Short Fuse Podcast #60: Memory. Healing. Conversation. Through Public Art

By Elizabeth Howard



Episode Summary

How have cities across the country used public art projects to approach the challenges their citizens face? Elizabeth Howard talks with Stephanie Dockery about the power of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Public Art Challenge, which provides cities with grants of up to $1 million for temporary public art projects that address civic issues and foster community connection, dialogue, and conversation.

Temple of Time, Parkland and Coral Springs, Florida. Artist: David Best

Artist David Best’s Temple of Time brought the communities of Parkland and Coral Springs, Florida together on the one-year anniversary of the school shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The Greenwood Art Project in Tulsa, Oklahoma commemorated the centennial anniversary of the 1921 massacre of a thriving Black community, known as Black Wall Street. The history of the massacre had been buried, and these art projects marked the community’s resilience and recovery through installations by local artists who told the story of Black Wall Street’s past, present, and future..

Bloomberg Philanthropies believes in the power of arts and culture to inspire creativity and spark collaboration. The Arts program supports artists and cultural organizations and improves audience experience to strengthen the creative landscape and quality of life in cities around the world. These efforts include facilitating collaborations between artists and local governments to address civic issues, building capacity for small and mid-sized cultural institutions, and increasing and enhancing visitor engagement through the integration of digital technology.

One of six illegal dumping sites in Camden, New Jersey that was transformed into a venue for public art.

Data on projects over the five most recent Public Challenge Projects underscores their impact, including catalyzing more than $100 million in economic benefits for local communities. Cities can apply for Public Art Challenge grants until February 15, 2023.

Episode Notes

Stephanie Dockery

Stephanie Dockery brings more than 12 years of experience in arts management to her role as a member of the Arts Team at Bloomberg Philanthropies. Currently, Stephanie manages Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Public Art Challenge, a national competition supporting temporary public art projects that address significant civic issues and demonstrate an ability to generate public-private collaborations, celebrate creativity, and strengthen local economies. She also manages partnership teams on the Bloomberg Connects portfolio app, a free app with guides to 160 cultural organizations.

Audio used in the episode has been contributed by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Public Art Challenge.

The Short Fuse Podcast is hosted and produced by Elizabeth Howard. Learn more at Elizabeth Howard.

The Arts Fuse was established in June 2007 as a curated, independent online arts magazine dedicated to publishing in-depth criticism, along with high quality previews, interviews, and commentaries. The publication’s over 60 freelance critics (many of them with decades of experience) cover dance, film, food, literature, music, television, theater, video games, and visual arts. Our core belief: that there is a robust readership for arts coverage that believes that culture matters.

Alex Waters is the technical producer, audio editor, and engineer for the Short Fuse Podcast. He is a music producer and a student at Berklee College of Music. He has written and produced music and edited for podcasts including The Faith and Chai Podcast and Con Confianza. He writes, produces and records music for independent artists, including The Living. He lives in Brooklyn and can be reached at with inquiries.

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