Brett Cook

Brett Cook
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Brett Cook is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, and healer who uses creative practices to transform outer and inner worlds of being. His public projects typically involve community workshops featuring arts-integrated pedagogy, along with music, performance, and food to create a fluid boundary between art making, daily life, and healing. He has received numerous awards, including the Lehman Brady Visiting Professorship at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Richard C. Diebenkorn Fellowship at the San Francisco Art Institute. Cook was selected as cultural ambassador to Nigeria as part of the U.S. Department of State's 2012 smARTpower Initiative and was a 2014 A Blade of Grass Fellow for Socially Engaged Art. His work is in private and public collections including the Smithsonian/National Portrait Gallery, the Walker Art Center, the Studio Museum of Harlem, and Harvard University. He is a University of California, Berkeley Institute of Urban and Regional Development Community Fellow and Visiting Professor in Diversity Studies, Community Arts, and Social Practice at California College for the Arts.

A Community Planning Process–Even A Good One–Is Not Enough

Just the inherent language of community “transformation” signals that what has come before is not worth holding on to, and renders the history of these public housing sites insignificant. Knowing this, our challenge is not to envision “transformed” communities, but an evolution that carries with it visible markers of what has come before and illuminates the history of the place and the people who have lived in these places for decades.