Arizona partnerships and programming
Another unprecedented partnership connects the Herberger Institute to the edge of the Painted Desert – to the site of Roden Crater, a dormant volcano that famed artist James Turrell is turning into a work of light and perception. This year, several students in Herberger Institute field labs visited the Roden Crater masterwork outside of Flagstaff, Arizona, as part of a new partnership between ASU and the artist. In addition to developing academic work around Roden Crater, the partnership also calls for ASU to help Turrell complete his work, including building infrastructure at the site and ensuring conservation of the site.
The Herberger Institute also has a presence in other cities throughout the state as part of AZ Creative Communities Institute, a program launched by the Herberger Institute and the Arizona Commission on the Arts, with guidance from Southwest Folklife Alliance.
In 2018-19, nine Arizona community teams made up of local leaders, elected officials and resident artists continued their participation in the second year of AZCCI — a program that explores how creativity can make a positive impact on communities. The partners entered into this statewide work with the goal of supporting the practice of artist-driven community change and understanding the tools, resources and policies necessary to continue and advance this work. They are now in long-term discussions to continue collaborating beyond their participation in AZCCI to support a healthy cultural ecology in Arizona.
The Herberger Institute also enriches the already thriving arts and culture scenes beyond campus by hosting concerts, productions, film screenings, lectures and other events in surrounding cities, from local movie theatres and bookstores to community parks and downtown Phoenix spots such as the nationally-recognized jazz venue The Nash (named after musician and Herberger Institute Professor Lewis Nash).
The Herberger Institute’s initiatives and programs, and work by its students, faculty, researchers, fellows and visiting artists and scholars, play a role in national and international conversations. But the Institute also values its surrounding region and its role in supporting the vibrant cultural ecology of the Southwest.
Embracing the region means collaborating with its residents, from Institute Professor Wanda Dalla Costa and her students working closely with the Gila River Indian Community to co-design energy efficient, culturally relevant housing to School of Art Professor Angela Ellsworth’s Museum of Walking leading a silent walk through the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area, from music students partnering with a local senior center and middle school as part of an intergenerational community music project to bringing together more than 80 local artists who created murals across Phoenix for a festival and fundraiser hosted by the Phoenix Mural Project, which is led by The Design School Assistant Professor Danielle Foushée.
All this activity, along with Herberger Institute’s regional sites, brings students, faculty and community together to imagine how creative practices makes our region stronger economically, socially and artistically.