Lucia Neare engages with cities, institutions, nonprofits, and communities as a consultant and creative facilitator. As a consultant, Neare’s approach is holistic, collaborative, and idea-positive.
Feel free to contact Lucia about consultancies and creative facilitation for place-making projects, public celebrations, and developing strategies for community engagement.
She facilitates small-and-large-group brainstorming, story sharing, idea making, and reflective workshops for cities, communities, organizations, and businesses. Lucia is also available for public speaking engagements on subjects such as North American Magical Realism, celebratory urbanism, site-specific theatre in the public realm, large-scale collaboration, and creating Civic Magic.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACT Theatre | Seattle, Washington | 2015-2016
For 15 months, Neare was Doris Duke artist-in-residence at Seattle’s ACT Theatre, where she pioneered and led a 20-member cultural think tank comprising artists, technology workers, designers, dreamers, and DIYers. Their research anticipated a wholesale change in the nature of live-theatre production and consumption in the U.S. Indeed, the challenge—of bridging the gaps between the worlds of tech culture and live theatre—provided her and her team an invaluable opportunity to rethink the nature of theatre, narrative, and community and civic life, as well as how urban dwellers create “meaning”in the Digital Age. Theatre Making for Seattle’s Digital Generation is Neare’s 129-page comprehensive report of this 15-month investigation.
City of Redmond | Washington | 2012-2018
Beginning in 2012, Neare served as artist-in-residence for the emerging city of Redmond, Washington, a nexus for so much of the planet’s technology industry. One-quarter of its 60,000 residents are foreign born, and three of every ten households speak a language other than English at home. Neare’s residency was established to expand the role of art in civic life—not only to bring live performances to the community, but also to help Redmond address more serious urban issues, such as the quality of street life, the need to build more cross-cultural community connections, and a rapidly changing municipal identity. As Neare worked with the city to address these issues, she helped its leadership realize that ongoing large-scale, participatory celebration was its most powerful means to inspire social engagement across diverse communities.
In collaboration with the city, Neare’s company created three years of free performances in Redmond, each designed to engage and connect the growing population. These works modeled populist creativity and cultural generosity, addressing civic isolation as they proffered art and celebration as civic priorities. In short, Neare’s work in Redmond repositioned public art from a nice-to-have amenity to a must-have public service whose champions now include the mayor and the city council.
During this time, Neare was directly involved in creating two new public parks in Redmond: the Heron Rookery (whose creation she spearheaded) and Downtown Park. Additionally, in 2015, the Parks Department commissioned her to reimagine the city’s signature 75-year-old summer festival, Derby Days, to make it more relevant and engaging to a 21st-century community.
Neare’s work in Redmond became a six-year partnership, a new model for ways artists can engage long term with cities. “Time and again,” wrote Mayor John Marchione, “Lucia has proven herself a master at blending high art with social engagement to elevate the quality of our city’s life. Lucia is a visionary as well as a leader in the field of temporal urbanism, and I believe her work is redefining the role of the artist in urban life.”
City of Burien | Washington | 2011
In 2011, the Burien Arts Commission invited Neare to collaborate with them for their nascent festival, Arts-A-Glow, heretofore held at the postage-stamp-sized Town Square Park. Neare identified a forsaken gem, Dottie Harper Park, as a potential new site for a more successful annual fall festival. Previously, Dottie Harper Park had an unwholesome reputation, and the Arts Commission believed residents would reject any event held there. However, with Neare's guidance, they expanded the Parade route and moved the entire festival to Dottie Harper Park. With Lullaby for Dottie Harper Park as the centerpiece, 1,100 people attended Arts-A-Glow that year. Today, Arts-A-Glow is Burien’s beloved annual autumn festival—held at Dottie Harper Park.