Author(s): McGregor, Paloma
Date of Publication: April 2013

Dance practitioners across the country are creating innovative opportunities for community, civic, and social engagement. Choreographer, organizer, and former Urban Bush Women company member Paloma McGregor highlights contemporary community-based dance practice; concert dance that is intentional in connecting to community members and issues; and programs where the next generation of socially engaged dance artists are incubated. Through a wealth of stories and examples of dance artists all across the country, McGregor describes how community-based dance—the work of both pioneering

Author(s): Takeshita, Erik
Date of Publication: May 2013

In his essay, Erik Takeshita, Program Officer for the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) in the Twin Cities, explores the experience of MicroFest: New Orleans and observes that art requires four characteristics to have a positive, sustainable impact on community: Residents and communities are the agents of change, not the targets of change….Art is at the center….Place matters….Art works across sectors and is collaborative. Based on a panel held in the St. Claude neighborhood, he examines common issues in community development: the role of race in community

Author(s): Bivens, Maranatha
Date of Publication: May 2013

Conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have produced a wave of returning veterans suffering from both physical and emotional traumas as well as families, communities, and a society in need of ways to understand, adjust, and heal. Writer and “former military kid” Maranatha Bivens characterizes ways that art is raising awareness of the issues facing service members, bridging gaps in knowledge and communication between veterans and civilians, and offering veterans paths to healing and reintegration in family and community life. Artists are creating work that enriches the public

Author(s): McQueen, Ann
Date of Publication: April 2013

The Orton Family Foundation integrates art and artists into its community planning work with small towns in New England and the Rocky Mountain West. As foundation staff helps small town residents plan for and control future growth through their signature Heart & Soul Community Planning grants, they’ve found that using art projects—radio stories, intergenerational sculpture projects, illustrated recipe books—to discover and highlight stories about what makes their town special is an effective civic engagement and community building strategy. As residents are engaged

Author(s): McQueen, Ann
Date of Publication: January 2015

The Fledgling Fund, a private foundation launched in 2005, seeks to “inspire a better world” by supporting the work of documentary filmmakers and building the evolving field of social issue documentary film and media.  It believes in the power of film to engage communities in timely issues and focuses its grantmaking on supporting filmmakers’ outreach and engagement efforts, helping them build awareness, strengthen movements, inform decisions, and even impact policy.  While all the films it supports address

Author(s): Laramee Kidd, Susannah; Office of Public Art, Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council
Date of Publication: June 2019

As Pittsburgh’s Office of Public Art (OPA) supports artists working in the public realm through residencies and cross-sector partnerships, this case study explores how OPA has used Aesthetic Perspectives as: an adaptable evaluation tool, a content-rich guide for artist inquiry and exchange, and an organizational aid to guide selection panels to discuss aesthetic qualities and equity.

Author(s): Stern, Mark J. and Seifert, Susan C.
Date of Publication: January 2009

Based on a literature review drawing from the social sciences, humanities, and public policy, Stern and Seifert of the Social Impact of the Arts Project at the University of Pennsylvania suggest documentation and evaluation strategies that artists, cultural and community organizations, philanthropists, and public agencies could take to improve the quality of knowledge about the social impact of arts-based civic engagement work.

Author(s): Pearlman, Jeanne
Date of Publication: Oct 20, 2021

In 2002, the Jewish Museum in New York City mounted the exhibition Mirroring Evil: Nazi Imagery/Recent Art. The controversial exhibition featured artworks by 13 young artists, each two and three generations removed from the events of WWII, who used images of Nazi perpetrators to provoke viewer exploration of the culture of victimhood and also as a means of  identifying the distinguishing characteristics of evil. Through the art works, extensive interpretive materials, and a program of facilitated dialogues, the Jewish Museum offered a springboard for discussion about

Author(s): Korza, Pam; Schaffer Bacon, Barbara
Date of Publication: 2005

Museums and Civic Dialogue features exhibition projects that demonstrate how three museums have functioned as provocative and effective forums for civic dialogue. Focusing on contemporary and conceptual works of art as well as historic images, the projects highlight new and adapted approaches to curatorial practice, interpretation, and education prompted by civic intention. The case studies also offer insights regarding institutional challenges and changes in practice that necessarily occurred. Through Gene(sis): Contemporary Art Explores Human Genomics, Henry

Author(s): Atlas, Caron; Korza, Pam
Date of Publication: 2005

Critical Perspectives: Writings on Art and Civic Dialogue is a collection of essays that explore art, civic dialogue, and reflective critical writing. Twelve essays focus on three compelling and very different projects supported by Animating Democracy that employed the unique capacities of theater, visual art, and historic preservation to initiate crucial conversations within communities.