Ballroom Marfa Art Fund


Announcing Marfa Dialogues/NY

16 Jul 2013


Marfa Dialogues/NY to Debut in New York City this Fall

Interdisciplinary Project Brings Together Over 20 Leading Cultural, Academic and Advocacy Organizations Citywide To Address Climate Change in Art, Activism and Science.

June 27, 2013: The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Ballroom Marfa and the Public Concern Foundation will bring the Marfa Dialogues to New York in October-November 2013 as part of a continuing examination of climate change science, environmental activism and artistic practice.

Marfa Dialogues/NY will feature two months of programming including community forums, art exhibitions, musical performance and environmental panels, all accessible to the public and available via broadcast and digital media. Ballroom Marfa will present an art exhibition of environmentally-engaged works at the Rauschenberg Foundation Project Space (455 W. 19th Street in Chelsea), and will orchestrate additional events with Marfa Dialogues program partners at that location.

A calendar of events will be available in August at, along with ongoing context and discussion for participants. For more about previous Marfa Dialogues, see

Through program grants provided by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Marfa Dialogues/NY establishes 18 programs radiating across New York. Programming partners include:

The Carbon Tax Center; The Center for Social Inclusion; Columbia University’s Earth Institute; Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate & Society; Cooper Union’s Institute for Sustainable Development; Gallery Aferro; High Line Art; IMC Lab & Gallery; Joe’s Pub at Public Theater; Mary Miss/City as a Living Laboratory; Materials for the Art; New School’s Center for New York City Affairs; NRDC; Sculpture Center; Socrates Sculpture Park; Storefront for Art & Architecture; Superhero Clubhouse and Triple Canopy.

Marfa Dialogues was co-founded in 2010 by Fairfax Dorn of Ballroom Marfa, a leading contemporary arts center in Far West Texas, and Hamilton Fish of The Public Concern Foundation (PCF), a New York non-profit devoted to the advancement of public education around social and political topics. Marfa Dialogues was originally conceived as a symposium to broaden public exploration of the intersection of art, politics and culture. The first Marfa Dialogues addressed issues of the US-Mexico border region where Ballroom Marfa was founded in 2003. The symposium ran simultaneously with the Ballroom Marfa exhibition In Lieu of Unity.

In 2012, with the support of an AIC grant from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the second Marfa Dialogues program considered the science and culture of climate change, with Michael Pollan, Rebecca Solnit and Dr. Diana Liverman leading discussions concurrently with Carbon 13, a visual arts exhibition curated by David Buckland of Cape Farewell and presented at Ballroom Marfa.

“We found that the participation of artists in the public discussion of climate change – and in general in the public examination of all social issues – expanded the conversation and made it more accessible,” said Hamilton Fish, President of PCF and co-founder of Marfa Dialogues.

“Marfa Dialogues generated a tremendous public response in rural Texas,” said Fairfax Dorn, co-founder of Marfa Dialogues and Executive Director of Ballroom Marfa. “Our next step was to bring the project to New York, to inspire arts organizations here to engage the challenge of climate change in their work, and The Rauschenberg Foundation made that possible.”

“It was only one year ago we collaborated with the Warhol Foundation and Lambent Foundation to provide emergency grants following Superstorm Sandy. Now collaborating with Ballroom Marfa and the Public Concern Foundation allows us to address this problem of climate change proactively,” said Christy MacLear, Executive Director of The Rauschenberg Foundation. “Bob was an evangelist for environmental concerns early on, and through Marfa Dialogues/NY we can help extend this important discussion within the arts community and to the larger public.”

Marfa Dialogues/NY will produce a website featuring a calendar of these events taking place in NYC during the run of the project, as well as providing ongoing context and discussion for participants.

For more information, please visit the following websites:

For media inquiries, contact:
Heidi Overbeck, BerlinRosen Public Affairs
[email protected]

For all other information, contact:
[email protected]