one of countless post-industrial cities placing its “creative sector” at the center of its development strategy.8 In America, the trend is often attributed to Richard Florida’s The Rise of the Creative Class. Like others around the turn of the millennium, Florida tried to account for why, despite predictions to the contrary, many older city centers remained vital in the post-industrial, postmodern age. Creativity and Cultural Improvisation, Berg, 2007 6 For the historical literature, a good overview is Merritt Roe Smith, “Industry, Technology, and the ‘Labor Question’ in 19th-Century America: Seeking Synthesis,” Technology and Culture, Vol. 32, No. 3 (Jul., 1991), pp. 555-570. Typical of more recent literature is Richard Sennett, The Craftsman, Yale University Press, 2008. There is very little scholarly literature on the Maker movement today; one local study is Emily Hayes Breeding, “Crafting Resistance: The Maker Movement in the Triangle Area of North Carolina,” MA Thesis, Anthropology, North Carolina State University, 2012. Some historical context is provided by Carolyn Goldstein, Do It Yourself: Home Improvement in 20th-Century America, Princeton Architectural Press, 1998. 7 Joseph A. Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, Harper, 1975. For an overview of the literature on the Slater mill, see James L. Conrad, Jr., “‘Drive That Branch’: Samuel Slater, the Power Loom, and the Writing of America’s Textile History,” Technology and Culture Vol. 36, No. 1 (Jan., 1995), pp. 1-28. For innovation and creativity in the jewelry industry, see Philip Scranton, Endless Novelty: Specialty Production and American Industrialization, 1865-1925, Princeton University Press, 1997, as well as a revisionist approach by Francesca Carnevali, “Fashioning Luxury for Factory Girls: American Jewelry, 1860–1914,” Business History Review Volume 85:2, June 2011, pp. 295-317. 8 “Creative Providence: A Cultural Plan for the Creative Sector,” 2009 7
He and others mapped the face-to-face social networks that made the knowledge economy tick, and tried to understand how urban density and dynamism may be key to attracting the brilliant but quirky creative types that would drive the economy now that the factories were mostly gone.9 In this brave new world, instead of a few major firms paying regular wages with benefits, the market is built on smaller firms and individual contractors. According to Florida this is the way artists have always worked: independently, on their own hours and with their own equipment, no suit and tie. Now that more and more people are doing for a living tasks that, however one might value them, are somehow artistic, more people get to live like artists. At its most expansive, this includes not only painters and musicians, but also those in advertising and marketing, media producers, and even software engineers, lawyers and scientists. Creativity, once the trait of absent-minded professors and sloppy artists, is now considered vital to nearly every profession, and has become synonymous with entrepreneurship and risk. The Florida model has seen much criticism. One issue is sustainability. A familiar story by now: artists starve while the creative economy booms, and real estate speculation forces out the very engine of value. Gentrification and neglect also affect those with little chance of participating in the creative economy in the first place. As the city provides incentives and benefits for the creative class, the sixty to seventy-five percent of the city without the high level of education and cultural capital necessary to work in the creative sector are left out of the picture. Many models of creative economic development depend on attracting talent to drive an economy, with the presumption that such talent is not native to the city itself. As a response, some have looked to workforce development policies aimed at making the most of the local populations.10 These involve organizing stakeholders in business, trade associations, and higher education to coordinate training and educational programs to provide homegrown talent for the industry. However, simply making new people part of the creative class may not go far enough. As Mark Stern and Susan Seifert plainly state, “if we make life better for the creative class, in a world of limited resources, we make life less good for the less ‘gifted.’”11 They argue that we stop thinking about the creative class that is, a group of highly educated and highly compensated geniuses driving the economy - and start thinking about how social networks and communities support the overall economic activity and quality of life. Neighborhood-based creative economies would take already-existing cultural resources and leverage them to make natural creative hubs and allow residents of even poor communities to access the social benefits of art, culture, and innovation. In Providence, the AS220 Youth program provides an excellent example of connecting at-risk youth with the creative community. Indeed, Providence has taken many of these critiques to heart. Its 2009 plan commits the city to maintain an environment where artists and cultural organizations can afford to stay, to “educate and inspire the next generation of creative thinkers” and to “build community and foster neighborhood vitality.”12
Richard Florida, The Rise Of The Creative Class: And How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community And Everyday Life, Basic Books, 2002 10 Center for an Urban Future, Creative New York. 2005 11 Mark Stern and Susan Seifert, From Creative Economy to Creative Society, 2008. http://www.trfund.com/resource/downloads/creativity/Economy.pdf 12 Creative Providence, pp. 15-24. 8
