Art in the New City: Stephen Zacks

Terri Smith

May 23, 6:00 PM–7:30 PM

Join Franklin Street Works at the Stamford Innovation Center on Thursday, May 23, from 6:00 – 7:30 pm for “Art in the New City,” a talk by Brooklyn-based journalist, reporter and founder of the Flint Public Art Project, Stephen Zacks. Currently, Zacks is writing A Beautiful Ruin: The Generation that Transformed New York: 1967 – 1986. He will share his insights informed by a unique combination of historical research and hands-on experience to indicate how practices of public art and design can be put at the service of contemporary city-making. With Connecticut’s recent emphasis on ideas of “placemaking,” this is a highly anticipated conversation that will contribute to the regional dialogue about how contemporary art can invigorate towns and cities.

The talk will take place at the Stamford Innovation Center, located at the Old Town Hall, which is a new entrepreneurial hub in Stamford striving to create community-driven space and encouraging the free exchange of ideas and resources for start-up businesses. The perfect backdrop for Stephen Zacks’ talk on innovative urban art practices, the Stamford Innovation Center will join Franklin Street Works in hosting this free, public event.

As the Director of the Flint Public Art Project (FPAF), Stephen Zacks was one of three collaborators invited to participate in Franklin Street Works’ current exhibition, Strange Invitation (April 6 – June 16). This original Franklin Street Works show examines some of the relationships between art and activism that are happening around the country today. Zacks invited the emerging Flint artist collective Flower Tour to collaborate with him for the exhibition. Flower Tour blends fashion, performance, video and installation to bring color and excitement into public spaces. Their project is an extension of the FPAF’s mission, which, according to Zacks “draws on multiple artistic disciplines in an effort to transform the city’s image and identity, activate disused sites, connect places, and amplify the local culture.”


Flint Public Art Project founder and executive director Stephen Zacks is an internationally recognized architecture and urbanism reporter, theorist, and

1cultural producer based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and a native of Flint, Michigan. He received an M.A. in Liberal Studies from the New School for Social Research, served as an editor of Metropolis, and has received awards from the NY State Council on the Arts, Newtown Creek Fund, Graham Foundation, ArtPlace, MacDowell Colony, and the Warhol Foundation. Co-founder of the Bring to Light– Nuit Blanche New York festival, he is currently writing A Beautiful Ruin: The Generation that Transformed New York, 1967-1986, a nonfiction narrative about the role of contemporary artists in reinvigorating New York neighborhoods during the mid-70s fiscal crisis (Princeton Architectural Press, 2014).


Featuring coworking, dedicated offices, conference facilities and a comprehensive slate of startup-centric classes and events, the Stamford Innovation Center, which opened in November 2012, is the ideal place for young enterprises to grow and interact with peers, mentors, investors, industry experts and service providers. For information on how to join our community, please visit