The Center for Art and Public Policy at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts (TSOA) will host a symposium entitled The Uses of 1968: Legacies of Art and Activism. The event is the highlight of TSOA’s 11th Annual Day of Community and features, as well as the public panel discussion, an open forum for students and the companion exhibition 1968: Then and Now.

The Uses of 1968: Legacies of Art and Activism will be held on Monday, October 20 at 7 p.m. in The Great Hall, Cooper Union, located at 7 East 7th Street at Third Avenue. The panel is free and open to the public.

“Even a short list of events from 1968 points to a world in the midst of dramatic transformation,” says Randy Martin, professor and chair of the Department of Art and Public Policy. “The significance and efficacy of the sixties is still a matter of lively debate. The question of how 1968 lives on in the present is more controversial still. 1968 saw the election of Richard Nixon and the ascent of Republicans in the White House and conservative policies. Some claim that 2008 signals an equally momentous turning point in electoral dynamics, attitudes on foreign policy, and cultural sensibility.”

The panelists—students, artists and intellectuals— have all been touched at different times and in different ways by the aftershocks of 1968, and they will explore how that momentous year bears on their present activism and outlook on the world. Panel participants are: Sheril Antonio (panel moderator), associate dean for Film, Television & New Media and chair of the Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts; Thulani Davis, journalist, novelist, playwright, and screenwriter; Nyle Emerson, a hip-hop and spoken word artist who is also enrolled in the Tisch School’s Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music; MacKenzie Fegan ‘07, TSOA alumna and web video producer; Jason King, artistic director and associate professor of the Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music; and Martha Rossler, who works in video, photo-text, installation, and performance, as well as writing about art and culture.

Breaking Bread, an open forum for students to share work, thoughts, food, and fellowship, will be held October 22, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Riese Student Lounge, located on the ground floor of the Tisch School of the Arts, 721 Broadway. (Please note: Breaking Bread is not open to the public.)

In conjunction with the panel is a companion exhibition, 1968: Then and Now, comprising approximately 75 works by 56 artists, and including letters, photographs, paintings, prints, video, and installation pieces. It has been curated by Deborah Willis, University Professor and chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging. It combines historical and contemporary images that construct diverse stories about the culture of resistance, beauty, power, and the notion of disenfranchisement.

The exhibition will be on view through November 22 in the Gulf + Western Gallery and in the 8th floor gallery of the Tisch School of the Arts Department of Photography & Imaging, located at 721 Broadway (at Waverly Place). For gallery hours and additional information on events, visit or call 212/998-1930.

The 11th Annual Day of Community has been made possible by: Tisch School of the Arts, Office of the Dean, Center for Media, Culture and History, The Cooper Union, Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the Department of Photography and Imaging.

Press Contact

Richard Pierce
Richard Pierce
(212) 998-6796