Toshi Reagon + Brad McCallum & Jacqueline Tarry
Everton Sylvester + Mel Chin
Gabri Christa + Mary Ellen Strom
Danny Kapilian + Sara Kellner

Tara Anderson Producer
Rita Houston Narrator

Local Frequencies originated out of a deep respect and enthusiasm for artistic process. As with many Creative Time projects, the organization sought an opportunity to foster public discourse surrounding the themes in Local Frequencies- in this case, primarily regarding the artists’ relationship with a community that inspires or supports the content of the work. Creative Time, in partnership with WFUV, created the Local Frequencies: Process Interviews to recapture some of the initial conversations that Toshi, Everton, Gabri, and Danny had with Creative Time and to deepen the dialogue with others who are also dedicated to this process.

We organized this series of interviews conducted by a selection of artists and activists who approach community with similar or complimentary methodologies. Brad McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry, Mel Chin, Mary Ellen Strom, and Sara Kellner professionally and philosophically represent a variety of practices in the arts, yet all bring a unique sensitivity to their work with communities. Brad McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry, the co-directors of ConjuctionArts, a progressive public arts group which engages divergent communities on civic issues, were paired with Toshi Reagon, herself an advocate for keeping the artists’ voice active in civil society. Mel Chin, whose activist installations are very much about place and location engaged Everton Sylvester, a poet who astutely meditates on his environment. Artist Mary Ellen Strom and Gabri Christa discussed their shared commitment to youth, and finally, Sara Kellner, Executive Director of DiverseWorks, in Houston, Texas, spoke with veteran producer Danny Kapilian about the nature of creative collaborative work.

WFUV (90.7 FM) both hosted and produced the conversations in their studios. The Process Interviews were then broadcast on Wednesday, May 7, 2003 following a broadcast of Local Frequencies. You can listen to the interviews via their online archive (go to the Archives section in the menu bar on the left of the home page and choose "Features" in the drop down menu to find it.

Creative Time would like to thank Chuck Singleton, Rita Houston and Tara Anderson, for their efforts in the editing studio.

Interviewer Bios

Mel Chin

Mel Chin insinuates art into unlikely places, including destroyed homes, toxic landfills, and even popular television, investigating how art can provoke greater social awareness and responsibility. Unconventional and politically engaged, his projects also challenge the idea of the artist as the exclusive creative force behind an artwork. ãThe survival of my own ideas may not be as important as a condition I might create for othersâ ideas to be realized,ä says Chin, who often enlists entire neighborhoods or groups of students in his projects. Chin also promotes ãworks of artä that have the ultimate effect of benefiting science or rejuvenating the economies of inner-city neighborhoods. In "Revival Field," Chin worked with scientists to create sculpted gardens of hyperaccumulators-plants that can draw heavy metals with their root systems from contaminated areas-in some of the most polluted sites in the world. Chin received a BA from Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1975, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1988 and 1990. He lives in North Carolina.

Mary Ellen Strom

Mary Ellen Stromâs work as an individual artist takes on the form of video installation, single channel video, performance, and public art projects. The work is project-based and is most often temporal. Stromâs upcoming project, created in collaboration with Ann Carlson, entitled Geyser Land involves video projections onto mountain rock faces and industrial structures from a train between Livingston and Bozeman, Montana. Geyser Land looks at how 19th century western mythologies are maintained through contemporary tourism. Strom's single channel videos and installations have been presented at numerous museums nationally and internationally. She received her Masters of Fine Arts degree from the University of California, Irvine and is currently an instructor at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Learn more about Geyser Land at

Brad McCallum & Jacqueline Tarry

Brad McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry are the artistic directors of ConjunctionArts, Inc. Founded in 1989, ConjunctionArts sponsors their site-specific public art as a production house. This married coupleâs work explores difficult ideas about contemporary political issues such as gun violence and race relations and gives the public a voice in this complex social terrain. Currently, they are working on a photography and video project with homeless youth in Seattle. Learn more about ConjunctionArts at

Sara Kellner

Sara Kellner, Executive Director of Houston contemporary arts center, DiverseWorks, is a leading advocate for artists and experimental contemporary art practices. She has curated shows for the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh, and Hall Walls in Buffalo. At DiverseWorks, Kellner is dedicated to presenting new visual, performing, and literary art. She aims to create a space where artists can test new ideas in the public realm, and encourages the investigation of current artistic, cultural, and social issues. Learn more about DiverseWorks at
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