Art & Society Census Events

In this year of radical listening, Brooklyn Public Library & BPL Presents, together with curator Laura Raicovich, in partnership with Hyperallergic, wants to hear from you: What do you feel is most important in culture right now?

We received 1400 responses from the Art & Society Census, a project dedicated to hearing about what you desire from arts and culture. 

Based on the first wave of Art & Society Census results, specific issues have emerged that many people want to talk about. We’ve invited experienced Facilitators to lead public working groups. This free, facilitated course, which will take place in the month of April, will address these topics and will culminate in a public event in June where we share the results of the discussions. 

For the first two weeks, each working group will focus on one of the topics below.  The second two weeks will focus on Visioning, imagining the kinds of arts experiences and spaces we want.

Each Working Group session is 1.5 hours long.

Working Group Topics

What are the ways in which art and culture gets supported in the US? How do artists get paid and what are some new ways cultural organizations might sustain their work? Are there other, free ways to access art ? Other ways to support art and artists? Can art be more like a gift, a conversation, a mental health need, rather than a commodity, and how?


Key questions: How do we enter cultural space and what do we find when we get there? Do you feel welcomed or watched? How can arts and cultural institutions meet us where we are? How do we learn the unspoken rules of entering a museum or art space--or change them altogether?


Key questions: How does art help us encounter our world? What is the relationship between cultural experiences and our everyday lives? How do we find both reflections of our lived realities, as well as joy and the unexpected within cultural spaces? How should cultural spaces cultivate this multiplicity of experiences?


Key questions: How can we expand on culture in the local context? What can museums do to more fully engage you in their work? How can cultural organizations bring all of their resources (intellectual, human, financial) to the communities that surround them or that they seek to engage? Is there a local museum or cultural space that you’ve never been to, and why haven’t you visited? How do institutions become more responsive to participant/visitor knowledge?


Key questions: Can we imagine a better cultural space and what would that look like? What are the most wild or imaginative ideas that express what we most want to see and experience from arts and culture? Can we create meaningful language to describe what we desire to see in arts and culture?