Curator and Cultural Strategist
I collaborate with arts organizations, businesses and municipalities to support and transform their work. My strategy, planning and curatorial work sets the stage for big ideas to take shape. Working as a Cultural Strategist, I design processes that are tailored to clients’ needs, both rooted in reality and pushing towards aspiration. This includes writing public art plans, designing and facilitating community engagement processes and strategies, conducting evaluation, guiding clients through strategic planning and reporting. My curatorial background supports commissioning processes and the curation of public programming. My consulting goals include: 1. Focus on audience:. I have done a lot of work in public art and public programming and always try to interrogate definitions of ‘the public’ to help clients map out audiences. We consider interpretation and a multiplicity of experiences. I am interested in projects that increase access to the arts by creating cultural programming that’s relevant and aims to break down barriers to arts participation. 2. Bring together many voices: Through creative community and stakeholder engagement, I facilitate conversations to support planning, implementation and evaluation phases of projects and programs. This work has included hands-on in person and virtual workshops, town hall events, q&a’s, design charrettes and more. I believe in co-creation and aim to push the boundaries for how this can manifest in public spaces. 3. Strengthening our arts ecology: I am inspired by artists and work to highlight, promote and disseminate their work to the highest standard. I rally audiences through inspiring communications and engagement opportunities. I want the Canadian arts ecology to be strong and vibrant and actively drive towards a future (or many futures) that are sustainable and thriving.
Since 2012 I have worked freelance as an arts professional/curator and began my career as a Cultural Strategist in 2017 working as a subconsultant at Bespoke Cultural Collective. Most recently, in the past two years as a lead consultant (title is Director, Strategy and Program) with ART+PUBLIC UnLtd I have led projects for clients including: Art Gallery of Peterborough, 2021-2023 - Conducted a rigorous Environmental Scan with subconsultant Sabrina Richard (ACCA member) that examines the governance relationship between public galleries and their municipalities and makes recommendations to the City of Peterborough. City of Markham, Fall 2022 - led the Direction for Public Art at Unionville document that prioritized integrated public art to create connections along Main Street Unionville and adjacent sites. The City has moved forward with designing artist briefs that put these recommendations into action. Calgary Arts Development Authority, 2021-2023 - Public Art Engagement Strategy and Evaluation Framework for their newly established Public Art Department. Agincourt Mall Public Art Plan - January - May 2023 - Created a Public Art Plan for the redevelopment of Agincourt Mall in Scarborough that will transition to a mixed-use community and prioritizes the pedestrian experience. Toronto Botanical Garden (2021) - Conducted a stakeholder engagement process to create a Direction for Public Art for the expanded Toronto Botanical Garden that leverages partnerships, commits to sustainability, expands storytelling, considers all four seasons and plays up participatory experiences. Assembly Park Public Art Plan and Outdoor Art Gallery, 2021-2022 - Wrote the Public Art Plan and contributed to the curation and project management of the Outdoor Art Gallery. It is an award winning (2022 Vaughan Urban Design Awards, Award of Merit) outdoor community space framed by shipping containers at the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre that reinvents itself through its art program and temporal character, acting as a venue for multiple culture and community activations. Canadian Art Summit 2023 - Lead programmer of CAS 2023 titled Resilient Futures in the Arts: Making the arts work and thrive. The Summit brings together 200 arts leaders from across the country to explore some of the most pressing issues faced by our sector today.
Sagan MacIsaac is a curator and cultural strategist. She holds the position of Director, Strategy and Program at ART+PUBLIC UnLtd. MacIsaac’s engagement, strategy, curatorial and cultural programming work has informed and led major projects for numerous clients including: City of Calgary, City of Markham, City of Toronto, Calgary Arts Development Authority, Daniels Corporation, Friends of University Ave, PLANT Architects, PMA Landscape Architects Ltd., Nuit Blanche, Northcrest Developments, Canada Lands Company, QuadReal Property Group, Town of Newmarket and the Toronto Transit Commission. This work includes writing public art plans, strategies and policies and overseeing implementation through to project completion. As a Cultural Strategist sub-consultant to Bespoke Cultural Collective from 2017-2020, Sagan worked with Toronto Biennial of Art, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, StART (City of Toronto), Sidewalk Toronto, The Meadoway, WoodGreen Community Services, City of Ottawa, Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto, Waterfront Toronto, Quadrangle, and Mount Sinai Hospital. She launched Sagan Editions in 2015 to bring contemporary Canadian art to collectors of all levels. Through the production of limited edition artist multiples, writing and pop-up exhibitions with established and emerging artists, it became a platform for exploring how to broaden exhibition, promotion and access to art.
Cultural Not-For-Profit, Cultural For-Profit, Municipalities, Individuals/Corporations seeking Canadian artistic production
Audience development / engagement, Evaluation and benchmarking, Municipal cultural planning, Project management, Public art, Public participation / engagement / consultation, Strategic planning, Visual Art Consultant
Museums and heritage, Visual arts and crafts, Multi-disciplinary