Daniel Tucker: Moore College & Urban Farm Activist’s #ThisWeekI
What are you doing to inspire change in your community?
This week’s #ThisWeekI column talks to a socially engaged artist, documentary maker, events organizer and author.
Daniel Tucker was recently named the new Assistant Professor and Graduate Program Manager in Social and Studio Practices at Moore College of Art & Design. His book Farm Together Now addressed food systems, food waste and farming across the US.
Let’s meet Daniel:
Name: Daniel Tucker
Occupation: Assistant Professor and Graduate Program Manager in the new Social and Studio Practices programs at Moore College of Art and Design.
Home Neighborhood: Intersection of Bella Vista, Hawthorne, Avenue of the Arts, Washington Sq West and probably a lot more – I don’t yet know.
One way you can help improve sustainability locally: Do an informal audit of the energy, water use and waste generated by the institutions (government, educational, religious, medical, etc) that you interact with on a regular basis. Type up your notes to share with whatever decision-making body functions at the organizations, and get the conversation going. While the US Energy Information Association (EIA) cites industrial energy use is the fastest growing sector, commercial/institutional is also on the rise that does not get enough scrutiny (though the city has done a good thing by initiating the Energy Reduction Race).
Writing Farm Together Now taught me: that artists and sustainable farmers have a lot in common. Many of them want to have integral, less alienated, and meaningful work. There are lots of demands on both to not only do what they do, but to tell the story or show the evidence of what they do. This overlap showed me that while sometimes a farmer just wants to farm and sometimes a maker just wants to make, they feel a responsibility to get out there and tell people why they do what they do. Interestingly, a lot of the time farmers are better at that than artists!
I think art is important for a community because… Communities tend to have a wide array of resources, skills and experience contained within them. Art is a materialization or public manifestation of the creativity that underlies such communities. Art has the power to inspire empathetic connections and finding ways to expose, connect, celebrate. Contributing to that community-based creative energy is often the role of the artist as much as refining what they do as an individual.
Thanks for answering our questions, Daniel! Now, let’s find out what Daniel did this week to inspire change.
Daniel Tucker’s #ThisWeekI:
- My girlfriend Cynthia and I bought a composting worm bin for the winter (after asking around to a community gardens who could not accept my compost).
- Switched my electric bill’s energy provider to The Energy Coop, a member-owned cooperative that sells renewable energy generated right here in Pennsylvania to PECO customers.
- Planned an event for Moore College of Art and Design called “Collectivity in the City” that will bring together art collectives from Philly and Minneapolis on March 16 for a dialogue about sustaining community through art – one of the main themes of the new socially-engaged art program I am directing at Moore.
Now it’s time to get inspired and do well. Readers, tell us: What have you done this week? What are your goals? Join the convo in the comments below and on Twitter with #ThisWeekI.
Want to inspire others and be featured on an upcoming #ThisWeekI column? Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us: what did #ThisWeekI inspire you to do?