How Can Art Activate Public Space?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

6:00 p.m.8:00 p.m.

Please note: This event has already taken place. Please use the Search options on the right to find upcoming events.

The Parks Without Borders Discussion Series explores ideas for the next generation of parks and public space and considers opportunities to build greener parks, healthier communities, and more resilient neighborhoods. Events will be held through 2017.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of public art in NYC Parks, the Parks Without Borders Discussion Series is excited to host five prominent art programmers, artists, and advocates in New York City and beyond its borders. Moderated by Jonathan Kuhn, NYC Parks Director of Art & Antiquities and Jennifer Lantzas, Deputy Director for Public Art, the panel will examine opportunities and challenges faced by public art -- past, present, and future. Speakers include Jamie Bennett, Executive Director with Art Place America; Esther Robinson Founder of ArtBuilt Mobile Studios; Kerry McLean, Vice President of Community Development, WHEDco; Ann Shostrom, Founder of First Street Green; Juanli Carrion, Artist

Light refreshments will be served. This event is free, but seating is limited. Please register.


Jamie Bennett is the executive director of ArtPlace America, a partnership among 16 foundations, 8 federal agencies, and 6 financial institutions working to position art and culture as a core sector of community planning and development by investing in, researching, and supporting those who lead and execute creative placemaking projects. To date, ArtPlace has invested $96 million in 262 projects in communities of all sizes. Previously, Jamie worked at the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Columbia University, the Agnes Gund Foundation, The Museum of Modern Art, and the New York Philharmonic. 

Esther Robinson has worked on behalf of America's artists for more than 20 years as a foundation program officer, television and film producer/director, technology entrepreneur, and arts activist.  From 1999-2006, she was Director of Film/Video and Performing Arts for the Creative Capital Foundation. Since 2006, her non-profit ArtHome has provided financial training and asset building programming to artists and organizations nationally. As ArtBuilt co-director, she oversaw the 2015 "Studio in the Park" Residencies, NYC’s first-ever Mobile Studio program (in partnership with NYC Parks). She is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker and producer.  

Kerry McLean, Vice President of Community Development at WHEDco, directs community planning, commercial revitalization, and creative placemaking initiatives, and oversaw cultural programming at their Bronx Music Heritage Center. She has more than 15 years of community development experience and, prior to WHEDco, was a Housing Planner under Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión Jr. She is a Coro NY Neighborhood Leadership Program alumnus, and her work has been featured at the American Planning Association, Municipal Arts Society, Americans for the Arts, NYC Department of Health, NYC Department of Small Business Services, and the International Downtown Association. She has an M.A. in International Development from American University and Master’s of Urban Planning from Hunter College.

Ann Shostrom co-founded First Street Green, converting a derelict lot into an open art space serving the Lower East Side. FSG provides murals, sculpture, and cultural programming in First Park, partnering with artists and community groups. Shostrom exhibits her artworks internationally at galleries and museums. She made public art from decommissioned weapons in Albania.  Shostrom is represented by Elizabeth Harris Gallery in New York, and is an Associate Professor at Penn State University. She has a BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MFA from Syracuse University.

Juanli Carrión, born in Yecla, Spain, lives and works in New York. His work has been exhibited internationally including United States, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Portugal, Greece, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Kenya. In 2014, he began his series of geopolitical gardens, Outer Seed Shadow, commissioned by NYC Parks, La Nau of Valencia, and Contemporary Art Center La Conservera. His work is based on the identification of cultural conflicts revealed in the definition of social, political, and economic identity. To develop projects, he engages with specific social groups, investigating their natural, emotional, social, and political landscapes, then articulating aesthetic experiences that reflect questionable ideas of Western reality.

Jonathan Kuhn, a 30-year veteran of NYC Parks, serves as its Director of Art & Antiquities and oversees the placement, display, and care of monuments and permanent and temporary art in the City’s parks.  He has curated more than 30 exhibitions on the history of parks in New York, and authored the catalogue, The Outdoor Gallery: 40 Years of Public Art in New York City Parks, and the guide, Historic Houses in New York City Parks. Previously he worked at MoMA, the Guggenheim Museum, the Cooper Hewitt Museum, 55 Mercer Gallery and the NJ State Museum.

Jennifer Lantzas is the Deputy Director of Public Art at NYC Parks. She works with a diverse group of artists, community groups, arts organizations, and government agencies to bring experimental and traditional public art to parks in New York City’s five boroughs. She has managed more than 250 temporary public art installations and organized more than 40 exhibitions for the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park. Jennifer received her Master of Arts in Visual Arts Administration from New York University and a Bachelor’s degree in Art History from the University of Maryland.


Arsenal in Central Park
830 Fifth Avenue
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Location Details:
The event will take place in the third floor gallery.



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Community Outreach

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(212) 360-1389

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