Jonathan Jones: Indigenous Knowledges and Art-Making Practices

park aerial view

barrangal dyara (skin and bones) (2016), gypsum, kangaroo grass (Themeda triandra), 8-channel soundscape of the Sydney language and Gamilaraay, Gumbaynggirr, Gunditjmara, Ngarrindjeri, Paakantji, Wiradjuri, and Woiwurrung languages. photo / Peter Greig, courtesy the artist and Kaldor Public Art Projects, Sydney

Date and location: November 1, 12:20 p.m. in Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium, Milstein Hall

A member of the Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi nations of southeast Australia, Jonathan Jones is an artist, curator, and researcher. As an artist, he works across a range of mediums — from printmaking and drawing to sculpture and film — to create site-specific installations and interventions that engage Aboriginal practices, relationships, and knowledge. Jones’s work champions local knowledge systems, is grounded in research of the historical archive and builds on community aspirations. At the heart of his practice is the act of collaborating, and many projects have seen him work with other artists and communities, including Uncle Stan Grant Sr. Jones has exhibited both nationally and internationally, and his work has been collected by state, national, and international institutions. In 2016 Jones presented the 32nd Kaldor Public Art Project, barrangal dyara (skin and bones), at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, and in 2018 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship in the field of visual arts. Jones is a senior researcher at the University of Technology Sydney.


This talk will address the process and practice of working as an Aboriginal artist within the contemporary art context by considering several key artworks. These works negotiate Aboriginal protocols, such as acknowledging the traditional owners of a site, the maintenance of knowledge regarding language and toolmaking, and community engagement and development, alongside notions of site-specificity, budgets, and buildability, set within the contemporary art world. In order to achieve these multiple outcomes, these artworks are conceived and delivered within an Indigenous methodology. In this process, age-old ways of working are shown to have enormous impacts on both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities today.

Cosponsored by the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program, Engaged Cornell, the Cornell Council for the Arts, and the Carl L. Becker House

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Kenneth Reardon: Making Waves Along the Mississippi: The South Memphis Revitalization Action Project (aka SoMeRAP)

heat shot of a man with a beard

Kenneth Reardon, (Ph.D. CRP ’90)

Date and location: October 31, 4:30 p.m. in 115 West Sibley Hall

Ken Reardon is a professor and director of the M.S. in Urban Planning and Community Development program at the University of Massachusetts–Boston where he pursues research, teaching, and outreach in support of resident-led revitalization in economically distressed communities. Reardon received his B.A. in sociology from the University of Massachusetts–Amherst, master of urban planning degree from Hunter College (CUNY), and Ph.D. in city and regional planning from Cornell AAP. He has served as a tenured planning faculty member at the University of Illinois, Cornell University, the University of Memphis, and the University of Massachusetts. Social Policy Press published his newest book, Building Bridges: Community and University Partnerships in East St. Louis, in August. Reardon has received the AICP President’s Award, Dale Prize for Excellence in Urban Planning, and Lynton Award for Engaged Scholarship in recognition of his community planning efforts in underserved communities


In the fall of 2007, Reverend Kenneth Robinson, pastor of the St. Andrew’s AME Church in South Memphis, invited University of Memphis (U of M) planners to collaborate with his congregation in devising a comprehensive development plan to reverse the decline of this historic African American neighborhood. Using a highly participatory planning approach, U of M planners engaged a broad cross-section of the community in forging a plan that overcame significant municipal government opposition to successfully implement transformative child development, food security, and open space improvement projects in the community. These outcomes improved local conditions while challenging the city’s historic “top-down” approach to planning.

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Students Awarded Best Project Honor by APA NY

Rendering of a building on a tree-lined street

A rendering from the final report Lakewood Urban Design Workshop Fall 2018. rendering / provided

Students from the fall 2018 CRP Land Use, Environmental Planning, and Urban Design Workshop earned a Best Practice/Outstanding Student Project award from the American Planning Association (APA) Upstate New York Chapter, announced on October 3 at the organization’s annual conference in Rochester.

Coming from the departments of city and regional planning, architecture, and landscape architecture, the students traveled to Lakewood, Ohio and incorporated workforce housing models, multimodal transportation improvements, and public space improvements to provide a higher quality of living and economic development opportunities for local Lakewood residents in the city’s Fourth Ward, as well as residents of western Cleveland seeking affordable housing.

“The student teams designed innovative and resilient strategies for economic development, public space, and streetscape interventions as a way of responding to both regional and local needs,” said Mitch Glass, a visiting critic in CRP who teaches the course.

“I joined the class specifically for the hands-on urban design experience,” said Eden Marek, M.R.P. ’20, a student in the class. “It was all new to me. I learned so much about the nuts and bolts of the iterative design process. The APA Upstate New York Chapter award was a great way to end my first year of graduate school.”

The following students were enrolled in the course and produced the winning report:

  • Ching-Lun (Don) Chen (M.S. AAD ’19)
  • Austen Davis (M.R.P. ’20)
  • Mengyuan Hua (M.R.P. ’19)
  • Kevin Kim (M.R.P./M.L.A. ’20)
  • Anna Makido (M.S. RS ’19)
  • Eden Marek (M.R.P. ’20)
  • Noah Schumer (M.R.P. ’19)
  • Leigh Scudder (M.R.P. ’19)
  • Jacob Soley (B.S. URS ’19)
  • Shawn Sun (M.Arch. ’19)
  • Victor Tran (B.S. URS ’18)
  • Xinglu Zhu (continuing education student)

by Patti Witten

M.R.P. Student Selected as Finalist for Crisis Management Case Challenge

Chasidy Miles (M.R.P. ’21)  has been selected as a finalist for the Crisis Management Case Challenge, hosted by the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSA Council) at Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy. Miles and her teammate Yadira Gallegos will be presenting their policy memo to a panel of subject matter experts on November 7th at the University of Southern California. Selected finalists will have a chance to win the 1st place prize of $2,000.

The 8th annual case challenge focuses on homelessness – a public health crisis. The HSA Council invited teams of graduate students to create innovative, public health solutions to address this crisis. Previous case challenges have focused on issues that have largely impacted vulnerable communities in the Los Angeles metro area.

The finalist presentations will be open to the public. Registration is free.


Undergraduate Honors Thesis: Community Based Organizations and the Development of Political Influence in Immigrant Communities

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Statue of Liberty in New York City, NY

By Luke Bianco, ’19


This thesis sought to identify the role of community-based organizations (CBOs) in the development of political influence of U.S. immigrant communities. To answer this question, this work chronicled the development of the Cuban-American immigrant community in Miami and the Vietnamese-American immigrant community in California throughout the late 20th century. These groups offer a unique case study into the development of post-1965 immigrant communities and provide key insights to better understand the role of local institutions in the development of their political roots in the country. These insights were then directly applied to modern CBOs through the analysis of a series of qualitative interviews to determine these institutions’ roles today. Bianco argues that strong community institutions are integral to the successful defense of immigrant communities against social and political marginalization and the development of immigrant political influence.

The full thesis will be available from the Cornell University Library in spring 2020.

Course: CRP 4920 Undergraduate Honors Thesis Research

Instructor: Nicholas J. Klein

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