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Our Portfolio

Projects, writing, and other work led by the CAIR Lab team.
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Why Cross-Sector Collaboration Now: A Policy Conversation Starter Series

The arts and creativity are the soul of our nation with capacity to shape infrastructure projects. This series surveys current opportunities, examples, and paths forward through cross-sector collaboration. CAIR Lab produced this series while Cultural Policy Fellows at the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.

Arts + Infrastructure

Arts + Transportation
Arts + Health for Social Cohesion

Read the reports >

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Transportation Artists in Residence Network Report

In collaboration with Smart Growth America, CAIR Lab led the Transportation Artists in Residence (TAIR) Network in 2023 to gather artists, transportation planners, and arts administrators with experience working in arts and transportation. This report shares the big ideas gathered reflecting on the current field and making suggestions for future growth. Supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Our Town program.

Read the report >

AIRG in action: Pop Up Meeting (Amanda Lovelee)

Pop Up Meeting seeks to increase diverse participation in Saint Paul’s civic process. From an artistically retrofitted city truck, Pop Up Meeting dynamically unfolds as St. Paul’s front porch to engage communities with popsicles in exchange for thoughts.

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A New Tool to Advance Equity: Artists in Residence in Government

Mallory Rukhsana Nezam and Johanna K. Taylor, ICMA, Local Government Review, 2021

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Future Forest, Amanda Lovelee

The Future Forest was the welcoming committee to     the Regional Parks System out in the middle of a           frozen lake as part of the Art Shanty Project.                   Participants wrote a love letter to their favorite               regional park and every five love letters written; we planted a tree.  The 4000 love letters were used as a     data set to then change policy for regional parks.

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Mirror Casket,  
Mallory Rukhsana Nezam 

The Mirror Casket project is a sculpture, performance, and visual call to action designed and orchestrated by a collaborative of St. Louis community artists in response to the shooting death of Michael Brown on August 9, 2014 in Ferguson, MO. It is currently in collections at the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture. 

International Pillow Fight Day, Mallory Rukhsana Nezam

One of the 60+ public play interventions hosted by STL Improv Anywhere, founded by Mallory Rukhsana Nezam, that brought strangers together to create bonds by disarming social barricades using interactive play and absurdity.   

Urban Flower Field, Amanda Lovelee

Urban Flower Field is a cross pollination between art, the civic process, a community, and science. Designed in reference to the Fibonacci sequence, there are 96 plots of bio diverse flowers performing soil remediation. In collaboration with the University of St Thomas science department I tested the soil and published a report along with hosting gatherings and conversations around the future of the space.

Mallory Rukhsana Nezam
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#ChalkedUnarmed is a performance and guerrilla art project that raises awareness about the pattern of extra-judicial killings of unarmed citizens of color by the police in the United States. Following the shooting death of Michael Brown, a collective of St. Louis artists compiled a list of people of color who had been killed unarmed by police, chalking their bodies along sidewalks and streets. Alongside the chalked bodies, the name, date, and location of each murder is written with the hashtag #ChalkedUnarmed. The public placement of the chalkings serve to educate passerby, disrupt complacency and ignorance around this issue, and honor the lives lost. As the project received national attention for its ability to galvanize awareness and incite dialogue, it spread beyond St. Louis and exists as a viral social art project nationwide.

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Friendship Forest, Amanda Lovelee

Friendship Forest is about caring for our city, caring for each other and breaking down barriers by uniting residents in the act of growing happiness through planting 180 trees in one day and tracking those trees for their lifetime.

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Artist Residencies in Municipal Government, Johanna K. Taylor (Panelist), Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, 2020 

How can artists help solve complex social and political problems? One model that’s growing in popularity is to place artists in residence in government agencies. This webinar brings together experts who have looked at this model from different perspectives—government, nonprofits, academics, and artists—to discuss the possibilities and challenges of artist residencies in local government.  

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Detours, Amanda Lovelee

Detours was a project that turned a highway reconstruction into a conversation.  It began by interviewing village residents about detours in their lives and turned their stories into a playful scavenger hunt of signage that reframed the construction as an exploration of unexpected life shifts. Detour signs sharing personal life stories were installed throughout the Grand Marais. With artist collaboration, this infrastructure project became an opportunity to turn road detour signs into messages of community joy. 

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