Three days of exchanges and social research in North Carolina’s Triangle & Triad

September 13 – Chapel Hill
September 14 – Durham
September 15 – Greensboro

For a full decade, Open Engagement has brought together artists, activists, and scholars for an intensive yearly conference in a wide range of cities like New York, Chicago, Oakland, Portland, and Regina. Founded by artists and characterized by its grassroots self-organization, OE has stood out as a key context for socially engaged practitioners and theorists alike. Participants have ranged from the local to the international, including people like Angela Davis, Suzanne Lacy, Lucy Lippard, Mel Chin, Rick Lowe, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, J. Morgan Puett, Tom Finkelpearl, Claire Doherty, Michael Rakowitz, Pablo Helguera, Paul Ramirez Jonas, Emily Jacir, Julie Ault, and Theaster Gates. 

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As part of Open Engagement’s research year to re-assess its future and evaluate the needs of the field, they will be hosted in the NC Triangle & Triad September 13-15 2019 by the FHI Social Practice Lab at Duke, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Chapel Hill, and various local organizations. The OE team will keynote the weekend, sharing their trajectory and making space for conversations on local needs, followed by an emergent strategy training. Led by Alexis Pauline Gumbs to assist in thinking about possible futures, the training is based on the work of adrienne maree brown and has been arranged with the Emergent Strategy Institute (ESII). NC partners will present a series of programs and events highlighting the work of socially engaged artists, activists, students, scholars, community members, as well as organizations working within the area. This event has been organized by Pedro Lasch (Duke) and Lee Walton (UNC-G), in collaboration with all listed individuals and groups.

For more information and a full schedule, visit:

Full Schedule

Public Kick Off Event & Panel with Sabine Gruffat, Maya Little, Mario Marzan, Tony Perucci, Roxana Perez-Mendez, and Hong-An Truong (CURRENT Art Space and Studio at Carolina Square)

Tierra Whack performance with Carolina Performances (Memorial Hall), limited complimentary tickets available ‘here’, to purchase tickets go ‘here

Free Spartan Chariot buses depart Weatherspoon Art Museum (parking lot) at UNCG arrive Duke for Keynote. Return trip 4:30 from Nasher Museum. 

10:00am-12:00pm (Rubenstein Arts Center, aka Ruby)
Keynote with Open Engagement team (Jen Delos Reyes, Crystal Baxley, Latham Zearfoss), with opening remarks by Chris Vitiello
Note: Free parking at Campus Drive lot across Anderson St, if full go to Nasher Museum lot

Free lunch for all, and time to view the exhibitions ‘queerXscapes’ by Sinan Goknur
and Max Symuleski (1st floor Agora Gallery) and ‘Who Owns Poverty in Mexico’ by Daniel Ruvalcaba (2nd floor Art Gallery)

Parallel Workshops (all at Ruby)

      1. Parliament, a participatory work with Michael Kliën  (open to all)
      2. Daniel Aguilar Ruvalcaba and Ana Neri, A Talk About Turtles – Part 2 (open to all)
      3. Alexandria P. Clay + Anthony Patterson, Paradigm Shifts of Public Spaces Gatewood Studio Arts Atrium Space.
      4. Emergent Strategy Training with Alexis Pauline Gumbs (1-4pm, limited capacity, readings required, must rsvp, register by sending an email to [email protected])

Viewing of Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950s to Now (Nasher Museum)

Free Spartan Chariot buses depart Nasher Museum

“Alternate Visions & Counter Institutions,” roundtable conversation facilitated by Courtney Reid-Eaton with Saba Taj, Heather Cook, Ann Woodward, Pierce Freelon, Monét Marshall`(The Carrack)

African Fashion Week NC’s
Runway Fashion Show, Note: $10 ticket at the door (The Fruit)

Civil Contracts, a public conversation facilitated by Sherrill Roland, Greensboro Project Space 

Emergent Strategies: Creating a Collective AudioBook Event (Open to All)  w/Garden Party by Patrick Healey (Greensboro Project Space)

Multiple Sites (public events, open to all)

Parallel Workshops (multiple locations)

      1. Diego Vergara, Backyards, “The Pink House” on Rankin St
      2. Shoshana Gugenheim: Citizen 100, Greensboro Project Space
      3. Magloire Lubika: Smell the Roses, Greensboro Project Space
      4. “Horticulture Workshop” Theatrical work by Lee Walton and Nikki Silvestri, Deep Roots Co-Op
      5. Lowell Fuchs: Deep Listening, UNCG Campus / Connor McNerney’s “Light House” Space

Wrap-Up Conversation on Emergent Futures (closing event)
Deep Roots Co-Op, Greensboro
Public gathering with live music, food options, cold drinks, and good people.

Special thanks to all of the above participants and co-organizers, as well as Laura Ritchie, Quran Karriem, Adam Carlin, Sunny Spillane, Amy Russell, and Emily Ensminger. In addition to the above listed host organizations, Emergent Futures has been made possible through the generous support of UNC-Greensboro School of Art, Carolina Performing Arts, and Duke University’s Provost, Vice Provost for the Arts, Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies, Global Affairs, Arts & Sciences Dean, Humanities Dean, Dean of Academic Affairs, Franklin Humanities Institute, the Department of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies, The Coraddi, and the Biddle Fund.