In a new series of questionnaires, we’re learning more about the members of this year’s Creative Assembly Cohort. Keep reading to get to know musician and composer Steve Lands.
Creative Assembly is a community engagement initiative by the New Orleans Museum of Art that uses neighborhood-based participatory art experiences as a vehicle for personal exploration, community collaboration, and social change.
At the New Orleans Museum of Art, we are committed to connecting to people both within and beyond the museum walls, and dedicated to developing sustained relationships with the individuals, organizations, and diverse communities of New Orleans.
Bringing together community members, artists, community-based organizations, and museum staff, Creative Assembly facilitates community-generated art projects and programs in New Orleans neighborhood spaces and at the museum.
New Orleans is one of the most culturally rich cities in the world, and its layers of culture can be experienced in an endless number of ways. As the largest museum in the region, the New Orleans Museum of Art has a singular opportunity to serve as a nexus and forum for New Orleans’ vast cultural production. The Creative Assembly Cohort is a multidisciplinary group of New Orleans-based creators who immerse themselves within the museum’s collection and use the institution as a catalyst for their own work and creativity.
The disciplines of cohort members vary, but range from musicians, dancers, and poets to mixologists, activists, and educators. Cohort members use the museum as a space for inspiration and collaboration and work with the museum and its staff to develop and implement programs that speak to a diversity of perspectives.
[Left: The 2021–2022 Creative Assembly Cohort in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden, November 2021]
Creative Assembly Connector Residencies are multi-session collaborations between an artist, the museum, and one or several community-based organizations in the New Orleans area. These projects bring professional artists and cross-generational communities together for collaborative art-making and community development. At the end of each project, there is a final exhibition component or a public program at NOMA.
Previous artists in residence include: Marta Rodriguez Maleck (Fall 2021), Regina Agu (Winter 2020), Garrett Bradley (Summer 2019), and Edward Spots (Spring/Summer 2019).
NOMA staff and teaching artists work in partnership with community-based organizations to collaborate on a series of scaffolded workshops/experiences that explore creativity and the arts. The museum partners annually with five or more organizations or sites to facilitate these multi-session workshops. Although not exclusively, many of these sessions focus on NOMA’s collection or exhibition program.
Previous partner workshops have taken place in collaboration with Travis Hill School, New Orleans Public Library, Youth Empowerment Project, Covenant House, New Harmony High School, Warren Easton High School, and Grace King High School.
NOMA+ is NOMA’s mobile museum station that travels to sites across the New Orleans area offering arts encounters and experiences in unexpected locations. NOMA+ appears at community centers, libraries, marketplaces, churches, schools, and festivals, among other community institutions and events with the aim of reaching intergenerational audiences, inspiring community members through arts-based learning, and demystifying the museum experience.
In a new series of questionnaires, we’re learning more about the members of this year’s Creative Assembly Cohort. Keep reading to get to know singer, violinist, and bookbinder Joseph Darensbourg.