Each semester, the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College spotlights a prominent public issue with events running through the term.  This fall, the spotlight falls on Politics, Policy and the Arts, with a series of special events co-sponsored by Hunter’s Arts Across the Curriculum program. It will bring together artists, scholars and performers from across the spectrum of disciplines as well as policymakers and public officials. The events will include lectures, performances, faculty and student seminars, and a student art competition.


Tania Bruguera • A.K. Burns • Susan Crile • Miguel Gutierrez • Daniel Heyman • Paul Ramirez Jonas • Dominika Ksel • Anne Pasternak • Dread Scott • Tom Sleigh • Mark Slobin • Shanti Thakur • Michael Thomas • Caroline Woolard • Tamara Zahaykevich


Public Programs

October 9, 6-8 PM (at Roosevelt House) – Tania Bruguera in conversation with Paul Ramirez Jonas

October 20, 6-8 PM (at Roosevelt House) – Surviving as an Artist in NYC:  A conversation with A.K. Burns, cofounder of WAGE (Working Artists in the General Economy), Tamara Zahaykevich of ASAP (the Artist Studio Affordability Project) and Caroline Woolard of BFAMFAPhD, on the economic realities faced by artists in New York, and on how artists are organizing to survive in the city. The conversations, moderated by Hunter professor Howard Singerman (Art & Art History) will address the politics, policy, and possibilities for artists’  housing and working spaces, and the role artists play as economic actors and as citizens.



Student Events

Student events take place on Wednesdays from 1-3 pm in the Film & Media Department’s Broadcast Media Studio (Hunter North 436).

October 7 – War & Witnessing. Since the time of Goya, artists have been charged with a responsibility to bear witness to “the disasters of war.” However, this calling is freighted with intricate ethical questions from method to perspective to identity. Students are invited to join in a discussion of this topic with artists Susan Crile and Daniel Heyman, and poet Tom Sleigh, under the guidance of historian and Roosevelt House Director Harold Holzer.

October 28 – Creating the Future Now. Through artistic process and provocation, the featured artists — Dread Scott, Miguel Gutierrez, Dominika Ksel — offer actions, stances, and strategies for social and political shifts based on embodying new modes of being. By disrupting or creating openings in dominant paradigms of identity and production, their work enacts an urgent orientation toward a self-determined future – a future which, done right, can also be thought of as an alternative present. After presentations by each invited artist, a discussion will be led by arts activist and student moderator Mia Kang.

November 23 – Diaspora, followed by a student competition award ceremony. Researchers have recently discovered what native populations have long known and many westerners have intuited: trauma is expressed genetically, from generation to generation. In this panel, photographer and documentarian Thomas Allen Harris, filmmaker Shanti Thakur (Film and Media), and writer Michael Thomas (English), will discuss along with ethnomusicologist Mark Slobin how their artworks aim to ameliorate or reflect the traumatic effects of displacement, “brain-drain,” and warfare on cultures divided by diaspora.