5 Questions- Mallory Nezam

5 Questions – Mallory Nezam

Welcome listeners to 5 Questions: A Critical Mass for the Visual Arts Podcast in which we ask 5 questions of our interviewees aimed at positioning and contextualizing their respective bodies of work within the St. Louis artworld.This episode, we’re talking with Mallory Nezam!

Mallory is a cultural producer, city strategist and public artist working at the intersection of community development, socially-engaged art and urban planning. She works with governments, artists and grassroots cultural organizations to bring arts and equity into community planning and policy.  She gets really excited about bringing art into non-arts spaces, especially when it can be integrated to change systems to make lives better. Mallory is the Founder of STL Improv Anywhere, a performance group that disrupts public spaces, and was a founding member of the STL Artivists, creating artworks combating racial inequality and police profiling. After leaving St. Louis in 2017, she helped start the inaugural Arts & Culture team at Transportation for America, leading arts, culture and transportation projects in communities around the country. She has also served as the first Arts & Culture Fellow for Boston’s regional urban planning agency, and policy and racial justice organization PolicyLink’s Research Artist-in-Residence. Mallory holds a Masters of Design in Art, Design and the Public Domain from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design where she completed her thesis research on artists-in-residence in government. She is currently establishing a national Planners of Color Collaborative and runs a consulting practice called Justice + Joy.


  1. Why do you do this to yourself?
  2. Which one of your works is most likely to end up in a suburban basement.
  3. What needs to happen here in St. Louis?
  4. What do you wish someone would ask you about your work?
  5. What’s your endgame?

That’s it for this episode of 5 questions, thanks to Mallory, and to you our listeners and community.

5 Questions is a program by Critical Mass for the Visual Arts – a nonprofit, self-formed visual arts collaborative dedicated to promoting, enhancing and initiating contemporary visual art in the St. Louis region.

Or at criticalmassart.org/fivequestions, on twitter @criticalmassSTL

With Mallory Nezam and Joe Kohlburn

Editor – Sarah Hammond

Producer – Brett Williams

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