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    Climate Artists in Residence

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    Event description

    Join us for a cross-sector discussion of how agencies and organizations are embedding artists as creative partners to address climate issues.

    This panel discussion, hosted by Forecast Public Art and in partnership with CAIR Lab, will feature the following speakers:

    • Benny Starr, musician and cultural strategist who served as the U.S. Water Alliance's inaugural Artist-in-Residence and Senior Arts & Culture Fellow, and is the founder of Watercolor Creative.
    • Maura Jarvis, award-winning water communications specialist and One Water superhero, previously with Philadelphia Water Department’s (PWD) Public Affairs division and Program Manager for Equitable Infrastructure at the US Water Alliance.
    • sTo LeN, interdisciplinary artist whose recent work has centered on collaborations with abused landscapes and municipal agencies.
    • Barry Keppard, head of MAPC's Public Health Department and supervisor of the agency’s regional and local public health department projects as well as the department’s Health in All Policies (HiAP) and healthy community design projects.

    This panel will be be moderated by Johanna K Taylor, PhD, a hybrid scholar and arts administrator whose work explores how artists and designers collaboratively expand democratic actions in arts institutions, Associate Professor at Arizona State University and co-founder of CAIR Lab.

    This is part of our conversation series FORWARD #6: Climate.

    Read the FORWARD publications:

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    This event is hosted by Forecast Public Art.

    Forecast Public Art is a non-profit arts organization founded in 1978 by and for artists working in public space. Forecast activates, inspires, and advocates for public art that advances justice, health, and human dignity.

    www.forecastpublicart.org

    Follow Forecast on social media:

    Instagram: @forecastpublicart

    Twitter: @4castpublicart

    Facebook: Forecast Public Art

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    PANELISTS


    Benny Starr

    Benny Starr is a musician and cultural strategist. The intersection of Black music and Southern culture has deep roots in hip-hop, gospel, jazz, blues, and rock. The same applies to South Carolina Lowcountry artist Benny Starr, whose creations embody these roots. Starr and his fellow bandmates, The Four20s, recorded their most recent album, A Water Album, live at Charleston Music Hall on Juneteenth 2019. In October 2020, the US Water Alliance welcomed Benny Starr as their inaugural One Water Artist-in-Residence. During his 18-month residency and subsequent tenure as Senior Fellow of Arts & Culture, Benny worked with staff and the Alliance network to incorporate arts and cultural strategies into thinking, problem-solving, and programming. Benny was named one of Grist's 50 Fixers of 2021, a list that recognizes emerging leaders in climate, sustainability, and equity who are creating change nationwide. In 2023, Benny launched Watercolor Creative, a consultancy focusing on artistic projects, creative strategy, and social practice work with creators, communities, and equity-centered partners.


    Maura Jarvis is an award-winning water communications specialist and One Water superhero! Currently, Maura leads community engagement and HBCU partnerships as Program Manager for Equitable Infrastructure at the US Water Alliance. Prior to joining the Alliance, Maura spent seven years working within the Philadelphia Water Department’s (PWD) Public Affairs division. Rising through the ranks from intern to Assistant Manager of the Public Engagement team, she led community outreach for the Green City, Clean Waters program and served as PWD’s superhero mascot, Water Woman. Specializing in connecting culturally with residents, Maura finds joy in exploring the role art and creative interventions play in engaging communities in conversations around water quality and climate resilience. Maura has been recognized on multiple national platforms for her efforts to thoughtfully engage historically underserved communities in sustainability initiatives. These accolades include WaterNow Alliance’s Emerging Leader Award, recognition in Drexel Magazine’s 40 Under 40, and a US Water Prize in the category of Outstanding Rising One Water Leader.


    sTo Len is an interdisciplinary artist whose recent work has centered on collaborations with abused landscapes and municipal agencies. The cross-disciplinary nature of Len’s work has included printmaking with polluted waterways, 3D scanning Fresh Kills landfill, recycling waste into art materials, and hosting performances at Superfund sites. He has been the Public Artist in Residence at the Department of Sanitation in NY and the first artist in residence at AlexRenew Wastewater Treatment Facility in Virginia. Len is based in Queens, NY with familial roots in Vietnam and Virginia, and his work incorporates these bonds by connecting issues of their history, environment, traditions and politics.

    Barry Keppard leads the MAPC Public Health Department and supervises the agency’s regional and local public health department projects as well as the department’s Health in All Policies (HiAP) and healthy community design projects. Barry has over 18 years of planning and public health experience, including work in housing, environmental health and climate change, community health assessment and improvement planning, chronic diseases, and public policy. He has advanced the agency’s public health and planning practice, which has contributed to state policy development and implementation, and participatory engagement research and action projects.

    Johanna K. Taylor, PhD is a hybrid scholar and arts administrator whose work explores how artists and designers collaboratively expand democratic actions in arts institutions, civic systems, and urban spaces. Her research explores questions of cultural equity and cross-sector collaboration through the intersection of art, community, policy, and place. She is an Associate Professor at Arizona State University and co-founder of CAIR Lab, a creative collective building more just places through arts-led, cross-sectoral collaboration.


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