BUREAU of CHANGE is an education-centric lab for real art practice in New Orleans. We create, curate and exhibit socially and politically engaged work.
BUREAU of CHANGE was founded by Margot Herster with a group of her former students and recent graduates from Louisiana State University. Originating out of dissatisfaction with higher education, particularly in arts and media, BUREAU developed into a new school in the form of an atelier-style studio. A diverse group—established artists and designers, paid student apprentices and young artists, scholars and community experts, and the public—interact to create.
Our objectives are influenced by the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Art Project implemented during the Great Depression. We harken a a lost but not forgotten era when the government stimulated jobs in the arts by employing artists to create public works and subsidizing community education centers that offered training in arts skills applicable to industrial jobs of the time. Our process commissions artists and non-artists to collaborate on creative works aimed at inciting institutional change while studying social technology, digital media theory, interdisciplinary research and artistic production.
BUREAU of CHANGE produces exhibitions, participatory and site-specific experiences, workshops and public programming, made-for-internet works, and collaborations with local and international institutions for commissioned projects. We regularly present work at art institutions and other community-accessible spaces, as well as US/IS, our public art space at Gravier & Magazine Streets in downtown New Orleans. We also host context specific pop-up installations and events in our flexible working space in the Bywater arts district.