This approach, because it values small producers and informal creative networks, is of kindred spirit with maker culture, and suggests the potential for crossover. So far, little has been written on the relationship between maker culture and creative cities. This is surprising because they have so much in common. Both are optimistic about the ability of dispersed technologies to democratize opportunity. They both champion individual entrepreneurship and creativity, and stress the value created by networks of free-thinking individuals, as opposed to top-down corporate structures or flattening union organization. Some champions of maker culture stress the economic potential of socializing research and development, allowing more good ideas to come to market. Others stress the potential of makerdom to empower individuals and communities, allowing them to solve problems that the market will not. So far, as we have seen, creative economic policy has struggled to balance overall economic gain with democratized opportunity and power. Perhaps makerism and creative economic strategies hold the solutions to each other’s problems. Can maker culture help foster a more widely dispersed community of people equipped to compete in the new economy? Can its focus on small-scale producerism make creativity work for more people? If we make making part of a comprehensive policy, can it help scale up makerdom to achieve its promise of fostering a creative society? 3. Rethinking the museum A third goal of this project is to help to rethink museums of decorative arts and the history of industry and technology for a new era. While the history of these museums can be traced to 19th-century mechanics’ fairs, displays at world’s fairs, and to collections at the Smithsonian and elsewhere in the 1880s, it’s in the 1920s and 30s that they took their modern form. The Met’s American wing of 1924 set the tone for decorative arts displays. Charles R. Richards, director of the American Association of Museums, urged in The Industrial Museum (1925) that American create new museums to tell the “amazing story of the inventions, devices, machines, and methods that the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have brought to bear upon our daily life.”13 The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago (1926), the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn (1929), and the never-built National Museum of Engineering and Industry (proposed 1924), as well as significant efforts at the Smithsonian Institution and the Metropolitan Museum of Art defined a style that would last for decades. In the 1950s industrial museums like the Hagley Museum and the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle took on a new role, preparing the public for the postwar world of science and global concerns, and showcasing the triumph of American capitalism in the Cold War. In the 1980s, the social history revolution in museums added stories and artifacts of labor, consumers and (occasionally) business to technological stories told by machinery.14 But the last two decades have proven a time of great challenge for these museums. They have not seized the new opportunities, or potential new interest. Increasingly, the public doesn’t have a personal connection to the subject. A generation or more into deindustrialization, family ties to factories are disappearing. The very fascination with recent technology may have lessened the interest in earlier
Charles R. Richards, The Industrial Museum, New York: Macmillan, 1925, p. 42 Steven Lubar, “American Technology Museums: From Machines to Culture,” Ferrum: Nachrichten aus der Eisenbibliothek der Georg Fischer Aktiengesellschaft, Schaffhausen, Vol. 83, 2011 9
machines; a focus on the rapid innovation in smart phones, say, makes earlier innovation seem remote. As more technology becomes black boxes, or software, it’s hard to collect, interpret, and make it interesting. Finally, a changing political climate has meant that social and labor history no longer seems as important as it did in the last third of the twentieth century. Some of the most ambitious industrial history projects failed completely. In Boston, the Computer Museum closed in 1999 (its successor, in Palo Alto, is doing better). In Richmond, Virginia, the Valentine Museum tried but failed to build an ambitious industrial museum to tell the story of the Civil War era Tredegar Iron Works. In Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a National Museum of Industrial History failed to raise significant funding or interest. The Western Reserve Historical Society’s grandly-conceived Cleveland waterfront industrial and transportation museum never got beyond the planning stage, and was abandoned in 2003. The National Museum of American History no longer has industrial history exhibitions and only remnant exhibitions on the history of technology. There have been some successes, museums that took on the challenges of excellence and equity, or rethinking industrial and technological history, or of focusing on core stories in new ways. The revised Lowell National Park deindustrialization exhibit addressed the diversity of city head-on. “Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Sweatshops in America, 1820-Present,” at the American History Museum showed sewing machines not as technology, but as part of a sweatshop. The Minnesota Historical Society took on the full economic and social story as well as the technological in its Mill City Museum. The American Textile History Museum, which almost closed in the early 2000s, came back smaller, with a new focus on recent technology and a new interest in reaching broader audiences. The Chipstone Foundation’s decorative arts exhibits at the Milwaukee Art Museum connected makers past, present, and future. But many museums are moving on, driven by the challenges of attracting an audience, finding donors, moving beyond state or federal or school board funding. Industrial museums, Harold Skramstad, wrote a decade ago, “have from their beginning been pioneers in reinventing themselves.” They are doing it again, by considering some big questions: • How can they connect history to present-day concerns? • How can they attract new audiences? • How can they involve the audience and the subjects in the museum in appropriate ways? • How might they serve as tourist hubs and economic engines? • How might they supplement the schools or serve as a replacement for schools, especially as part of job training or retraining? These projects build on a long history, from the Peale Museum’s interest in connecting old with new, the Newark Museum’s community outreach, the Henry Ford Museum’s apprenticeship programs, the Commercial Museum’s service to business, the Metropolitan’s attention on industrial art; all of these are part of the DNA of the museum of technology and industry. We swerved from that first with an emphasis on technology, then on labor, then on spectacle; we need to reintegrate the industrial museum into the community in a more sustainable way. We need to address the ways they address contemporary concerns, from education in science, technology, engineering art, and math to the urban development issues we address in this grant. In “Project History” and “Related Projects,” below, we address some of the
experiments in reconnecting museums so that they can participate in community conversations; reinvesting in their founding principles; and re-asserting themselves as part of contemporary culture.
