The Aspen Ideas Festival presents Ideas for the Future: Art, Media, and Race. Featuring Adam Lerner, Amanda Michel, Gustavo Arellano, and Matt Thompson -- four pioneers delivering a high-speed download from the frontier of their fields. From detonating the conventions of the museum world to examining Mexican food as a cultural vector to creating the post-blog future of political media, the ideas presented in this session are one step ahead of the national conversation."
Gustavo Arellano is the editor of OC Weekly, an alternative newspaper in Orange County, California, author of Orange County: A Personal History and Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, and lecturer with the Chicana and Chicano Studies department at California State University, Fullerton. He writes "¡Ask a Mexican!," a nationally syndicated column in which he answers any and all questions about America's spiciest and largest minority. The column has a weekly circulation of over 2 million in 39 newspapers across the United States, won the 2006 and 2008 Association of Alternative Weeklies award for Best Column, and was published in book form by Scribner Press in May 2007. Arellano has been the subject of press coverage in national and international newspapers, The Today Show, Hannity, Nightline, Good Morning America, and The Colbert Report, and his commentaries regularly appear on Marketplace and the Los Angeles Times. Gustavo is the recipient of the Los Angeles Press Club's 2007 President's Award and an Impacto Award from the National Hispanic Media Coalition, and was recognized by the California Latino Legislative Caucus with a 2008 Spirit Award for his "exceptional vision, creativity, and work ethic." Gustavo is a lifelong resident of Orange County and is the proud son of two Mexican immigrants, one whom was illegal.
Adam Lerner is director and chief animator of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (MCA Denver). In 2004, he founded The Laboratory of Art and Ideas at Belmar (The Lab) to explore the changing nature of art and museums and, in 2009, The Lab merged with MCA Denver when Lerner took the helm of the museum. According to a recent article in The New York Times, Lerner’s work at MCA Denver is “reshaping what has become a stale model for a contemporary art museum.” He is the author of a book about unauthenticated art forthcoming from Princeton Architectural Press.
Alexis Madrigal is the editor-in-chief at Fusion. He was a senior editor at The Atlantic and a staff writer at Wired. He’s the author of “Powering the Dream” and a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley.
Amanda Michel is open editor for the Guardian US and a co-founder of SparkCamp. Recently she worked at ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative newsroom, where she was awarded a Knight-Batten Special Distinction Award for her crowdsourcing projects. New York Magazine named Michel one of the top new media innovators. Prior to ProPublica, Michel directed Huffington Post’s OffTheBus, for which she was credited by New York Magazine with “crafting the genre of citizen journalism.” Before working in media, she directed Howard Dean’s youth organizing effort Generation Dean and belonged to John Kerry’s Internet team. With colleagues, she co-founded the New Organizing Institute.
Founder, Longshot Magazine, Foodprint Project, and Editor Emeritus at Inhabitat
Matt Thompson is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com.