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“The question of access is about audience and participation, and being able to deliver.”

Published by USC Bedrosian Center on

by Brettany Shannon

Welcome back, listeners to the second half of Los Angeles Hashtags Herself, a season we’re dedicating to amplifying the critical work that amazing women are doing in and for the city of Los Angeles. Thanks to contributions from USC Professor Lisa Schweitzer, LA-Más’ Elizabeth Timme and Helen Leung, and urban journalist Alissa Walker, we’ve enjoyed a rich set of conversations about urban planning and development in Los Angeles. In the season’s second half, we’re turning to talk with women engaging with art and design, culture, and social change.

To introduce us to this topic is Rochelle Steiner, a curator, writer, public art producer, and Professor of Critical Studies at USC’s Roski School of Art and Design. Rochelle shares with us how her lifelong interests in the public realm, audiences, and participation brought her to curating and have since informed her career. Many come to study art and art history because some artist’s or artists’ work has affected them. For Rochelle, “the impact was artists, but the impact was the museum, also…. The idea of going to a place to look at things and going to a place that is part of the city and that is important to the city, and that is a house for culture.” As such, she has shaped her career around understanding “what the audience is and the diversity of audiences,” and serving their interests.

Listen to Rochelle share the discoveries she has made through her career of bringing art to multiple audiences in public spaces and the implications of art and design in the urban realm “in all of its radical complexity.” Among many things, we learn about her work as the Director of the Public Art Fund in New York City (where she produced Olafur Eliasson’s The New York City Waterfalls), her work as co-founder of USC’s interdisciplinary Emergent Cities research group, and the profound social relevance of her most recent exhibition, Access + Ability, now on view at the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Many thanks to Rochelle for her time and to you for listening. Leave us a review on your favorite podcatcher and connect with us on Twitter (Bedrosian, me), Facebook, or email.

LA#Herself is produced by Aubrey Hicks, Jonathan Schwartz, and myself and mixed by Corey Hedden. Stream the interview on this page, or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcasts, Soundcloud, or GooglePlay.

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