When Artists Get Together They Talk About Real Estate: A nine-minute TED talk presented at Pennsylvania State University on March 1, 2015

When Artists Get Together They Talk About Real Estate is now an expanded live presentation,¬† available through the Humanities Washington Speakers’ Bureau¬† through 2018.

The Myth of the Artist as an impractical impoverished, flighty, and irresponsible creature, dreamed up during the Renaissance, has proven to be remarkably persistent, wending its way into contemporary pop culture, news, and everyday conversations.

The “Tortured Artist” stock character is often cast in a standard narrative of Artist vs. Gentrification, as a romanticized victim who faces the destruction of their habitat by a ruthless developer. Tracing the evolution of both the artist stereotype and the habitat-destruction narrative, I’ll relate my own story of upending them both, sparking a discussion about nostalgia, place, the making of culture, and the future of cities.

My presentation is full of entertaining visuals (like spinning newspapers!), inspiring counter-examples, and lively twists and turns. It includes time for discussion about the applicability of these ideas to the host town or city. Non-profit organizations throughout Washington State, including schools, libraries, and community centers, can have my speaking fees covered by Humanities Washington, details here.