April 18, we celebrated the beauty of artistic expression by hosting RTP180: Art. Five experts were invited to discuss their takes on the subject. Elevate added even more inspiration to the event by showcasing a dancer who created art on a canvas with body movement. Our fourth RTP180 event of the year also commemorated the 60th anniversary or RTI International and the Research Triangle Park, so we started off with a fun game of RTP trivia! With that, we were ready to begin RTP180: Art and see the role it plays in our Triangle community.
Bridget Pemberton-Smith of Art Therapy Institute introduced the benefits of art psychotherapy. A picture is worth a thousand words, meaning clients are given the chance to tell their story in vast context through art that they create. Therapists at the Institute are master level clinicians who have studied both psychology and art. Their clients are able to use art for expression and also have it analyzed by experts Bridget encouraged everyone to practice art therapy at home as a self-care tool, or even just for fun. Watch Bridget’s talk.
Brandon Cordrey of VAE Raleigh touched on community engagement that causes positive change through art, also known as civic art. Civic art’s role is to highlight unheard stories, create positive change, or challenge established norms within our community. If anything, it should be the most appreciated for its purpose. To find civic art in our community, Brandon suggested looking to creative artists who are doing work that is timely and engaging. Watch Brandon’s talk.
Michelle Harrell of the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) discussed the potential of immersive technology that can transport students to art museums all over the world. The live sessions held in NCMA’s conservation lab are an example of art and science colliding. Students are able to learn about protecting and restoring art, as well as artistic history and intent behind specific artwork. The NCMA recently released 360° interactive videos on their website and hopes that this will be the start of all kinds of videos created for everyone to access. Watch Michelle’s talk.
Ashley Popio of Women’s Theatre Festival shared theatrical data relating to women’s roles in performance art. Before the Women’s Theatre Festival existed, less than 20% of works shown in NC theatres were less than 20%. Ashley then developed the Women’s Theatre Festival and set a goal to have 50% of women on set to direct, write, produce, promote, or design a show. Several organizations such as the Raleigh Little Theatre, Cary Players and Burning Coal have been inspired to change their playwright gender equity as well! Ashley ended the night by challenging everyone to think about how we can maintain this demographic. Watch Ashley’s talk.
Thanks to presenting sponsor RTI International for enabling us to provide a platform for our community to share their knowledge. We’re also glad to have UNC-TV as our producer—if you can’t make it to any RTP180 event, you can catch the live stream beginning at 6:00PM EST the day of the show at ncchannel.org, and be sure to follow along with us on Twitter using #RTP180.