PAC Will Now be the People’s Art Collective!

Today I take the opportunity to announce that the construction on the Public Affairs Center is going so well that we want to radically change the use of the building. We have discovered through an iterative process making use of design thinking that the faculty are very happy (ok, somewhat less unhappy) with the temporary offices they have been in during the renovation of the PAC. And we have also discovered that we have plenty of classrooms for the courses on the books. So, we are announcing that for the next several years (at least) the PAC will be a showcase for architecture and art! We won’t move into the building next year – we will use it as a place to look at art, admire architecture, and be inspired to build community without having to occupy the building. Indeed, we will reject the certificate of occupancy process imposed on us by the state. We will BE the People’s Art Collective!

For some, it will seem very wasteful that a construction project of this size results only in a place for contemplation, absorption and community building. But ask yourselves whether your notions of utility and waste are linked to normative notions of occupation that haven’t exactly served people well over the course of history. Ask yourselves.

Together, we will liberate the PAC by making it the People’s Art Collective!

10 thoughts on “PAC Will Now be the People’s Art Collective!”

  1. Wesleyan is unusual. I loved that about it when I was a student. I am now too distant from campus to be excited by this decision. That makes it clear that I have no basis for criticism. Travel is not an available option for me currently, so I await the reports which this change of plans will generate. Thank you for making me feel included.

  2. Fascinating concept if it is allowed to free up space for contemplation, meditation, challenging accepted norms of perception, frameworks of thought regarding, among other things, public space and its social use. Stay aspirational.
    If it is narrowed to purposive goal orientation, you might as well tear it all down.

  3. If the PAC was in fact even partially funded by donors responding to the “ask” for gifts for a public affairs center, then the University has a problem with and likely violated donor intent. Furthermore, whatever the faculty feels about their officing has no relevance to the planned, intended use of the new building. Moreover, during this time when public affairs and policy-making are in near chaos, all the more makes the case for keeping and adhering to the original intent for the building. Before this I thought the University had a commitment to honoring its past. Now that’s up in the air. Seward Dean Schooler, Jr. ’63.

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