This project builds on almost a decade of work that the Brown Center for Public Humanities has done with local museums and community groups. Faculty and students have worked with the Fox Point community to undertake exhibits, cell phone tours, and school programs; with the RISD Museum and historic Stephen Hopkins House to produce exhibit and school programs; with community groups in South Providence to create popup and touring exhibits about Mashapaug Pond; and with many other local historic sites, museums, and archives. We’ve also worked with many museums outside the area, including the National Museum of American History and the Rochester Museum of Science and History, helping them rethink exhibitions and displays of technology for a new generation. This project also builds on an existing international collaboration that explores related themes. Organized by the Brown Center for Public Humanities, and funded by Brown’s Office of International Affairs, the Urban Cultural Heritage and Creative Practice project brought together scholars and artists from five universities in five cities (University of York, University of Capetown, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Koç University, in Istanbul, as well as Brown) to explore the value of creative interpretations of cultural heritage. In Providence, in 2011, artist Betsy Biggs created contemporary postcards based on research on historic postcards to reinterpret the social history of the city. In Istanbul, in 2012, a group of students from the five universities explored the historic smellscapes of the old Spice Market area to understand both the history of the area and to consider new kinds of interpretation. That project continues, with a project in Hong Kong this summer; but we have already learned that historical interpretation that brings creative workers into the mix provides a new, more interesting, and more exciting understanding of the history of cities. Adding creative technologists to the creative artists expands the possibilities, and allows us to focus on not only history and art, but also on practical development issues that concern every city. This partnership will allow us to learn from other cities, and to spread word of our results.15 Our partners at the RISD Museum have a long history of connecting to schools, after-school programs, and the artist community, and this grant builds on several exhibitions and programs planned for the coming year. Ongoing programs include “Work in Process,” which invites RISD students talk about their work the processes and techniques used to create their art in relation to historical examples on view, and “Double Take,” which invites experts in various fields to discuss artworks. Programs for K-12 teachers include a strong focus on using art in teaching about STEM fields. Two exhibitions open during the course of our project will provide ideal tie-ins for us. Locally Made, opening in July 2013, surveys work from the greater Providence region. It includes extensive programs, including an experimental space where artists and designers will lead and facilitate collaborative workshops, collective discussions, lectures and performances generated from the issues, ideas, and media in which local makers are passionately interested. Its goal is to offer participants a direct experience with how makers think and act. It includes a meeting space curated by local artists and designers, drop-in labs run by contemporary artists who will invite participants to experience their diverse artistic visions, a place
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for artists, designers, and experts from across disciplines and mediums share examples of their work and talk about their process. Making it in America will showcase the creation of art and identity by American artists and craftspeople. We will build on these projects, extending them beyond the walls of the museum. Brown’s School of Engineering and the program in Business, Entrepreneurship, and Organization (BEO) bring extensive contacts in Providence’s maker community and local businesses and entrepreneurs. Kipp Bradford has organized the Providence Makers Faire since its inception and serves on the boards of artist spaces AS220 and the Steel Yard and startup accelerator Betaspring. Lisa DiCarlo is affiliated not only with the BEO but also with the Field School, Social Venture Partners of Rhode Island and Leadership RI.
