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Exhibitions and Events

U-M hosts 'Art in Public Spaces' Facebook Live with community leaders across the state

Festifools is an annual Ann Arbor event that takes place every year during the first weekend of April.

In collaboration with CultureSource, the University of Michigan will host a Facebook Live chat at noon July 19 that will bring together the creative minds behind three of Michigan’s popular community events to discuss the impacts, challenges, communities and conversations that guide the presentation of “art in public spaces.”

Omari Rush, executive director of CultureSouce, will moderate a discussion with Mark Tucker, founder and artistic director of Festifools/Foolmoon in Ann Arbor; Ryan Myers-Johnson, founder of the Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts in Detroit; and Kevin Buist, artistic director of ArtPrize.

Together, they’ll address ideas surrounding public art: How do site-specific art installations, events, and artistic experiences create a sense of community and personality? What is the difference between event-based public art programs and those that are built into the fixed environment? How do curators approach the conceptual development of place-based work? Can public art be an extension of societal values and more importantly, how can it start a conversation between, or within, people of different backgrounds?

Follow #UMichChat at Viewers and audience participants are encouraged to ask questions.




Omari Rush (MM ’05) advances efforts to have creative and cultural expression thrive in diverse communities, in part, as executive director of CultureSource in Detroit and as the governor-appointed chairman of the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. Additionally, he serves on the board of directors of Arts Midwest and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, chairs the Awesome Foundation Ann Arbor Chapter, and co-hosts a monthly arts radio show on WEMU-FM. Earning degrees in music from Florida State University and the University of Michigan, Omari is now a lapsed clarinetist who enjoys using his voice to recite poems.




Mark Tucker (MFA, ‘85) serves as Art Director for the University of Michigan’s Lloyd Hall Scholars Program, a residential learning program focused on writing and the arts. Tucker returned to U-M after working professionally for 15 years as a parade float designer, set designer, and scenic artist for theater, film and television. He teaches Art in Public Spaces, an LSA course that produces public murals, community theater collaborations and outdoor public art performances. He is the founder and creative director of FestiFools and FoolMoon, two public art spectacles that take place around April Fools’ Day featuring giant community built puppets, luminary sculptures and performance art.


Ryan Myers-Johnson (BA ‘04)  is the assistant director of Kresge Arts in Detroit and the founder and curator of Sidewalk Festival of Performing Artsan annual celebration of Detroit’s independent and alternative performance scene. Myers-Johnson is an arts administrator, dance educator and curator of place-based performance. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Film from the University of Michigan. From there, she studied, performed and worked in Detroit, New York and Japan. Myers-Johnson’s choreography has been featured at the Virgil H. Carr Cultural Arts Center where she has served choreographer in residence and dance education director. She is a strong advocate of arts education, serving as the dance and science collaborator for Artology Detroit-Cranbrook, and is always excited to explore the intersections of dance, community, history and interdisciplinary collaboration.


Kevin Buist is a writer, curator, critic and artistic director of ArtPrize, where he oversees artists, operations and design. He holds a Master of Arts in Visual and Critical Studies from Kendall College of Art and Design. Buist writes and speaks on behalf of ArtPrize to arts-focused audiences around the country, and co-hosts ArtPrize panel programming for live audiences, web video and live TV. His independent writing has been featured in numerous print and online publications, including the Art:21 Blog, where he was a blogger-in-residence, as well as, Michigan Quarterly Review and


This #UMichChat is organized by U-M Arts & Culture, U-M Social and CultureSource.




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