Creative Time Summit Conference Fosters Global Connection with Local Participation

Nov. 17 and 18 were special days for McDaniel’s departments of Art and Art History, Political Science and Sociology, as well as the Honors Program and the Global Fellows Program.

During these two days, McDaniel became a satellite for the 2014 Creative Time Summit Conference held in Stockholm, Sweden. The theme for the night was “Engaging Locally, Connecting Globally: Cross Disciplinary Dialogues on Art and Social Justice.”

The first evening of the event started with an introduction of the conference by Dr. Izabel Galliera, a new professor in the Art and Art History Departmet who specializes in modern and contemporary art. Galliera explained that the main goal of this conference is to educate the global population about the correlation and importance of art and social justice.

The next section in the program was a direct video screening of a talk by sociologist Saskia Sassen at the conference in Stockholm.

The screening was followed by a series of presentations from McDaniel faculty members and invited artists from around Maryland.

The first presenter was Dr. Amy McNichols, Associate Dean of International and Intercultural Programs, whose presentation topic was “Global Community Engagement in the Global South,” where she explained the common misconceptions about volunteering abroad, as well as the issues that volunteerism brings to the global South.

This talk was valuable for students who plan to travel abroad to study or volunteer. McNichols thoroughly explained the impact people have in this area of the world, and how important it is to create a connection with the people you meet in your journey.

McNichols’ talk was followed by Graham Coreil-Allen’s presentation titled “New Public Sites: Invisible Sites and Thrilling Urban Sublime.” Coreil-Allen is a Baltimore-based artist. During his presentation, he explored new ways in which public spaces can be seen, and how these spaces can be classified as art. Most of the places Coreil-Allen discussed in his presentation are places that people either do not see as public or see as public but tend to ignore.

The round of presentations was ended by Dr. Linda Semu, Associate Professor of Urban Sociology, with the topic “Strategies of Community Engagement and Urban Interventions.” In her presentation, Semu discussed social issues aroused by community engagement, and how some communities are becoming empowered by different mediums such as art.

Semu discussed the importance of supporting and empowering small communities since in most cases, these communities are muted by governments or for-profit organizations. She also discussed ways to empower such communities and how individuals can help these communities achieve their goals.

After these presentations, a panel of both faculty and students answered a few questions from other panelists and the public. In addition to being comprised of Galliera, McNichols, Coreil-Allen and Semu, the panel included art majors Nicole Ringel, Betty Japinga, Lauren Parts and Steph Perez.