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V. Mitch McEwen.

V. Mitch McEwen to Curate the New Museum’s IdeasCity Initiative

V. Mitch McEwen—an assistant professor at Princeton University’s School of Architecture and the cofounder of A(n) Office, a collaborative of design studios in Detroit and New York—has been named curator of the New Museum’s upcoming IdeasCity initiative. Established in 2011, the project is a creative platform that explores the future of cities with culture as a driving force.

“We are delighted that McEwen will join the stellar IdeasCity team at the New Museum for the next two-year cycle,” said director and IdeasCity cofounder Lisa Phillips. “As a practicing urban designer and professor of architecture, she is keenly attuned to the built environment and will bring intellectual rigor to thinking about urban design and planning as we continue to engage with cities who believe in culture’s capacity to affect progress.”

As curator, McEwen will helm the IdeasCity conference, which will be held in Toronto on September 15. Every year, the initiative takes place in a different city around the world. During the event, programming ranging from workshops to exhibitions helps the host city identify and propose solutions for key issues related to the urban environment.

Following the conference, thought leaders, educators, artists, curators, and other cultural figures convene in New York for a biennial presentation of their findings and ideas. McEwen will also help set up the 2019 edition, which will take place in New Orleans. In the past, the initiative has been held in Istanbul (2012), São Paulo (2013), Detroit (2016), Athens (2016), and Arles (2017).

Commenting on her appointment, McEwen noted: “The New Museum, an institution founded by curators, has consistently advocated for artists as idea leaders. IdeasCity brings that ethos to the streets and a broader public to accelerate the kind of creative knowledge-sharing that opens new possibilities in our everyday lives. There’s a responsibility right now—at this seemingly precarious moment—to not be shy or afraid, but to be bolder than ever and make the most of the connections we have with each other.”

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