This project builds on substantial work underway at museums of art and history. As these museums reach for new audiences, and as they try to expand their usefulness for the community, they have begun to build new connections with makers and the entrepreneurial community. We’re not the first to address the problems of addressing contemporary issues in historical spaces, and we will build on the work that others have pioneered. Some examples include: The Eli Whitney Museum and Workshop, in New Haven, Connecticut, no longer has many historical exhibits about its namesake. Instead, it has become “an experimental learning workshop for students, teachers, and families,” teaching with “experiments that are the roots of design and invention.” The Museum “celebrates the Whitney tradition of learning by experiment” with shop classes, hands on experiments, and a wonderful range of building projects. The Brooklyn Navy Yard at Building 92, the new museum and interpretive center for the former Navy ship-building and repair yard now being redeveloped as a “green” industrial park, focused both on history and industrial education. It is run by the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, an organization whose goal is to promote local economic development, this exhibit shares space with a Job Training Center whose participants will take inspiration from the stories of hard work and invention told in the exhibition half of the building. Working with the Brooklyn Historical Society, it has established Teen Innovators, a group of 9th graders who, as part of an afterschool program, explore and interpret the historic and contemporary industries located at the Navy Yard. At the Rochester Museum of Science and History, in Rochester, New York, curators and educators are looking to replace the existing history exhibits with new, livelier displays that aim at technology education for careers. These new exhibits are to increase science literacy “through the lens of history, invention and innovation”; encourage young people’s interest in science and innovation “while learning to apply these skills to real life problems”; and help them “understand scientific and business principles and the associated career opportunities.”[v] This isn’t history for its own sake; rather, historical case studies, the museum hopes, will inspire and inform a generation of future Eastmans and Carlsons. Old Slater Mill, “the birthplace of the industrial revolution in America,” with its remarkable recreated waterwheel, machine shop, and textile machine collections, has put its energies into a new education center designed to connect “our history of fine crafts to Rhode Island’s burgeoning community of
talented, professional craftspeople.” The museum has played up the environmental story of waterwheels and power. Slater Mill has created the Community Guild Studies, a fiber arts center to link the birthplace of textile manufacturing with the area’s growing community of talented, professional craftspeople as well as members of the general public who enjoy fiber arts as a pastime or creative outlet. The Charles River Museum of Industry, in Waltham, Massachusetts, at the site of the first integrated textile mill in the United States, combines presentations of the past, present and future. Their mission, “to encourage and inspire future innovation in America,” builds on exhibitions about the history of local industry, but includes makers and artists who work in contemporary media. Its steampunk festival draws national attention. The museum is run completely by volunteers, hobbyists who are eager to share their love of machine tools, or watches, or old cars. The museum is part garage, part attic, part work space. It’s as much about the enthusiasts who volunteer as it is about the history of the location or the collections. The American Precision Museum has recently adopted a new strategic plan whose “guiding principle for the next five years is to blend old and new to tell how the history preserved in the museum and its collections is connected with precision manufacturing and the world of today.” The American Precision Museum will be, according to the plan, not only “A world-class interpretation of a world-class collection of machine tools,” but also “A place to see, learn, celebrate, mourn, and re-create the local story of precision manufacturing as part of an important national historical theme; and “A story we can tell, of problem-solving, ingenuity and solution-finding to the major challenges posed by precision manufacturing over the last two centuries and into the future.” It uses its collection of historic machine tools not only to explain the history of the area, and the industry, but also to connect with students interested in industrial work. High school student interns demonstrate not only historic machines from the museum’s education collection but also new computerized educational training machines. Some science centers have joined directly in the maker movement. The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago includes the Wanger Family Fab Lab, “a small-scale workshop for computer-based innovation, design and fabrication... The Fab Lab allows you to dream up, design and make almost anything you can imagine using cutting-edge software and equipment,” and hosts a Mini Maker Faire. The New York Hall of Science hosts the World’s Maker Faire. Shelburne Farms, an environmental education center in Shelburne, Vermont, recently hosted a Maker Faire. Several museums have established programs that connect making to their displays. The Chipstone Foundation, a decorative arts collection with display space at the Milwaukee Art Museum, focuses on community outreach in its curatorial work, connecting with craftspeople and industrial workers as well as school children.16 The Museum of Yachting, in Newport, Rhode Island, joined with the International Yacht Restoration School to teach both historic and contemporary skills. Libraries, too, have connected to the maker movement. The Westport, Connecticut, library has built a Maker Space, calling it a place “where people can create content as well as also consume it--an incubator
Ethan W. Lasser, “An unlikely match: on the curator’s role in the social work of the museum,” Museum Management and Curatorship Volume 27, Issue 3, 2012 13
for ideas and entrepreneurship.” Locally, the Cranston (Rhode Island) Public Library has submitted a grant to build a Maker Space, and we look forward to working with them.
