Community projects are very hyped up in the art scene in the past decade. This covers a wide variety of different areas within a community or a group of networking entities, including artists, designers, concerns groups, NGOs etc. Projects commonly cover the most obvious section of concern to any community such as welfare, charitable and ecological element, cultural and architectural preservation, and urban redevelopment. Arts, crafts, or any aesthetic skills bridge the entities and the stakeholders of the community to achieve the goals.
Community projects usually take months or even years from starts to ends. Research, on-site study, making engagements and connections are the crucial factors to execute the projects in a proper manner. With the time, money and manpower spent on such kind of projects, the outcomes and impacts are often hard to be measured. We all have these questions in mind: Does cultural planning have a role to play in urban development? How can the project sustain after the artists leave the community? What is more important, artistic and aesthetic value, or the functionality? Who should be involved? Should artists / concern groups take up the leading position?
In this talk we have invited Stephanie Cheung, Lead Curator of MaD (Make a Difference) to share with us her experience in community projects focusing on collaborative place-making. She will also share with us the experience of her residency trip to the U.S sponsored by the Asian Cultural Council fellowship in 2015, in which she has visited several cities to look into the development of socially engaged art.