Temple Contemporary Advisory Council

Temple Contemporary's programming is determined by a thirty-five member advisory council representing a broad spectrum of Philadelphia. This volunteer council is comprised of neighboring high school and Temple students, faculty and civic leaders representing a range of interests (economists, farmers, philosophers, artists, community activists, historians, etc.). To each of our public Advisory Council meetings every adviser brings one question of local relevance and international significance that they do not know the answer to. After all of the questions are discussed, the council votes for the questions that are anticipated to creatively address Philadelphia’s greatest social and cultural needs.  The number of votes a question receives is proportional to the amount of resources (money, time, events) Temple Contemporary devotes to the programming addressing the questions. 

We engage with these questions the way two people of mutual respect enter a conversation.  Therefore, there is no way of knowing when or how our commitment to these questions will end.  It is a process of becoming.  The extent of the public’s participation in these questions (determined by audiences, web hits, discussions) is the deciding factor of how long we continue to address a question through public programming.  By forcing ourselves into a public position of service to these questions it has necessitated a fundamental power shift, and mandates that the gallery recognize social engagement as the determining factor of our public programming. This re-ordering of conventional gallery values necessitates a foregrounding of curatorial accountability, reciprocity, and exchange that forms the basis of Temple Contemporary’s social life, and by extension, our social values.
The two questions we are currently working on are:

"What does it mean to be counted? Who counts?"
“Up to $40 billion dollars will be reapportioned in accordance with the upcoming census. Based on the significant undercounting of Philadelphia’s disinvested neighborhoods in the 2010 census, this city is now cited as one of the most at risk counties in the state to be undercounted in the 2020 census.  How can we hold onto the histories and communities of our proud neighborhoods while living in one of the United States’ most rapidly gentrifying cities? Questions of citizenship, belonging and displacement are prevalent throughout Philadelphia and our nation’s borders.  Recognizing that culture often leads policy, how can we as cultural producers lead in the effort to recognize, honor, and show who counts?”

“What is play?”
Why is play only acceptable up until a certain age?  Can we play through hard things? Can play be used as a tool to think through something else?  At what age do we turn play into a commodity?  What is the age that you need to have gear to play? How can we play more in work?  Unleash people in their office. How do you assess play? What does it mean to introduce and create play in difficult environments?  Race has a role in play.  Playing quietly is different from loud play and it is interpreted differently in regards to race.  How can this be re-interpreted?  Our public education system is struggling to learn from play – taking out recess, gym, music and art class.  Increasingly maturity is being falsely equated with a seriousness that is devoid of play and being playful. You can’t wear cat sweaters. 

2019 Advisory Council

Temple University Programming Advisory Council – High School Students

  • Sania Ashanti, Franklin Learning Center

  • Zanett Davila, Philadelphia Military Academy

  • Luis Omar Padilla Perez, Franklin Learning Center

  • Isabel Shoemaker, Franklin Learning Center

Temple University Programming Advisory Council – Temple Students

  • Olivia Reed - Media Studies

  • Quinton Maldonado - Tyler School of Art and Architecture

  • Aurea Castro - Tyler School of Art and Architecture

  • Edward Poneman - Tyler School of Art and Architecture

  • Kathryn Lyons - University Studies

Temple University Programming Advisory Council – Temple Faculty/Staff

  • Hillel Hoffmann - Assistant Dean for Strategic Communications, Tyler School of Art and Architecture

  • Kathleen Grady - Director, Office of Sustainability

  • Nyron Crawford - Department of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts

  • Jesse Harrod - Program Head, Fiber & Material Studies, Tyler School of Art and Architecture

  • Ruth Ost - Senior Director of Honors Program

  • Sara Goldrick-Rab - Professor of Higher Education Policy and Sociology

  • Celia Feinstein - Director Institute on Disabilities

Temple University Programming Advisory Council – Philadelphia Civic Leaders

  • Val Gay - Chief Deputy Director for Audience Engagement & Chief Experience Officer, Barnes Foundation

  • Denise Brown - Executive Director, The Leeway Foundation

  • Donta Daniels - Youth Advisory Council Co-Director, Temple Contemporary

  • Aida Villaneuva - Youth Advisory Council Co-Director, Temple Contemporary

  • Aislinn Pentecost-Farren - artist, Philadelphia

  • Daniel Tucker - Graduate Program Director, Assitant Professor, Moore College of Art & Design

  • Jennifer Kates - Chief of Staff, Councilwoman Helen Gym

  • Nyseem Smith - community organizer

  • Kira Strong - Deputy Director of Design and Construction, reBuild Philly

  • Tiffany Taverez - Vice President and Community Relations Senior Consultant, Wells Fargo

  • Koofreh Umoren - Musician, West Philadelphia Orchestra

  • Homer Jackson, Director, The Philadelphia Jazz Project

  • Yinka Orafidiya - artist, Philadelphia