509250599454681256-inout-logo-sketch-06.fullIn/Out was a three part summer symposium series between 2015 and 2017. It was co-organized by Paul Farber and Daniel Tucker and co-convened by Mural Arts Philadelphia and the Graduate Studies division of Moore College of Art & Design.

Past symposium speakers have included: Rick Lowe, Walidah Imarisha, Torture Justice Memorials, Immigrant Movement International Corona, Helen Haynes, Denise Brown, Aaron Levy, Slought, Shira Walinsky, Selina Morales, Philadelphia Folklore Project, Neighborhood Time Exchange project, the Village of Arts and Humanities, Asian Arts Initiative, Risë Wilson, Southeast by Southeast, Southwest Roots (Bartram’s Garden and Mural Arts), West Philadelphia with Philadelphia LISC (including Spiral Q, Tiny WPA, and PEC CDC), Eastern State Penitentiary, Pablo Helguera, Art & the Public Sphere journal, Jonathan Wallis, Dan S. Wang, Anthony Romero, Michael Rakowitz, A Long Walk Home’s Girl/Friends, Salamishah Tillet, Scheherazade Tillet, Marline Johnson, Asia Willis, and Danielle, Michelle Angela Ortiz, Juntos, Erika Almiron, Cruz Romero, Sean Kelley, Louise Martorano, Lucía Sanromán, Nato Thompson, Maori Holmes, Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, Marion Wilson, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Jane Ursula Harris, Patricia Phillips, Keith Bowman, Taller Puertorriqueño,  Rafael Damast, MAP’s Restorative Justice Voices, Russell Craig, Jesse Krimes, Dawan Williams, MAP Kensington Storefront,  Parris Stancell, Al Tull, Roberto Bedoya,  Beka Economopoulos, Not an Alternative/The Natural History Museum, Asian Arts Initiative, Dave Kyu, Village of Arts & Humanities, Aviva Kapust, Painted Bride, Laurel Raczka,  Fleisher Art Memorial, Elizabeth Grimaldi, Magda Martinez, Candice Smith, Huewayne Watson, Phoebe Durst, Sarah Chavez, Jess Garz, Leeway , Stockton Rush Bartol, Beth Feldman Brandt, Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Laura Koloski, Germaine Ingram, Jane Golden, and Patti Phillips.

What People Are Saying about In/Out in our past surveys:

  • “I was just going to give you “exceeded”, but I really think I gotta go with “Significantly exceeded”. As a newcomer I found it to be a friendly and welcoming scene. I enjoyed the size. Large enough for a lot of variety, small enough to feel cosy and for people’s faces to be familiar even if you haven’t spoken with them.”
  • “I was impressed by the cross-section of organizations & artists—a really diverse group of people but with similar approaches to inclusiveness/betterment/change and a shared language/vocabulary around social movement. It really broadened my thinking.”
  • “There was a broad range of topics discussed under the umbrella of the overarching themes. Difficult questions were raised, and many genuine attempts were made to answer them in the space of the conference.”
  • Other miscellaneous notes included: “Exceeded expectations was not an option but I certainly would have made that selection!” “Very different from anything I have ever been to and I look forward to attending in the years to come!” “Manageably sized to facilitate greater camaraderie. Well-focused.”
  • One of our goals was to create a space that bonded participants in a shared conversation and this was confirmed in the feedback we received by comments like these: “I left feeling motivated and pondering some of the ethics behind our work.” And “I loved the fact that it was affordable as I feel it enabled greater participation from artists, students and other folk who may not be able to afford many academic conferences due to cost.” And “I was impressed with the degree of coherence across the events. The learning felt cumulative.” And “It felt like a more continuous, holistic conversation—each event/talk flowed gracefully into the next.” And finally, “I didn’t expect the depth of conversation that I experienced at In/Out.”
  • Considering the relationship between In/Out and the larger field we received some very useful feedback, including: “I have been to other conferences/symposia and I felt this one was really well organized. The catering, events, tours were of the highest level.” “Much deeper, richer level of discourse. Much more focused. I got a lot more out of this than [other convenings].” “I have found [other convenings] disappointing in quality and in the speaker’s’ preparation for their workshops/talks… it’s more intimate than [other convenings] I feel like I can actually start a convo with anyone at In/out.” One 2015 respondent explained that “[Unlike other gatherings, I appreciated] How many presenters of color there were. How there was a privileging of practices that clearly have a focus on social justice and anti-oppression as opposed to simply having practices that are ¨participatory¨ and creating no distinction from that. Showing a series of practices some that are very consciously locating themselves within a contemporary international art world circuit, some which are in between, and some which are not at all.”
  • There was attention to interpretation at the first two In/Outs through enlisting the Intergalactic Interpretation Cooperative to hand out their homemade simultaneous interpretation equipment during the Immigrant Movement International Corona and Juntos members to provide access for monolingual speakers in the group and the audience. One audience member said that “ It did provide me a perspective of what it is like to use a translator, which was great and humbling.”
  • The curatorial agenda was tangible and brought the overall experience together, leading one anonymous respondent to share that “I expected to be exposed to socially-engaged projects. What I didn’t expect is that they would be so well curated. Clearly Paul and Dan engaged with the presenters to ensure that their work was woven into the fabric of “time”, what it means and what we do with it. This cohesiveness in a symposium is unprecedented in my experience. The breadth of the experiences, from ideological to personal, were all encompassing.
  • In response to the question “Was your understanding of socially-engaged art enriched as a result of the Symposium?” one survey responded explained Yes and no, I really liked that folks who have been working since before this term was developed were present. Also that folks who might not use at all this term were present. More than expanding or enriching my understanding of socially-engaged art, I was happy to see folks who might not usually be included under such an umbrella sharing their work, but I still do not necessarily link it to socially-engaged art, perhaps because that term seems a bit apolitical to me, and most of the presenters had a very clear political agenda and methodology.
  • One participant shared that “It put a finger on the problems that I was wrestling with and it gave me ideas on how to address it.” They shared that they continue to be impressed “Keep up the excellent work! I brought friends and colleagues this year and they intend to bring their people next year” and affirm that our changes to the format were positive “It was nice that things weren’t rushed and that there was plenty of space and opportunity to mingle and meet people.” This year with a smaller budget there was greater weight put on our keynote presenters – who seemed to really be a highlight while a large number of people commented on how impactful the presentation about MAP’s Restorative Justice Program was. As we continue to build regional awareness of the MAP/Moore partnership, one out of town audience member shared that “Sometimes symposia that are largely locally focused can suffer a bit from navel-gazing. Not the case here.” 
  • One interesting development was that as our graduate programs become more fully realized the students play a more prominent role in programming and the feedback suggested that people have been watching to see what they would turn into and that they approve of our direction, saying things like “The symposium reflects Moore’s connection to the field and practice”….”It underscores Moore’s position in the field as an important participant in the discipline”.. “I  was skeptical when Moore first announced that it was starting a program in social practice. It seemed divorced from the school’s reputation and history. But In/Out has helped to convince me that Moore sees this as a serious and challenging endeavor, and that it’s not just a way to increase enrollment.”

Past Presenters have also shared their feedback:

  • “Thanks to all for an inspiring two days of thinking and learning about socially engaged art practices — I really got a lot out of it — and the symposium has helped me (re)think [our] work too and has inspired a possible gathering where we will reflect on the making and meaning of art, justice and memorials.”
  • “Thank you for putting on a terrific symposium – and a first one at that. I found it interesting, riveting at times, challenging, thought-provoking. It made me want to build a deeper relationship between the two institutions and soon get started thinking about what we can do next year! with much gratitude and respect.”
  • “Thanks to all of you for organizing and participating in a great session on Saturday. It left me feeling so good about all of our evolving work in Philadelphia. I am grateful for the opportunity to have participated. Phenomenal convening, Daniel and Paul. Congratulations.”
  • “It was an honor to be able to talk with great thinkers and change makers! I learned a lot from the conversation and a lot to continue to think about. Thank you got the opportunity!” 
  • “I enjoyed the opportunity to explore our practices in this context with people whose work I respect.”
  • “The convening was deeply inspiring and so thoughtfully organized and moderated throughout. Thank you again for including me in the day’s program, which was so moving and inspiring.”  
  • “This was an important experience for everyone who believe in the power of the arts to effect social change and improve people’s lives. Thanks for the opportunity to speak on the panel with such great people.”