Much of this work is dedicated to local dissemination; we will be working throughout with many local partners. In addition to the organizations with which we will work, we will use our connections with local libraries and community groups to get word out about this project, building on, among other connections, the salon at the Providence Athenaeum, and the workshops the Brown Center for Public Humanities offers to professionals in the community. This project will also involve several classes of public humanities students, who will take the lessons they learn here to other organizations. But we believe that the subject that this project addresses is of more than local interest, and we are dedicated to reaching the museum and maker communities to let them know about our work. And so we will speak at AAM and AASLH meetings, and at Maker Faires, setting up kiosks and showing off our work. We will also draw on our international network of universities working in urban cultural heritage and creative practice to disseminate this work to an interested global audience, and will publish in both academic and popular journals and on personal and institutional web sites. A white paper based on this project will let other museums and institutions learn from our work.
Project formats and participant experience
This planning grant will allow us to experiment with a variety of programs and projects that connect creative Providence past and present. Museums, factories, maker spaces and studios will be the site of programs and small installations that explore the changing nature of creativity in the city. The project will culminate in an Industrial Heritage Festival (working title), where the various members of Providence’s extended creative community, including makers, artists, artisans, industrial workers, scientists, and others, will come together for a day of collaborative work, performances, making, and thinking about making. These projects are tied together through branding, and through a website that serves as a repository for the exhibitions and programs at all of the sites. The takeaway message from all of these venues is this: that the direction and speed of cultural and technological change is something that we all shape in our roles as creators and consumers, employers and employees, politicians and voters. Creativity is part of our cultural and social systems. Our projects will reveal the culture of creativity, past and present. We want people to understand its role in society, and the ways that society shapes creativity, and creativity in turns shapes society. 1. Popup installations and programs at museums and heritage sites. This planning grant will allow us to experiment with new ways to provide an overlay of new information to existing museum exhibitions. We are interested in short-term (perhaps just a day or a week), quick and easy installations that add new perspectives, and new ways of looking, at existing exhibitions, and short programs that tell new stories. Part of the work of this planning grant will be to determine what kinds of exhibits work best, and what we should say about them. We will research the collections on exhibit, find new stories to tell, and new ways 14
to tell them. While determining the details of these installations will be one of the projects undertaken as part of the planning grant, we have some ideas. In all of these installations, we want to explicitly connect past and present in explicit ways. We will have contemporary craftspeople, manufacturing workers, and designers addressing historical technology, and historians of technology addressing contemporary crafts. Our overlays will connect past and present, examining skills, creativity, and business. We will provide many voices - a contemporary artisan commenting on historic decorative arts, say, or a historian commenting on contemporary production, or a software designer considering historic design. As with content, we will experiment with the best style of presentation. Our budget includes funds for building a pop-up kiosk that can include images, video, and artifacts. In some cases, an interpreter will carry this to one of our installation sites, unfold it, and use it to tell stories, just as many museums use educational carts. In other cases, the pop-up might stand on its own. In other cases, an interpreter might simply present without the kiosk. Our experimental setups will draw on the skills of Brown and RISD undergraduates, both paid and working on class assignments. Here are some of the places we propose to install our popup installations, or to produce new short programs: • Pendleton House, the RISD Museum’s decorative arts wing, is due for reinstallation. Our popup installations and programs will provide new perspectives. Building on ongoing work at the Museum, we’ll connect, compare, and contrast the craft and entrepreneurial skills of the makers of these artifacts with the contemporary skills of makers and manufacturers today. • Slater Mill Historic Site, an industrial museum, tells the story of one of the first successful textile mills in the United States. Wilkinson mill, one of its properties, is a recreated water-powered machine shop. We’ll have contemporary artisans interpret the skills of the workers, and contemporary entrepreneurs consider the sites business history. • The Jewelry District, until 40 years ago a hub of costume jewelry production in downtown Providence, is no longer a site of manufacturing. Instead, under its new name “The Knowledge District,” it is the site of the Brown University medical school and a range of high-tech firms producing everything from software to biomedical devices. Our popup exhibitions will not only call attention to its history of creative work but will also tell the contemporary story of creative work in the area today, and will encourage visitors to compare and contrast the nature of creativity, control, and skill then and now. • Mashapaug Pond was once the site of the Gorham Manufacturing Company, the premier manufacturer of sterling and silver-plate; it’s now a site requiring significant environmental remediation. We’ll ask questions about the work of skilled craftsmen at Gorham to connect them to contemporary and future manufacturing work in the city. 2. Factory tours We would like to reinvent the factory tour for a new audience. There are still factories in Providence and nearby, but they are little known. The public doesn’t know what a modern factory looks like, and it should. Our programs will include tours, a chance for the public to talk with workers, managers, and engineers. We will include not only large production facilities, but also craft shops and engineering labs, presenting them all as places where ingenuity and skills shapes materials. We’ll consider the work that goes on in factories to get our visitors thinking about the skills needed today, and
