Jan 12, 2018 in Analysis

Home Based Project

In 2006, American-Israeli curator, artist extraordinaire and social entrepreneur Anat Liwan decided to start HomeBase Project. Originally founded in the streets of New York City, the non-profit and artist-run venture has crossed five neighborhoods in the United States and Germany. According to their website, their next pit stop is in the heart of the Middle East - the historical and controversial city of Jerusalem. HomeBase Project initially hopes to bridge the gap between "self" and "home". Because the concept of home today is disheveled, HomeBase Project aspires to be the tool that will bring transitional changes into an undernourished urban environment. The brains behind this project strive to infuse contemporary art and cultural cultivation into the everyday local experience, launching the role of art as an educational apparatus for social integration and community development that spans diverse cultures. Every individual involved in this project is an artist and a social entrepreneur who sees home as the groundwork of humanity. Together, they pursue an even greater collective vision for a better society. Thus, the birth of HomeBase Project.

As a site-specific urban art venture, the biggest undertaking of HomeBase Project is the exploration of the notion of home. The specific culture of every neighborhood poses a challenge to the creative team - how to integrate art and social change in the very same spot. Every year HomeBase Project picks a vacant urban site and transforms it into a multi-disciplinary habitat that cultivates interrelatedness in society through contemporary art, while exploring consequential urban living. The creative team aligns their artistic skills and mindset in the same direction as the neighborhood's multicolored culture; thus the "multi-disciplinary habitat" invites the public to connect with modern art and culture via education and research, as an individual and a community, for free. In an attempt to break the walls of alienation from local residents, from each other and from the community they live in, HomeBase Project makes use of their social status, background, and cultural ways in creating a melting pot that promotes freedom of expression to the highest degree. Once the barriers have crumbled, the new pristine environment enables its residents to understand each other and their community better.

The HomeBase Projects has two templates of service at the moment, but expect that more services will be opened to the general public as the project evolves. The first one is their Residency Program for artists all over the world who choose to initiate change and yearn to grow artistically. The program is an invitation to all artists to be part of the team of HomeBase Project. Collectively, they will live in a site and partake in an Artist-in Residency program that consists of dinners and workshops with visiting lecturers that aim to motivate the rediscovery of home in relation to the place, dealing with matters associated to the history of the neighborhood, the structural design of the building, and cultural concepts of home. The second template is a program which is designed for the public. This is the culmination of the hard work of the creative team. Residents are encouraged to visit the building and make the connection. In there, they have the chance to experience a full swing of interactive artistic programming of workshops, events, presentations, lectures, gatherings, open mic sessions and game-playing, revolving around the thoughts of home, featuring partnering organizations, neighborhood, and visiting artists.

The efforts of HomeBase Project have been recognized and applauded in the media. HomeBase Project has gained the attention of giant publications like New York Times and New York Magazine, and has been invited to take part in international events such as the Guggenheim LAB in Germany, Volta Art Fair in Switzerland and United States, and in the approaching Res Artis Conference in Japan. Dubbed as the "New Model for Public Art" this urban site-specific project has come a long way from a mere vision of one artist. Ever since its establishment in 2006, HomeBase Project has restructured a foreclosed property, a former brewery, an unoccupied medical clinic, an open space gallery, and a historical townhouse building located in New York City and Berlin into important cultural and educational podiums. With this accomplishment and a vivid appreciation of the vital cultural necessity that only HomeBase satisfies, their team is expanding and employing a novel approach for creating long-term sustainability and transporting the project to new neighborhoods situated in other parts of the world.

Now at its seventh year, HomeBase is taking a huge leap from the liberal shores of the West and plans to make the same wave of transformation in the conservative East. There is one huge challenging task that awaits the members of the creative team for HomeBase Project Jerusalem. Soon enough, the energy that binds between home, culture and art will be in synch not just sporadically in a few cities but all over the world, fulfilling its greatest task of creating a healthier place to live in for the future generation.

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