Now seven years into its evolution, Open Engagement is in a critical moment of development. The conference has grown significantly each year, widening its scope and reach, as well as serving as an important site of professional development, and education around socially engaged art. Open Engagement is the only conference on this subject of this scale that operates on an inclusive open call model that supports diverse publics as well as emerging and established artists.
The Open Engagement Consortium is comprised of institutions and organizations dedicated to supporting socially engaged art. Together, representatives from these institutions and organizations help shape Open Engagement. The consortium has confirmed landing points on the East Coast, West Coast and in the Midwest in order to achieve a coast-to-coast representation of socially engaged art practices in this country. Our landing points are already centers of socially engaged art activity: the Bay Area, New York, and Chicago.
The three-year annual rotation cycle will begin with the Bay Area in 2016 in partnership with the Oakland Museum of California and the California College of the Arts, Chicago in 2017 in partnership with University Illinois Chicago School of Art and Art History, and returning back to New York at the Queens Museum in 2018. This national conversation will be key in ensuring that OE is a site that more holistically represents and supports current work and practices in this country. Partners who participate in the Open Engagement consortium will come together online as a work group annually in the spring following each conference to provide input and feedback to determine the shape and direction of the upcoming conference. This national conversation is key in ensuring that OE is a site that represents and supports current work and practices.