How can public art inspire social change?
Berlin and Prague are hubs for makers, innovators, and artists. Public art, be it music, performance, or visual art, builds connections between communities. From government-sanctioned graffiti walls designed to spark a conversation to modern sculptures and monuments, Berlin and Prague are ideal places to kick-start an exploration of public art. In these cities, we can explore the roots of local creative movements and consider how we can use public art of all kinds to impact the world around us.
Following the takedown of the Wall, Berlin has become the creative capital of Europe, attracting all sorts of artists and social entrepreneurs from around the world to this dynamic and changing city. Prague also underwent its own transformation and has emerged as a city of public (and at times controversial) artwork.
In both places we can work with local artists and social innovators to learn about how the cities are becoming centers of expression and creativity. We can hang out with graffiti artists and technologists (making interdisciplinary connections with STEM) and explore how art played a role in the history of the region and the fall of the Iron Curtain. We will visit the Lennon Wall in Prague and the East Side Gallery to see some of the more historic public art, but we’ll also visit contemporary museums and monuments and see some emerging spots in both cities.
Prague has become an epicenter of creativity and entrepreneurship in central Europe. We will work with local innovators to study the unique culture in this city. We’ll explore famous historic sites and speak with experts to learn how the city has managed to develop some of the most artistic communities in Europe.
We will explore the old town of Prague as we learn how the city evolved over centuries, and consider history’s effect on communities and the arts. From a visit to the Lennon Wall to a street art workshop, we will fully immerse ourselves in the culture and history of Czech creativity. We will also pay a visit to a local startup hub. From our connections with artists, techies, social entrepreneurs and makers, we will begin to draft our own ideas for using what we’ve learned in our own communities.
Berlin is the capital of Germany and an EU political and economic leader. Berlin’s unique history will influence our trip as we visit parts of the city formed on both sides of the wall. We will see how the collapse of East Germany has created the perfect conditions for one of the most creative and progressive cities in Europe to flourish.
We will take a “creative tour” of the city, visiting local art galleries, museums, design workshops, and maker-spaces. We will meet with local artists and innovators who are inspired by the city, and learn how the culture of Berlin has evolved to embrace its vivid history. Here, we’ll station ourselves in a local workspace where we can start to design our own projects or unravel the connection between art and history.
On programs in Germany or Czechia, we can add other stops in artistic cities in either country or even a bit further afield. From spending time in Hamburg or even heading further North to the design mecca of Copenhagen, to shorter stops in Dresden, Leipzig, or moving South to Budapest, there are a lot of directions to go for a trip anchored in Berlin & Prague (or even just one of those cities).
From an outcome or project standpoint, the program can be an introduction to art, post-communist expression, or street art specifically. The trip can also be a jumping off point for students to create their own projects or even art pieces. After spending time exploring the movements, history, and creativity in both cities, we can settle into Berlin and get our own work-space for students to create public art pieces inspired by the trip, mentored by locals, and even tested around the city.