In January 2018, the Art, Design & Architecture Museum, UC Santa Barbara (AD&A Museum, UCSB) will partner with impactmania and launch a unique collaboration. To cement this partnership, Paksy Plackis-Cheng, impactmania’s founder, is named Senior Fellow of Research and Media.

“We welcome this opportunity to connect the Museum to the rest of UCSB’s richly interdisciplinary and internationally respected academic community and are delighted to know that our student interns will gain invaluable researching, networking and interviewing skills.”   
Bruce Robertson, AD&A Museum Director and Art History Professor

In this partnership, impactmania, an online publication consisting of interviews with key changemakers, will support a number of AD&A Museum projects by interviewing artists, architects and other creative practitioners related to the museum’s exhibitions and collections as well as the larger University. Additionally, impactmania will train undergraduate Museum interns to research, interview, publish and steward the Museum’s and impactmania’s online platforms. In the summer of 2018, the Museum will also help facilitate programming associated with impactmania’s special publication issue, 101 Women of Impact.

Click here for impactmania interview with Suzanne Lacy!

An important centerpiece of the partnership will be a collaboratively-conceived interdisciplinary project focused on the theme of education, considering its future and what is meant when we say we are educating. Plackis-Cheng and selected Museum interns will research and formulate this project in collaboration with other departments on campus. The resulting multi-platform project may include exhibitions, web-based content, talks, workshops and other programs that will examine this issue from multiple perspectives.

impactmania  continues to expand and is eager to partner with a major research University that acts as a catalyst for creativity and innovation. As this online publication was launched at UC Santa Barbara, a Top Ten public university in the country, and over 14% of its interviews are affiliated with this campus, partnering with this institution is a natural outgrowth. impactmania  will be based in the AD&A Museum, UCSB, which acts independently as a hub for interpreting the arts, humanities and sciences as a whole on campus. As part of the multifaceted UCSB community, impactmania  will continue to act as a conduit for sharing original research and thought.

“I am excited to partner with the AD&A Museum, UCSB, including Museum Director, Bruce Robertson; Curator, Elyse Gonzales; Museum team and interns. In this collaboration, we will discuss themes concerning the world’s cultural, social, and economic climate, especially those topics that investigate human relationships with technology, others, and ourselves. I thank the Museum for recognizing impactmania’s original content championing change makers and their multidisciplinary perspectives.”    Paksy Plackis-Cheng, impactmania founder

About impactmania:
From an ambassador to a U.S. Presidential Award winner for her work in STEM, impactmania  is an ongoing online repository of original content containing interviews with some of the most innovative and dynamic global thinkers and doers today. The platform has become a purveyor of ideas that affect our cultural lenses, address societal issues, and rethink our economy globally. One of impactmania's video stories was featured at the United Nations Global Compact Conference 2017. Harvard Business School, University of Southern California, the U.S Consulate, and other institutions have cited impactmania’s original content as a source. In addition, impactmania has a partnership with Newton Paiva University in Brazil offering students an accredited course.

About Paksy Plackis-Cheng:
Paksy Plackis-Cheng (Dutch native) has lived in the USA since 2001. Since impactmania  was launched in 2016, she has interviewed close to 300 impact makers in 20-plus countries across 5 continents. Prior to impactmania, Paksy managed marketing and strategic partnerships in Europe, Middle East, and Africa for startups (through IPO, M&A) and mature tech companies. She has served on half a dozen boards, including two seasons as the Board President of the Santa Barbara Symphony. Paksy Plackis-Cheng is fluent in Dutch, English and Chinese. She graduated from the Erasmus University, Rotterdam,The Netherlands                                                                                                   

impactmania intern, Nicollette Juchum, reviews Still We Rise event!  

In response to recent events, the AD&A Museum and UCSB’s Theater and Dance Department’s, Professor Monique Meunier, hosted Still We Rise, an artistic accumulation of Professor Rick Benjamin’s poems, scenes from Professor Risa Brainin’s Staging the Daffy Dame, and Prof. Meunier’s own choreography and music selections. The event successfully displayed a poignant and artistic social commentary on the negative sentiments directed to immigration and DACA.  DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, allows minors entering the country to remain safe from deportation. DACA’s distribution of a temporary social security number allows those minors to enroll in school and work.With political policies striving for removal of these pro-immigration programs, communities work against this growing distaste towards immigrants. Prof. Meunier’s Still We Rise event was one of many collaborative efforts to raise awareness for immigrant support. Looking through the diverse crowd at the AD&A Museum on both nights of the event, it can be said that, there are supporters everywhere. Seats filled with attentive spectators watching the men and women representing those affected by the current political climates.

The daughter of two immigrants herself, Prof. Meunier had a personal connection to this event. The music played by the violinist and cellist created a melancholy tone, arising feelings of struggle and sadness for the audience. Starting the event with a scene from the play, Staging the Daffy Dame, performed students in Prof. Brainin’s class, two actors performed a piece that revealed the fear and complexity of an undocumented person. This scene outlined the night, telling viewers, the real problems currently recognized. The music coupled with the interpretive dances epitomized the feelings of anguish present in struggling newcomers to the United States. Prof. Meunier explained the tone of this music and dance to be one that, “made [the crowd] feel the feelings I felt as a little girl, the anxiety, the fear, the hope, depression.” The spoken poetry as read by Prof. Benjamin furthered the overall theme of the struggle faced by immigrants. Reciting two of his own poems, as well as “Prospective Immigrants Please Note” by Adrienne Rich, “At the Cemetery at Walnut Grove Plantation, South Carolina, 1989” by Lucille Clifton, and ended with a piece by Nelson Mandela. Prof. Benjamin stirred the audience, raising issues in the poems that addressed those that were demeaned, silenced, and frightened due to current events.

All the contributors to this event wanted those present to have, “more awareness of what it would be like to feel threatened” according to Prof. Brainin, to “leave with a double consciousness and a greater understanding for multiple perspectives” as mentioned by Prof. Benjamin, and as stated by Prof. Meunier, “to embrace diversity because it is what makes us powerful.”  Concluding this event, the dancers collectively recited a poem by Maya Angelou, Still I Rise, the inspiration to the title of the event, Still We Rise, and the event itself. The dancer’s final collective exclamation of “I rise” reminded those present that through the trials and tribulations, progress will come.


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