TERRA: Art | Land | Justice 
A Brown Arts Initiative Symposium on Arts & Environment 
September 19-20, 2019
Granoff Center for the Creative Arts | Brown University | Providence, RI

>> Click here to register for the symposium

Inspired by the French concept of paysagisme — which integrates land art, landscape design, agriculture, urban planning, public space and ecology — the Brown Arts Initiative (BAI) convenes its third symposium to address humanity's relationship to land. Our exploration is through a cultural and social justice lens that considers issues of nurturance, sustenance, access, respite and intervention. Activist artists and scholars, a designer, poet, curator, chef and food provider share their visionary work examining modes of expression that respond to contemporary culture, embrace the environment and engage the public sphere.

The gathering includes a keynote lecture by multi-disciplinary artist and prison abolitionist Jackie Sumell, plus two panels and a closing conversation:

          Panel 1: Food Chain
An activist chef and food studies scholar, an urban farmer/poet and a local food provider come together to discuss issues of nurturance, access and sustainability for our shared land

Panel 2: Contoured Land
A civil rights activist who uses the construct of museum and memorial to re-narrate the cultural landscape teams up with an artist who pioneered art in the public realm and a professor of art history and environmental studies

Closing Conversation: Planting Seeds
Brown faculty members and contemporary art curator share perspectives on the University's legacy and relationship to land, and efforts to increase understanding of historical impacts on culture and society

For more information on the speakers, please see our keynote speaker and panelists pages.


The Brown Arts Initiative (BAI) seeks to cultivate creative expression and foster an interdisciplinary environment where faculty and students learn from each another, and from artists and scholars in a wide range of fields from across the campus and around the world. Taking full advantage of the University's open curriculum, the BAI builds on Brown's reputation as a destination for arts exploration, contributing to cultural enterprise through the integration of theory and practice, with an emphasis on innovation and discovery that results from rigorous artmaking and experimentation. 

Find us on social media at #BAITerra, @BAIBrownU, @BrownUniversity





Brown Arts Initiative Symposia on Arts & Environment
Since 2017, the BAI has organized programming i
n association with its three-year theme on Arts & Environment. Intended to address important contemporary issues that influence culture and society, the prior convenings, noted below, explored a range of natural and constructed "landscapes."

March 3 & 4, 2017
The first BAI symposium served as the official programmatic kickoff and brought together cutting edge artists and scholars whose work engages with the multiplicity of environments in which we live. From the natural environment to data mediascapes to sonic ecologies, re|ACT showcased the latest arts practice and research that reacts to and with the environment.

April 5 & 6, 2018 
Polar Opposites convened an exceptional group of artists, scientists, musicians, activists, researchers and scholars to address issues impacting the polar regions. The gathering explored topics designed to raise awareness of and imaginatively address the impact of climate change on our world.

This symposium is made possible by generous gifts to the BAI Director's Innovation Fund and the Agnes Gund Presidential Lecture Fund.