Art Creates Change: Dylan Miner Public Talk

Art installation with three decorated bicycles
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Art Creates Change
The Kym Pruesse Speaker Series
Presented by the Faculty of Art

Dylan Miner’s artistic practice, based on social relationships and an interdisciplinary sensibility, explores issues of migration, mobility, labour, economics, individual and collective identity, as well as Indigenous and community history. Miner, is a Wiisaakodwinini (Métis) artist and scholar who exhibits widely. He is founding member of Justseeds and was awarded an Artist Leadership Fellowship from the National Museum of the American Indian. Miner is Associate Professor at Michigan State University and curator of Indigenous Art at the MSU Museum. He states, “I come to my work as an artist from my position as an activist. I am unapologetic about making my work political.”

Art Creates change is a two-part speaker series. Devora Neumark will be giving a public talk on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. 100 McCaul St., Central Hall (room 230) Toronto, ON

Art Creates Change is sponsored by Faculty of Art Faculty Innovation Fund

Co-programmers: Richard Fung & b.h. Yael

All events are open to the public
Wheelchair accessible

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul St., Auditorium (room 190)
416-977-6000 ext 330


Kenneth Foster. Photo by Mike Kepka.

“Artists and arts leaders are some of the most visionary and creative people in our society. Have the courage to speak up and the tenacity to stay engaged when the going gets tough.”

Artists and arts organizations face a different world today. Kenneth Foster, Director of the Arts Leadership Program in the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, the former director of San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and an arts leader for more than thirty years says the way forward is through strong, innovative leadership.

Foster is part of Art Creates Change, an important speaker series presented by OCAD U to commemorate the work of Kym Pruesse, a cross-disciplinary artist, educator, writer, design activist, popular culture expert and theorist who taught at the university in the Faculty of Art and the Faculty of Liberal Studies. Pruesse passed away in 2009.

Foster’s work highlights the importance of nurturing and developing new arts leaders like Pruesse today. “There are substantial environmental shifts happening in the world that are creating stress on arts organizations and their ability to thrive in the contemporary world,” says Foster. “Leadership in this environment requires truly creative thinking and arts leaders need to step up in order that our collective culture can survive and thrive.”

Leading from where you are

In the discussion of arts leadership, it’s important to not limit the definition. Whether you’re a student or a faculty dean, an apprentice or well established in your field, your leadership qualities are vital to the sustainability of any arts ecosystem: “in terms of forward thinking leadership can come from all parts of organizations,” says Foster. “I also think artists can and should be leaders not only in their own work and their own arts world, but also in the life of the community. Find your voice and don’t hesitate to express your ideas and your visions.”

Making an impact

Foster believes challenges present opportunities and this is an exciting time for artists. “This is not a time to retract or to scale back,” says Foster. “It’s a time to step forward and engage the world fully. I believe that both the artist and the society will be much better off for the active and engaged participation of artists in civic society.”

Foster’s lecture at OCAD U follows a recent Art Creates Change series presentation by internationally renowned multidisciplinary artist Emily Jacir held on October 3 during the Toronto Palestinian Film Festival. Jacir is also a professor at the International Academy of Art in Palestine.

Learn more

Attend Kenneth Foster’s talk on Thursday, October 24 at 7:00 p.m.  

Find out more about Kenneth Foster

Art Creates Change: The Kym Pruesse Speaker Series: Kenneth J. Foster

Art Creates Change: The Kym Pruesse Speaker Series: Kenneth J. Foster
Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 11:00pm

Resilience Thinking: What the Arts Can Learn from Environmentalism

The Faculty of Art at OCAD University is very pleased to welcome Kenneth Foster, Associate Professor of Practice and Director of the Arts Leadership Graduate Certificate program in the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, as our second speaker in our Art Creates Change speaker series.

In the midst of a rapidly changing and challenging environment, artists and arts organizations find themselves in a much different world than they anticipated, one in which the more generally accepted ways of thinking and acting are no longer providing the desired solutions. With more than thirty years of innovative leadership work in a variety of arts organizations, Kenneth Foster, newly appointed director of Arts Leadership at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, examines the contours of what is actually happening and suggests that an ecological view of the arts can illuminate innovative strategies to strengthen artistic vibrancy and create a robust environment within which the arts can thrive.

A nationally recognized arts leader with a distinguished career of more than thirty years, Prof. Foster has held Executive level positions at multiple arts organizations from community based nonprofit arts organizations to major University arts centers. Prior to coming to USC in 2013, he served for ten years as Executive Director of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), a multidisciplinary contemporary arts center in San Francisco. Under his leadership, YBCA achieved international recognition for its innovative approach to connecting art, artists and communities. He has served on several national arts Boards, and is a founding member of the African Contemporary Arts Consortium. He has traveled extensively, examining arts organizational practices throughout the world. His book, Presenting the Performing Arts; From Theory to Practice (2006) was the first to systematically define the discipline of performing arts presenting. He has conducted workshops and written extensively on contemporary issues and the arts.

About Kym Pruesse
“Kym [Pruesse] was complex, complicated and often challenged those around her to think profoundly and creatively.” — The Globe and Mail, December 8, 2010

An artist, educator, writer and theorist, Kym Pruesse is celebrated as an expert in popular culture, art and design history, visual activism, art criticism and curatorial practice. A part of the OCAD U community since 1994, Kym taught courses in media and cultural studies, contemporary theory, women in art, art criticism, popular culture and studio. She believed in a cross-disciplinary perspective and taught in both the Faculty of Art and the Faculty of Liberal Studies at OCAD U. She passed away suddenly in June, 2009. The Art Creates Change series commemorates Kym’s work at OCAD U, as well as her contribution to the Toronto art community.

The Kym Pruesse Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a student in excellent standing who shows a demonstrated interest in curatorial practice, art and design activism and/or popular culture. If you would like to make a donation in support of the scholarship, please contact Development & Alumni Relations at 416-977-6000 Ext. 481.




Venue & Address: 
Auditorium 100 McCaul St. Toronto, Ontario

Acting Out Art = Change

Acting Out Art = Change
Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 5:00am to Friday, December 20, 2013 - 5:00am

Reception: November 7, 4 to 6 p.m.

Works by Faculty member Wendy Coburn

Works by Wendy Coburn and General Idea with research from Tiffany Muller Myrdahl at Helen Christou Gallery & Main Gallery, Univerity of Lethbridge.

Part of the Complex Social Change Series

Venue & Address: 
University of Lethbridge Art Gallery 4401 University Drive Lethbridge, Alberta