XTCA Symposium and XTCA Art Parade

Saturday, September 22

Cross Town Contemporary Art

Symposium: 10 a.m. ‒ 4 p.m. / John W. Olver Design Building, UMass

Art Parade: 4 – 5 p.m. / Begins at the Haigis Mall, in front of the Fine Arts Center and follows the route of the XTCA Exhibition
The Symposium is free and open to the public, but registration is necessary; click HERE for online registration.


On Saturday September 22nd, the museum will present a full day event: The XTCA Symposium and Art Parade. The goal of this programming is to engage the “town and gown” by generating a robust public dialogue about the value of art and culture in building community. The Symposium will be introduced by co-curators of XTCA, Loretta Yarlow, UMCA Director, and Sandy Litchfield, Assistant Professor from the Department of Architecture. The keynote speaker is Jennifer Delos Reyes, Associate Director of the School of Art & Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her talk, “We Need to Know Where We Have Been to Know Where We Are Going,” will focus on the interest in socially-engaged art in the contemporary art world and will lay out a parallel history of social art and social movements, propose methodologies, and speculate on the future of the field – including the impact of the XTCA exhibition.

The following panel discussions feature artists and architects from the XTCA exhibition in conversation with local artists, organizers, cultural producers and community leaders about the challenges and potential of art to activate community – using examples from the artists’ previous projects and XTCA. The symposium’s final panel will examine the possibilities that exist in Amherst specifically for including art as a vital part of our communities’ future. Please see the Symposium schedule below for more details. The XTCA Art Parade, organized by Elizabeth Pangburn, Co-Artistic Director of TheatreTruck, is a celebratory public walk along the route of the XTCA exhibition. Led by professional theater artists, dancers and musicians, the parade is open to all and will take immediately following the XTCA Symposium. The Parade connects with the mission of XTCA to reimagine the North Pleasant Street corridor as a celebratory and connective space.

Parade artists include Double Edge Theatre, Michi Wiancko, Contemporary Dance with Terre Vandale, The Lily’s Revenge Flowers, Katherine Adler and Joe Deluth, SmallPuppet Theater, Mr Arron Musical Accordian, EmilyDickinsonSquared, and TheatreTruck, among others. Symposium attendees, Amherst residents, 5-College students and faculty, and community groups from across our region are invited to join the artists in creating this participatory event. The parade will be colorful, musical, and a joyful expression of our community. Participants are encouraged to come in costume, carry flags, balloons and other colorful visual props.

XTCA Symposium Schedule

10:00am                           Acknowledgements and thanks • Loretta Yarlow, UMCA Director
Welcome • Sandy Litchfield Assistant Professor Department of Architecture
10:15am Featured Speaker • Jen Delos Reyes

Jen Delos Reyes is a creative laborer, educator, radical community arts organizer, and author of countless emails. She is the director and founder of Open Engagement, an artist-led initiative committed to expanding the dialogue around and serving as a site of care for the field of socially engaged art. Delos Reyes currently lives and works in Chicago, where she is the Associate Director of the School of Art and Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago
11:15am Community Building: Art as a Generative Force
Moderator Niko Vicario with Joseph Krupczynski, Erika Zekos, Pamela Matsuda-Dunn, Pasqualina Azzarello, and Double Edge Theatre
12:30pm LUNCH BREAK / Flag-making workshop in the Fine Arts Center Lobby *
1:30pm Placemaking: Activating Space with Art
Moderator Sonja Drimmer with Josephine Halvorson, Roberley Bell, Tim Rohan, Jon Lott, and Rob Swainston
2:45pm Speculative Futures
Moderators Carol Ross and Tony Maroulis with Carolina Aragon, Naomi Darling, Sarah Braman, and Eric Broudy
4:00 pm XTCA Art Parade! Meet at Haigis Mall, in front of the Fine Arts Center. Led by participants of Double Edge Theatre along the XTCA Exhibition Route.



*Prior to the Parade, UMCA will host free, public flag making workshops led by Rory Valentine in the FAC Atrium from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. and from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. All materials will be provided. The participants of this workshop are encouraged to join the parade and carry their flag high.

The XTCA Symposium and XTCA Art Parade is made possible with the generous support of the Five College Lecture Fund, Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mt. Holyoke College, and West Branch Capital.

Click for a map and more details about the XTCA Exhibition