About Civic Action

A Collaboration between The Noguchi Museum and Socrates Sculpture Park. Artists Natalie Jeremijenko, Mary Miss, Rirkrit Tiravanija invited to study and re-envision Long Island City. Exhibitions curated by Amy Smith-Stewart.


Natalie Jeremijenko conceives of a Long Island City in new urban system as BioDiverCITY, ComplexCITY, and SynchroniCITY.

Mary Miss introduces the City as Living Laboratory (CaLL) as a framework to make sustainability tangible through the arts.

Rirkrit Tiravanija proposes a Greenway to connect the Subway to Socrates and along Vernon between Socrates and Noguchi.

George Trakas envisions a connected Waterfront for the community.

Submitted by the Education Staff of The Noguchi Museum

The Noguchi Museum’s Teen Advisory Board (TAB) is a group of up to 12 teens who engage in a project that serves the Museum, reaches out to teens, and relates to the Museum’s exhibitions.  When Civic Action opened in Fall 2011, TAB members spent time in the exhibition, in particular studying Rirkrit Tiravanija’s proposal for greening the stretch of Broadway which runs between 30th street and Vernon Boulevard, in Long Island City, Queens.  Teens were then asked to create their own project that engaged the Long Island City Community, on Broadway between the Museum and the subway.

While TAB projects change every year, these projects always follow a few structural guidelines:


Submitted by Gabriella Kula, MA Candidate in Museum Education, Bank Street College

I often hear people wonder about whether their acts of service will truly make a difference in the world.  People say, “It’s not like my working in a soup kitchen is going to end hunger.” Or, “My recycling habits won’t be the reason that global warming is halted or perpetuated!”  Such allegations are difficult to respond to, because while it is true that one act of service will not change the entire world, there is some feeling that contrary to popular belief, changing the entire world isn’t necessarily the goal a given service project.

There are several models one can use to respond to the dilemma described above, (and in fact, it might be beneficial to have a conversation on this subject with your class before beginning a service project):

1)      “Pay it forward”:  This model is all about karma, and not just because karma is circular, but because when we disseminate good energy, the world begins to heal, even if not in measurable terms.

2)      “Do it for you”:  Service is partially about the person who is doing it.  People naturally reap benefit (in the form of self-esteem) from assisting others.