in the future. We hope to bring the historian of technologies sophisticated notions of skill and control to bear on the changing world of work, to shape a better sense of what’s needed in the future. 3. Maker Faires. The project will culminate in a Maker Faire that will bring together all of the popup exhibitions and the programs for an audience of technology enthusiasts. While our popup installations at museums had a contemporary angle, our interventions at the Maker Faire will have a historical bent: we want to connect makers, and visitors to the faire, to the historical roots of invention, skill, and entrepreneurship. And so we might place a steam engine, or a historic loom, next to a 3-D printer or a robot, and work with the public to compare and contrast the technological and cultural roots of the two technologies, and encourage them to think about the skills and social frameworks needed to encourage technological innovation. 4. Student programs. Our longer-term project will include student programs, perhaps apprenticeship programs at museums and technological craft programs at maker and art spaces. The planning grant will provide us time to discuss those and set them up. We want to connect historical understandings of skills to ongoing concerns about training in STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – fields today, and also to consider how to connect art and design education to STEM, “turning STEM to STEAM,” a program championed at the Rhode Island School of Design.17 5. Next Steps. Finally, we will consider, toward the end of this planning grant, appropriate next steps. Are there ways to institutionalize this work? Should we proceed with plans for a Makers Biennial? Should we work on cultural and industrial policy in the city and state? Would it be appropriate to establish an academic or policy center? Would a long-term exhibition be appropriate, or should we continue with smaller short-term installations? Should we focus on K-12 students, perhaps in after-school museum programs? Should we directly connect with the STEM to STEAM movement at teach technology and design? Should we expand out from Providence to the rest of the state, or perhaps disseminate our ideas to other formerly industrial cities in the midst of the same policy debates?
Audience, marketing, and promotion
We intend to reach a diverse audience. More than that: we want to spark conversations between people who don’t normally meet but whose lives overlap in the world of production: art museum visitors, high school students considering careers, artists, factory workers. In the planning phase we intend to convene representatives from many of these communities, as well as contemporary artists, engineering students, manufacturers, architects and planners, humanities scholars, policy wonks, tech geeks, and young inventors. We will then rely on those contacts to help reach larger communities through their informal social networks, as well as the cultural and community organizations, labor unions and trade associations, schools, offices, and the informal neighborhood spaces where those networks meet. Our message will be carried on paper and pixels and through a variety of email lists and advertisements. Through various modes of address, we intend to project a strong identity for the series, developing a design vocabulary that will be consistent through marketing, installation design, visitor
See http://stemtosteam.org/ for more details on RISD’s programs. 16
maps and brochures, and website. We believe this will be important to signal to a diverse group of participants that they are all part of the same multifaceted thing.
This planning grant is intentionally experimental. It includes many elements, many of them available to the public for a short time, and we expect some of them to fail. We will need to evaluate our programs not simply in the traditional way, by number of museum visitors of program participants, say, but rather by looking at the formation of new relationships and the application of new knowledge. Do museums open their doors to contemporary craftspeople? Do they expand their notion of decorative arts, or the history of technology? Do contemporary makers start to produce work inspired by history? We have policy ends in mind, too, that might best be judged by considering changes in the discussions around the entrepreneurship and the revival of industry in the state. Does history play a new, more nuanced role in that discussion? Evaluation for this project will be conducted by the Field School for Social Innovation under the direction of Lisa DiCarlo, an anthropologist in the department of sociology at Brown University. An applied cultural anthropologist, Dr. DiCarlo is a specialist in qualitative research methods and her research focus is social innovation. She has prior experience in the area of impact evaluation related to art exhibitions. In particular, Dr. DiCarlo spent two years following a traveling mixed media project in Turkey to understand how (or whether) attending the exhibition had any impact on attendees.18 This particular program presents a unique opportunity to plan the impact assessment process during the beginning stages of program development. It is possible to establish a protocol for recruiting research participants prior to their engagement with the program, and to have them continue participating in the impact research process after their engagement with the program has ended. This type of qualitative research is most commonly associated with human-centered design research. It involves participant group interviews, journaling, photography, reporting back, and shadowing throughout the entire sequence of events. Through a series of exercises starting with the planning period and continuing through the participant’s engagement with the program, we can collect rich data that will provide insight into the various types and duration of impact on program participants. Planning period research in this area will help the program designers understand how to achieve the impact they hope to have on their participants. Dr. DiCarlo will design the evaluation process and train graduate students to collect qualitative data pertaining to program context, stakeholder interests, community engagement, and learning.
