Stephanie Elyse Sherman

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art & social change research residencies // Washington DC // director of research projects // july 2012 - today //

Provisions Library is an art and social change research center that activates a 6,000+ collection of books as context, resource, and background for creative social change projects. As Director of Research from 2010-2013, I collaborated with Executive Director Don Russell to found Provision’s Research Residency program, which nurtures social change research across the capital by national and district artists. The inaugural program hosted four seasonal projects: Parks & Passages (abandoned infrastructure in capital cities), Republic (voting, democracy), Copy Rights (intellectual property), and The Case for Space (outer space politics). Bringing together 3 national and 1 local social change researcher, residencies supported creative research in partnership with area institutions and organizations. Projects resulted in public talks, experimental events, exhibitions, and a series of four free digital catalogs published by Provisional Research-- a journal presenting art and social change inquiries and creative research methods. Many of the research projects initiated in DC have blossomed into national projects that advance creative social change strategies and information. The residency continues to support artists and their research throughout the capital. As Research Director, I also worked with Provisions and Floating Lab Collective on the Cordel Literature Project, which considered the Brazilian tradition of small books of pamphlets and illustrated woodcuts as a medium for storytelling and D-I-Y learning. I also rebuilt Provisions website to make Provisional information more explicit, user-friendly, and available to audiences. In a new location housed at the School of Art at George Mason University, I helped Provisions integrate creative research into the curriculum--bringing conceptual, socially-conscious, social practice to department visioning, fundamentals teaching, curricula development, and inter-disciplinary collaborations across the university, while forging new nomadic relationships with district institutions. I continue to collaborate with the library, considering new configurations for learning, planning, and socializing around the future of the capital, nation, and globe.