President Frances Bronet at the Municipal Art Society

Pratt Institute President Frances Bronet recently engaged in a dynamic conversation about Pratt’s impact on Brooklyn and beyond at the Municipal Art Society’s (MAS) 125th Anniversary Salon Celebration. The evening featured a dinner followed by a dialogue between President Bronet and Pratt Institute Trustee Anne Van Ingen, who is Board Chair of the Preservation League of New York. The March 20 talk marked the first opportunity for President Bronet, since taking office in January, to engage with an external audience of community leaders, experts, and professionals who are devoted to preserving, building, and shaping the city.

Pratt and the MAS share a commitment to inclusive learning, public art, and community development, and have a long history of collaboration on community-driven planning and preservation initiatives. President Bronet described her background and experience designing moderate-income housing and other projects, participating on not-for-profit boards and working with the local community. She and Van Ingen discussed the potential for future collaboration on preservation, planning, policy, and partnerships.

When Van Ingen asked about higher education in art and design, President Bronet emphasized the value of a creative education as a guide to setting questions as well as solving problems, and talked about the importance of situations that take students out of the comfortable and familiar and take risks in order to push the boundaries of their creative inquiry.

President Bronet talked about some of the Institute’s outstanding educational accomplishments, including inventing new curricula and in building internal and external partnerships, all of which are dependent on its talented and generous faculty. She emphasized that this passion and commitment of the Pratt community, from faculty to alumni, are core to its great success. She has experienced this level of intellectual and social engagement in person while traveling from the departments of Pratt to graduates around the country at alumni regional networks.

The contributions of Pratt alumni were evident at the Montauk Club itself, whose exterior was recently restored by Kevin Bone (B.Arch '78) and Joe Levine’s  (B.Arch '78) firm Bone/Levine Architects.

Photo: Courtesy of Municipal Art Society