Johanna K. Taylor is an assistant professor at The Design School and program director of the Herberger Institute’s transdisciplinary Creative Enterprise and Cultural Leadership MA program. She received a doctorate in public and urban policy at The New School and master's in arts management at Carnegie Mellon. She has taught classes in community engagement, cultural policy, urban studies, socially engaged art, and urban research methods. Her work is grounded in a core value of art as catalyzing force in advancing justice in daily life, and her research explores questions of cultural equity through the intersection of art, community, policy, and place. As an arts administrator and programmer, she worked at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, BRIC Arts|Media, and A Blade of Grass among other organizations. Before joining ASU, she was a Creative Cities Fellow at Stanford University.
Her book The Art Museum Redefined: Power, Opportunity, and Community Engagement (2020) explores the shifting agendas of art museums as they begin to look beyond gallery walls to more intentionally collaborate with their local communities. The book draws on global examples of museums that extend beyond their typical roles of organizing exhibitions and collections to build dedicated partnerships with artists, community organizers, local organizations, community development organizations, business improvement districts, city officials, and others. The book finds that cooperation is critical to build a community practice, requiring museums to disrupt organizational hierarchies by sharing decision making power with artists and communities.
She is currently working on a collaborative research project about artists embedded in government in the United States that connect art practices in non arts contexts to advance civic goals. The project involves building typologies of artist in residence programs within government agencies currently operating in the United States as well as of artists’ approaches to collaborating with and working within government. This public research has resulted in articles for academic audiences as well as for government staff. It is also an integral part of CAIR Lab, a collaboration with Mallory Rukhsana Nezam and Amanda Lovelee that supports artists-in-residence in government through research, public speaking and launching new programs in collaboration with government staff, artists, and communities. We are an interdisciplinary team with professional experience as artists, researchers, arts managers, and government administrators.
She is community engagement advisor for borderless, a global media platform connecting local communities for social change through civicly engaged pop culture.