What happens when residential homes become spaces for art? How does this impact the neighborhood? How is this different (or the same) in South Africa v. the U.S.? Join us for a discussion between Palesa & Siphiwe Ngwenya (Maboneng Township Arts Experience, South Africa) and Gina Reichert & Mitch Cope (Power House Productions, Detroit) to explore what it means to build community at the neighborhood scale through home housed art and performance.
Maboneng Township Arts Experience:
The Maboneng Township Arts Experience is a national public arts initiative that turns homes in townships into galleries and outdoor spaces into performance districts. We work humbly with homeowners and families to create a warm intimate arts environment in our townships. After 10 years, The Maboneng Township Arts Experience has turned over 50 homes in South African townships into galleries, exhibited over 40 artists and encouraged township residents to invest in art.
The name Maboneng is a Sesotho word for a place of lights. This followed Alexandra Township being called Dark City by the community. Alexandra Township had no electricity before and hence the name Dark City. After the government brought in the lights, the community renamed their township to Alexandra Maboneng meaning Alexandra, a place of lights.
Power House Productions:
Power House Productions (PHP) is an artist-run neighborhood-based nonprofit organization founded by Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert in 2009. Through a network of project houses, public spaces, and dynamic programs, PHP integrates arts and culture into the daily life of our diverse Detroit neighborhood. Our strategy is to embed contemporary art practices into the area, with the neighborhood itself as a site of cultural and artistic production. Strategic partnerships with other groups that share our goals allow the organization to remain small but have greater impact. Through programs that cross cultures and genres, we creates time and space for the exchange of ideas, opinions and shared experiences.
Bank Suey's Civic Arts Series
This series of gatherings explores creative practice as community building along with the art of formal planning. We'll talk to artists who's practice can be used to shape neighborhood futures and planning professionals who employ more creative strategies in their work. This series will also include non-traditional formats, stepping out beyond lectures and panels into workshops and group arts projects.
This series is supported by the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators.
NOTE: Photos from Power House Productions Website, Matthew Piper, Maboneng Township Arts Experience