Brown University was founded in 1764, the third college in New England and the seventh in America. Brown is located in Providence, RI, but our engaged scholarship and research activities serve an international community. With 6000 undergraduates, 2000 graduate students, 400 medical students, and nearly 700 full-time faculty, Brown provides both the close mentoring relationships characteristic of a
Lisa DiCarlo, “Impressions of Ebru and Turkishness in the 21st Century,” Journal of Global Initiatives: Policy, Pedagogy, Perspective 4:2, 2009. http://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/jgi/vol4/iss2/7 17
liberal arts college and the intellectual excitement of a research-intensive university. The mission of Brown University is “to serve the community, the nation, and the world by discovering, communicating, and preserving knowledge and understanding in a spirit of free inquiry, and by educating and preparing students to discharge the offices of life with usefulness and reputation. We do this through a partnership of students and teachers in a unified community known as a university-college.” Brown’s operating budget for 2013 is approximately $865 million. The John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage is the unit at Brown that will undertake this project. Founded in 1979 and part of Brown University since 1995, the Center’s mission is to support people and organizations that explore, preserve, and interpret cultural heritage and explore the ways in which the humanities enrich everyday life. The JNBC administers a pioneering master’s degree program in Public Humanities. Students who complete the two-year graduate degree receive an M.A. in Public Humanities and are prepared to undertake professional work in museums, cultural agencies, historical societies, and arts organizations. Students select from classes in exhibition and interpretation, cultural policy, oral history, and museum education, in addition to subjects offered within academic departments across the University. The M.A. program started in 2005 and, to date, has graduated approximately 60 students. In addition to the graduate program, the JNBC supports a range of research and public programs that help advance the understanding and management of cultural heritage by students, faculty and professionals in cultural institutions, focused on Providence but extending to wider national and international audiences.. In Rhode Island, the JNBC maintains ongoing partnerships with many arts, cultural, and educational organizations. Brown’s School of Engineering is also participating in this project. Its mission is to “educate future leaders in the fundamentals of engineering in an environment of world-class research. We stress an interdisciplinary approach and a broad understanding of underlying global issues. Collaborations across the campus and beyond strengthen our development of technological advances that address challenges of vital importance to us all.” The School has 40 full-time tenure-track faculty and currently enrolls more than 400 undergraduate students and 150 graduate students in engineering. The School focuses on a unique and innovative clustering of faculty where engineers of all types team with non-engineers to tackle some of the biggest problems facing engineering and science. Its talents and expertise lie in the interdisciplinary domain where the seemingly diverse disciplines converge.
Staff at Brown University and the RISD Museum Steven Lubar (principal investigator) is Director of the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage at Brown, and a professor in the departments of American studies, history, and the history of art and architecture. Before coming to Brown he was a curator and department chair at the National Museum of American History, responsible for collections and exhibitions in the history of technology. He teaches about public history and public memory, has written and lectured extensively on industrial museums, and has been a consultant to many museums, including the American Precision Museum, Building 92 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the Wagner Free Institute of Science, and the 18
Rochester Museum of Science and History. His PhD in history is from the University of Chicago. Steve will direct this project, contributing 15 percent of his time to it. Sarah Ganz Blythe (Key Team Member) is Director of Education at the RISD Museum, where she oversees an innovative and expanding program of events and activities for an increasingly diverse set of audiences. She was previously Director of Interpretation and Research at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Her PhD in art history is from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Sarah will oversee the work of the project at the RISD Museum and advise on educational outreach. Kipp Bradford (Key Team Member) is an educator, technology consultant, and entrepreneur with a passion for creating new and finding new applications for existing technologies. He was the founder or cofounder of start-ups in the fields of transportation, consumer products, HVAC, and medical devices, and holds numerous patents for his inventions. Kipp co-founded Revolution By Design, Inc, a non-profit education and research organization dedicated to empowerment through technology and co-organizes Rhode Island’s Maker Faire. As Senior Design Engineer and Lecturer at the Brown University School of Engineering, Kipp teaches engineering design and entrepreneurship courses. He is the chair of the Rhode Island Entrepreneurship Faculty group and serves on the boards of The Steel Yard and AS220. He is also on the technical advisory board of MAKE Magazine and is a Fellow at the College of Design, Engineering and Commerce at Philadelphia University. Kipp will connect us with the maker community in Providence and provide insight into contemporary design and technological decision-making. We expect several other faculty and graduate students at Brown and at RISD to participate in this project as well. The topic touches on the interests of faculty in Urban Studies, Engineering, American Studies, as well as the public humanities and art and