- ET

For accessibility accommodation information, view the registration page.

How can public-making—the collective creation and activation of public spaces for interaction and belonging—be a radical, joyful tool for spatial justice? Join artists, activists, and community leaders to discuss how public-making can create opportunities for interaction, laughter, dialogue, and surprise, and explore real-life examples of public-making that you can bring to your community. 

Making it Public: Activating Public Spaces for Creativity, Connection, and Celebration is part two of Whose Public? Planning and Placemaking for Welcoming Public Spaces, a three-part discussion series that explores the role that planners, artists, and government staff can play in shaping just, joyful, and inclusive public spaces.  


Three headshots, one formal and two outdoors.
(left to right) Roberto Bedoya, Karen Young, and Lori Lobenstine

Roberto Bedoya, Cultural Affairs manager, City of Oakland 

Roberto Bedoya is the Cultural Affairs Manager for the City of Oakland where he most recently shepherded the City's Cultural Plan, "Belonging in Oakland: A Cultural Development Plan". Throughout his career Roberto has consistently supported artists-centered cultural practices and advocated for expanded definitions of inclusion and belonging in cultural sector. His essays such as “Creative Placemaking and the Politics of Belonging and Dis-Belonging;” “ Spatial Justice: Rasquachification, Race and the City;” and, “Poetics and Praxis of a City in Relation"  have reframed the discussion on cultural policy to shed light on exclusionary practices in cultural policy decision-making. He is a Creative Placemaking Fellow at Arizona State University.   

Karen Young, founding director, The Genki Spark, Boston 

Karen Young is a taiko drummer, cultural organizer, artist, and educator living in Boston, MA. Influenced by Japanese-American taiko activists of the 70s, Karen is most interested in the intersection of art, grassroots organizing, and policy. She is a current Boston Neighborhood Fellow with The Boston Foundation, the Founding Director of The Genki Spark, Co-Founder/Producer of the Brookline Cherry Blossom Festival, and former Boston Artist in Residence with the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture. 

Lori Lobenstine, co-founder, Design Studio for Social Intervention 

Lori Lobenstine is the Program Design Lead and Co-Founder of the Design Studio for Social Intervention (DS4SI). At DS4SI she has helped design and lead such interventions as Public Kitchen and Social Emergency Response Center (SERC), as well as engaging the public through creativity labs and creative placemaking partnerships.  Her consulting practice includes national facilitation work around diversity, equity, and design in the fields of public health, education and urban planning. Her writings include “Spatial Justice: A Frame for Reclaiming our Rights to Be, Thrive, Express and Connect” (available at http://ds4si.org) and DS4SI's new book “Ideas—Arrangements—Effects: Systems Design and Social Justice” (Minor Compositions, 2020). 

'Public Art, Public Spaces'

This mini-series is part of an ongoing “Public Art, Public Places,” an ongoing collaboration between the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and the New England Foundation for the Arts that hosts cross-sector conversations for planners, artists, culture bearers, and community leaders. 

To learn more about our Public Art programs, visit our Public Art Program Page

Read "Refusing the Past, Imagining the Future" by Lori Lobenstine to learn more about spatial justice.

Our Partners



View NEFA's ADA Grievance Policy.