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The IdeasCity New Orleans Residency Program took place April 15–20, 2019 and is open to emerging practitioners working at the intersections of urbanism, art, design, community activism, and technology, and was led by V. Mitch McEwen, Curator of IdeasCity and the cofounder and principal of A(n) Office, a collaborative of design studios in Detroit and in New York.
IdeasCity New Orleans invited makers and thinkers from New Orleans and around the world to join this collaborative week-long studio program to prototype cultural, ecological, and material strategies designed for the 2019 theme of EVERYDAY FESTIVAL. Participation in the studio residency was determined through an open submission process. Twenty applicants were selected as Fellows by an international panel of artists and curators.
IdeasCity New Orleans Fellows worked alongside the Propeller Incubator in New Orleans, as well the annual New Orleans Homecoming Project, and the newly re-launched New Orleans African-American Museum to explore the possibility of a festival as a creative platform for environmental justice, new ideas, and urban space. Fellows collaborated on proposals and prototype for a festival related to everyday urbanism—groceries, streetwear, pedicabs, stormwater management, roof maintenance, fish fries, wind energy, incarceration, asphalt, air quality, local plant species, or other topics. Fellows’ projects occupied and transformed the Bell ArtSpace Campus and the grounds of the New Orleans African American Museum in Tremé— the oldest surviving Black community in the United States.
Beyond the Fellows’ own projects, the five-day studio residency included workshops, site visits, lectures, and discussions with local experts, including artists, designers, policymakers, and community members. IdeasCity New Orleans culminated in a high-profile public program, featuring conversations, artist talks, prototypes, and demos by an array of local and internationally acclaimed cultural agents whose work engages the forces that define our cities.