I’m Megan Dickerson. As an artist, exhibit developer, and playworker, I partner with individuals and groups to develop spaces where play might happen. Typically, I operate in the spaces in-between: the nooks and crannies where play may happen naturally. Places like:
Much of my work in the past twelve years has focused on kids and families, at Boston Children’s Museum, MASS MoCA, the Peabody Essex Museum, and historic sites. I am currently Director of Exhibitions at the New Children’s Museum, an innovative space that enables playful experiences through immersion in contemporary art. In all of my work, I pair inexpensive materials and low barriers to entry with extraordinary thoughtfulness and community investment. Kids and adults equally deserve creative and restorative places to play; it is my mission to create play(spaces) that lead to connections between people who, otherwise, would not connect.
I am grateful to be part of multiple networks of serious players who bridge art, design, urban planning, social protest, psychology and more. For a little more background on that community, check out the archived website of the Berwick Research Institute, the arts collective I helped organize for six years. In addition to my research in Play and Playwork at the University of Gloucestershire, I’m also a co-founder of the Center for Design + Play, a group that convenes folks from the worlds of game design, cognitive psychology, interior and landscape design, tourism and much, much more. Join us here as we go back up the “side hill” to see space in new and relational ways:
When we are children, people show us so many things that we lose the profound sense of seeing. Seeing and showing are phenomenologically in violent antithesis. And just how can adults show us the world they have lost! They know; they think they know; they say they know…They demonstrate to the child that the earth is round, that it revolves around the sun. And the poor dreaming child has to listen to all that! What a release for your reverie when you leave the classroom to go back up the side hill, your side hill! What a cosmic being the dreaming child is! (Bachelard 1969: 27)
You can download my bio here.
For selected press/media pieces on my work, visit:
Boston Globe, October 25, 2012: Halloween at Home
IMLS Project Profiles, January 2012: Boston Children’s Museum Finds Community is Great Teacher
The Art of Participation, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Boston Foundation and Wallace Foundation: Game On: Boston Children’s Museum Tests Models of Multilingual Family Outreach
NPR, August 5, 2010: Looking Out: On Bumpkin Island, It’s ‘Survivor’ For Artists
Boston Phoenix, September 9, 2009: Willy Wonka in Smellovision, the Scent of the Times (which describes the project as “a sensual adaptation resembling a Gwar concert, Comic-Con, and a 1986 Gallagher show.”)
Boston Globe, August 30, 2008: Artists colonize a harbor outpost
Washington Post, September 11, 2007: Filmed in Cine-Aroma: Smellovision Returns
Daily Bruin, June 8, 2001: Exhibition to take closer look at sideline scribbles
Consider this an electronic play bow. Want to talk about playful communities? Use the contact form below to get started.
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