The Great Central Depot in the Open City

Due to Rain Forecast for June 5 & 6

We will have an indoor installation and event June 5 at the

Open City Workshop at XL Projects (307 S. Cinton Street, Syracuse) (map)


In the mid-19th Century, Syracuse, New York, was central to the anti-slavery movement in the United States. Called the “Great Central Depot,” its residents, and those of the surrounding region, helped thousands of individuals escape slavery. Jermaine Loguen, a local Reverend and station master in the Underground Railroad, called Syracuse an “Open City” because he and fellow abolitionists spoke and published anti-slavery sentiments while openly providing sanctuary for freedom-seekers.

The Open City Workshop, held at XL Project Space, OPEN CITY WORKSHOP * May 17-June 4, 2010 * 307 Clinton Street, will be open to the public for three weeks of discussions, workshops and brainstorming (see schedule below). The discussions will be shared on Redhouse Radio, through video recordings and ultimately used to create Open City animations featured in a public presentation. This culminating one night, community event will respond to the question, "Is Syracuse an Open City today? What would it mean to move Loguen's Open City from the realm of metaphor to a lived reality today?"

The three weeks of open workshops will culminate in a spectacular public event.


Participate, Discuss & Create OPEN CITY WORKSHOP * May 17-June 4, 2010 * 307 Clinton Street (map) Open Tuesday to Sunday noon - 6pm

Photos from the Workshop.

May 18 6pm - Open Access, Open Art - discussion with Community Folk Art Center Brenda Cave-James will open the evening with a story relating to liberty and Jermaine Loguen. The discussion participants include: Dr. Kheli Willets, Academic Director of Community Folk Art Center, Dr. James Rolling, Chair of Art Education at Syracuse University, Rachael Gazdick, Executive Director of Say Yes Syracuse, Kimberley McCoy, ArtRage Gallery, Joanna Spitzner, founder of the Art School in the Art School, and the Spectres of Liberty collective.

May 19 7pm - Open Movement - discussion about boundaries and mobility Caroline Kim, Aly Wane, Meaghan Chapman, and Kafui Attoh live, work, study, play, and organize in Syracuse. They will be talking about how the freedom to move and freedom to stay put relate transportation justice, immigrant rights, and LGBT communities in Syracuse. This will be facilitated by research and writer Jenna Loyd.

May 20 7pm - Open Options - discussion about Civil Rights & CORE in Syracuse with Kendall Phillips

May 23 4pm - Open Economy Ice Cream Social - sponsored by Milk Not Jails with FREE! Families Rally for Emancipation & Empowerment and locally produced ice cream. MILK NOT JAILS asserts, “If rural NY’s economic survival depends on my habits, I’d rather drink their milk than send my child to their prison.” It is both a consumer campaign to support New York’s dairy industry and a political campaign to advocate for criminal justice and agricultural policy reform that brings positive economic growth. MILK NOT JAILS insists that bad criminal justice policy should not be the primary economic development plan for rural, upstate NY.

May 29 10pm - Open House Party! with DJ Jesse Stiles

May 24-June 4 Open Sessions - lunchtime interviews & discussions - contact us if you would like to be involved.

Spectacular Outdoor Public Art Event The Great Central Depot in the Open City * June 5, 2010 * Lipe Art Park (map) (Near corner of Fayette & Seneca; Rain Date: June 6, 2010)


Open City readingsJermaine Loguen pamphlet Pamphlet folding instructions

Partners for this project include the Community Folk Art Center, The Matilda Joslyn Gage Home and the Art School in the Art School. This variable media art work is made possible, in part by the Franklin Furnace Fund supported by Stimulus funds from the New York State Council on the Arts a state agency and the Lambent Foundation. This project is made possible with Funds from New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Grant Program, a State Agency and the Cultural Resources Council a Region Arts Council.