2007, Sat, Oct 20

Creative Milieus and Community Actors

New York - Berlin: Cultural Diversity in Urban Space

Times Square, New York | (c) Frank Paul

Times Square, New York | (c) Frank Paul

Metropolises are always biotopes for creative processes. How can this potential be used to counter the disintegration of the populations of, especially, socio-economically depressed urban areas? Approaches and programmes of the Bronx Council on the Arts will be compared with similar initiatives in Berlin.


With William Aguado (Bronx Council on the Arts) and Thomas Helfen

Moderated by Doreen Jakob (Center for Metropolitan Studies, Berlin/New York)


William Aguado is the executive director of the Bronx Council on the Arts (BCA). A graduate of Hunter College, he received an MA from Fordham University. He is also on the board of the Association of Hispanic Arts. Recognized nationally as a leading arts service organization in providing cultural services and arts programs, BCA serves a multicultural constituency in excess of 1.2 million residents. Their mission is to encourage and increase the public's awareness and participation in the arts, and to nurture the development of artists and arts and cultural organizations.


Thomas Helfen is an area manager of the Flughafenstrassen Neighborhood Management in Berlin-Neukölln since 2005. From 1999 until 2005 he worked for the Boxhagener Platz Neighborhood Management in Berlin-Friedrichshain. He studied urban and regional planning at Technical University in Berlin and at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in England. He was part of ENTRUST (Empowering Neighbourhoods through Recourse and Synergies with Trade), a European network of urban policy makers, practitioners, and researchers launched in 2002. He is a PhD candidate at Technical University of Brandenburg in Cottbus, where he works on his doctoral dissertation entitled Economic developement in disadvantaged neighborhoods.


Doreen Jakob studied urban politics and urban sociology at the City University of New York Graduate Center as well as geography, sociology, and economics at Humboldt University in Berlin. Later she worked at the Center for an Urban Future, a New Yorker think tank, where she focused on creative industries and considerably contributed to the publications Creative Engine and Creative NYC. She is currently working on her dissertation titled: The Development of Intra-Metropolitan Creative Industries Clusters in New York City and Berlin, in which she analyzes, among others, creative industries in the South Bronx and in the Berlin district of Wedding. Doreen Jakob is a DFG fellow at the Center for Metropolitan Studies in Berlin and a visiting scholar at New York University.


The conference is a joint event of the House of World Cultures and the Center for Metropolitan Studies, Berlin/New York.


Concept: Susanne Stemmler (Center for Metropolitan Studies) and Sven Arnold (House of World Cultures)