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Andrew Freiband on the Artists' Literacies Institute

Nov 12, 2019, 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

A photograph of Andrew Freiband
Credit: Andrew Freiband

MFA Fine Arts presents a talk by Andrew Freiband, the founder of The Artists’ Literacies Institute.

The Artists’ Literacies Institute (ALI) is founded on the principle that art is research. Making art is a way of learning and, while the market may not want us to know it, knowledge may be the most valuable asset artists generate.

ALI provides a supplement to artists’ education to help them recognize their unique ways of knowing and develop a framework where these sensitivities can be leveraged, like qualitative data in contexts well outside of the art world, transforming them into artist-citizens or artist-scientists. ALI seeks to be a bridge re-connecting artists to the larger human society and the natural world, where their ways of knowing are desperately needed to build more equitable, dignified, humane systems and cultures.

Andrew Freiband has spent the past 20 years as a filmmaker, producer, media artist, cameraman, teacher, researcher, writer, organizer, consultant, advisor and strategist. Then he learned the word praxis and now his bios are shorter.

His work, therefore, is artistic action in continuous concern of the well-being and dignity of others, embedded in and responsive to ever-changing social, cultural and political circumstances. (h/t Wayne Bowman)

His practice has included media production and strategic design for the U.S. Agency for International Development, producing two nationally-broadcast, award-winning feature documentaries, producing and doing research with an experimental off-broadway, gender-reversed re-performance of the Trump/Clinton debates, and teaching art, film and media within and without institutions such as RISD, Pratt and on to schools in Haiti, Bangladesh and the rice paddies of Northern Ghana, among many other places. He has been developing a field of research called Artists’ Literacies, a framework with which artists can de-emphasize the commodities they produce and can be re-imagined as producers of applicable knowledge.

After years of organizing and working to mobilize artists to engage in their historical moment in ways that can go beyond activism, Freiband founded the Artists’ Literacies Institute in 2018 to serve as a supplement to the education of citizen artists.

Free and open to the public