Location:  Portland, OR
Project Description: 

With the cities of Evanston & Chicago, Illinois, Hartford, Connecticut, and Portland, Oregon as lenses, BUILT explored the changing United States city, and the challenges of housing, infrastructure, neighborhood cohesion, and equity all present as our population continues to exponentially increase in the coming years. The public series of research, installation, dialogue, interview, and performance events of varied scale led up to a culminating theatrical event/production in Portland in September 2008. The project brought artists and community members together for creative activity and dialogues. The public conversations examined issues of development, ethics, responsibility, and vision, history and economics, demographic changes, social forces, and more. The project sought to learn about the vastly complex journeys that have made cities what they are today; to explore the daily personal, civic, and economic choices that determine how contemporary cities function; and to explore how people and institutions imagine the future of cities and communities as the question "Where will we live?" becomes more pressing than ever before. Ultimately, the project was not an advocacy or activist project for a particular point of view on these issues, but rather an exploration, expression, and interrogation of the diverse array of histories, voices, and perspectives that surround them. It was a civic inquiry, with theatre acting as the central medium through which a participatory inquiry took place. In Evanston and Chicago, the main partners were Northwestern University's School of Communication and The Boeing Company. In Hartford, the project partnered with HartBeat Ensemble. In Portland, the project was commissioned by the South Waterfront's Artist-in-Residence program, curated by Linda K. Johnson, and was presented by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art as part of their 2008 Festival.