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Discussion, Art, and Society at Art Basel

Since its debut in 1970, Art Basel has become the modern and contemporary art world’s premier platform for bringing together artists and their patrons in a way that is both engaging and personal. With annual art shows sited on three continents – Europe, North America, and Asia – Art Basel is the only art show with such global reach. Over 30,000 artists and attendees were registered for the December 2013 Art Basel in Miami, Fl making it a perfect space to hold a discussion about the Future of the Arts and Society Report.

IF Fellow, Natalie Hopkinson partnered with Kiesha Moodie, the Director of Teach for America Miami to make the discussion a reality.  Thirteen facilitators were gathered and trained.  Fellows Mark and Ieva Notturno also joined in to facilitate groups and disseminate IF materials.  The Future of the Arts and Society public discussion took place between the hours of 1PM and 3PM on December 7th.   Two large spaces were transformed into one large L-shaped room that could accommodate four tables that could roughly seat twelve people, each. There were two Interactivity Foundation facilitators to each table with up to ten guests. There were also facilitators posted at the street level of the Teach for America building to help guide guests to the second floor where the discussion took place. As usual, food was a major part of the planning for this Interactivity Foundation public discussion. Coconut rice, coconut curry chicken, salads, meatballs, and miniature crab cakes were the perfect fare for the gathering.  To add to the décor, Art Basel participants and performances alike could be seen, in full view, from the partially panoramic windows of the second floor. There were also large foam board posters surrounded by balloons advertising the event were placed like placards announcing that guests had indeed arrived at the right place, just beyond the wide-open front doors to the Teach for America office. In addition a few pieces were provided by Darin K. Williams, a local artist from the Liberty City section of Miami who is also known as the “Urban Artist.” Darin hung four of his pieces in the window, with the Art Basel musical performance stage as the backdrop in the distance.  The discussions were a great success as guests were encouraged to use Instagam and Tweet about their experiences under the hashtag “IFftalks.” “#ArtBasel” was also a popular hashtag used in conjunction with the IF discussion.