design, and we also expect ongoing engagement of a core group of graduate and undergraduate students. Outside Consultants Lisa DiCarlo (Evaluation) is the Founder of the Field School for Social Innovation and Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology at Brown. Her interests include innovation and social change, especially the migration of ideas: where innovative ideas come from, how they are operationalized, how they translate across cultural and material contexts, and the nature of their social impact. She is a two-time Fulbright Fellowship grantee and publishes in the areas of education reform, migration, social entrepreneurship education, and translating innovation. Lisa founded the Field School so that students would have an opportunity to learn social innovation from practicing social innovators. As a Faculty Fellow at Philadelphia University, Lisa works with colleagues to help them incorporate anthropological research methods into their Design, Engineering and Commerce curriculum. Her PhD in anthropology is from Brown. DiCarlo and the Field School are responsible for ongoing evaluation of the project and for training students to undertake evaluation. Ethan Lasser is Margaret S. Winthrop Associate Curator of American Art at the Harvard University Art Museums. At his previous job as curator at the Chipstone Foundation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a research institute committed to advancing progressive scholarship in American art through exhibitions, publications, teaching, and public programming, he was responsible for innovative exhibitions that connected historical decorative arts collections with industrial workers, contemporary artists, and local
middle and high school students. He has also served as adjunct professor in the Department of Art History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he initiated the Object Lab, a summer program for undergraduates focused on teaching American art and craft history through hands-on research with artifacts. Lasser is currently developing two new exhibitions – The Practice and Poetics of Repair and Makers: Craft and Industry in American Art – both of which explore his interest in art-making processes and materiality. His PhD in art history is from Yale University. Allison Marsh is Assistant Professor of History at the University of South Carolina, where she oversees the museums study track of the public history program. An historian of technology, she has worked as curator at the National Postal Museum, and done consulting work for the National Museum of American History, the CIA Museum, and the Woodrow Wilson Family Home, among others. She is at work on a book on the history of the factory tour. Her PhD in history is from Johns Hopkins University.
The RISD Museum of Art traces its roots to Rhode Island’s emergence after the Civil War as the most heavily industrialized state in the Union and to the growing desire for better design in manufacturing. RISD’s 1877 Act of Incorporation listed three objectives—instruction, career training, and “the general advancement of public art education by the collection of and exhibition of works of art.” The language of its revised (1893) charter expressed the school’s close alliance with industry: it sought to instruct “artisans in drawing, painting, modeling, and designing, that they may successfully apply the principles of Art to the requirements of trade and manufacture.” From the outset, works of art served as models for instruction, first in classrooms and, as the collection grew, in a separate museum structure. Today, as throughout its history, the RISD Museum is an integral part of Rhode Island School of Design and the principal art museum for the city, state and southeastern New England. It is Rhode Island’s leading museum of fine and decorative art, housing a collection of 86,000 objects of international significance. It is southeastern New England’s only comprehensive art museum and is accredited by the American Association of Museums. The RISD Museum strives to be a vital cultural resource by educating and inspiring a wide variety of audiences: families and individuals, scholars and researchers, artists and designers, and students of all ages. The Museum maintains an active program of exhibitions, lectures, tours, workshops and publications dedicated to the interpretation of art and design from diverse cultures ranging from ancient times to the present. The Field School for Social Innovation The Field School in Rhode Island creates programs for high school, university and adult learners interested in exploring social innovation through multiple field observation methods. These practitioner-taught programs have a layered focus on the field of social innovation, the practice of observation, and the cultural context of Rhode Island. The Field School will be contracted to undertake ongoing evaluation of the project.
The planning grant will allow us to both plan our work, and to carry out experimental projects for evaluations that will shape our
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Phase 1. Organize planning meeting with consultants and local partners. Graduate student researchers undertake survey of Marker Faires, industrial museum projects, and related work in other cities. Researches community stakeholders, including policy makers, entrepreneurs and potential employers, school teachers, and others. Phase 2. Two-day meeting with outside consultants and local advisors to plan for the next phase of the project. Phase 3: Plan popup installations and programs at local museums, factories, and educational institutions. Phase 4 Installation and evaluation of popup installations and programs Phase 5. Help to organize and participate in Maker Faire Providence Phase 6. Final evaluation and wrap up of planning grant and preparation of implementation grant. Write white paper on what we’ve learned. Submit proposals to present papers on project at conferences. Phase 7. Ongoing evaluation throughout project.
Brown University and the RISD Museum will provide their cost-share by the in-kind contribution of faculty and staff time.
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