The community-based cohort that is planning the series of events, workshops and other gatherings around The Future Ancient. Photo by Che Sehyun.

An innovative partnership between the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture and the Seattle Asian Art Museum has brought an unprecedented focus on local and contemporary Asian Pacific Islander (API) artists in a series of free workshops, pop-up events, temporary installations, and community gatherings curated by myself, Che Sehyun, a local Corean artist and the Asian Art Museum’s Special Projects Curator.

Through a competitive process, my public art proposal titled The Future Ancient was selected to expand the museum’s opening events on the weekend of February 8 and 9, 2020, and continue throughout the summer to showcase the incredible talent of API artists and community who value their cultural heritage in a future-forward and socially transformative way.

The Future Ancient is an empowering model of public art, strategic community investment, and a community curatorial process, which will present six months of free public programming that centers the life and perspective of local API artists and will culminate in a dope music video and ceremonial summer festivities, pop-ups, panels and workshops. What does our community care about? What conversations and art should we be having and creating? We invite the community to think about the future of their ancient cultures, their ancestral legacies, and apply for funds and support to do this work with the Asian Art Museum—applications will go live online on January 25, 2020 and we will start promoting it in the API community after the grand reopening.

In linking the mission of the Asian Art Museum—to connect art to life and foster creativity and community—and intersecting with Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture’s values of equity, inclusion and access—The Future Ancient empowers local API artists doing the work through dollars, institutional support, mentoring and professional development alongside six months of community-lead public art engagements.

The Future Ancient is an inspiring framework that seeks to connect and heal our communities and expand cultural consciousness.  Realizing we have such a rich cultural legacy, abounding opportunity and undeniable responsibility in our increasingly globalized world, we need to model and create the world we want to live in and embrace the beauty, complexity and challenges of who we truly are—the Future Ancients!

Sign up for our email list and check for updates, information and open calls for participation at The Future Ancient website (www.thefutureancient.org).  This project is commissioned with Seattle Parks and Recreation 1% for Art funds and administered by the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.

For more announcements, click here

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