Author(s): Mount, Lisa
Date of Publication: 2007

Cornerstone Theater Company and Liz Lerman Dance Exchange have each experienced founding artistic director transitions in the recent past, although the nature of those processes—and leadership results—have differed. Over the course of ten months—from December 2006 to August 2007, key individuals from Cornerstone and Dance Exchange gathered for three conversations facilitated by Lisa Mount that investigated what an artistic founder transition or evolution was and is like—primarily for the new leaders of the organizations, secondarily for the founders themselves. In

Author(s): Shephard, Mikki
Date of Publication: February 2008

 To build organizational capacity and provide sustainability, the National Black Arts Festival (NBAF) board and executive staff leadership considered a range of diverse strategies. Recent discussions between NBAF, the Woodruff Arts Center (The Woodruff), and local supporters resulted in a sustainability strategy that would consider a more formal relationship between NBAF and the Woodruff. With this strategy on the table, a research process was launched by NBAF to survey and learn more about the long-term relationships of other arts organizations to inform the negotiation and

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

Grounded in a recent strategic plan, the Tucson Pima Arts Council is moving to advance civic engagement in the city and county through its programming, funding, and partnerships. As part of Animating Democracy’s Art & Civic Engagement Impact Initiative, and in addition to the qualitative focus reflected in the evaluation inquiry with Maribel Alvarez, TPAC wanted to know what concrete measures are reasonable to use to understand the civic engagement effects of its work as an agency. The objective of the collaborative inquiry with Mark Stern and Susan Seifert of the Social Impact of

Author(s): Dwyer, Chris and Pottenger, Marty
Date of Publication: January 2009

Art & Soul is a project of the Orton Family Foundation. The Orton Family Foundation, in partnership with the Town of Starksboro and the Vermont Land Trust hypothesize that, by getting in touch with deeper community values and connections to place, citizens will be able to improve upon traditional approaches to planning and make better decisions about the future of their communities. With the Art & Soul Civic Engagement Project they are testing whether the use of different forms of art will catalyze articulation of the unique assets of a community, in turn impacting community

Author(s): Dywer, M. Christine
Date of Publication: April 2008

Written for Animating Democracy's Arts and Civic Engagement Impact Initiative Working Group, this 14- page paper presents a conceptual framework (or logic model) for arts-based engagement. It offers a discussion of the components of the framework, and a list of questions to guide research explorations. It defines and gives examples of each element: programmatic initiative in terms of the core arts element and related civic/social purpose; context; implementation choices and actions; intermediate effects (individual, collective, and community capacity building); and social and/or civic

Author(s): Alvarez, Maribel
Date of Publication: Oct 18, 2021

Finding Voice, an ongoing program supported by the Tucson Pima Arts Council (TPAC) and Every Voice in Action Foundation, helps refugee and immigrant youth develop literacy and second language skills by researching, photographing, writing, and speaking out about critical social issues in their lives and communities. Through the creative process, the program also aims to help young people develop a better understanding of their Tucson neighborhood and U.S. culture, and build a strong connection to their culture and family. As part of Animating Democracy’s Arts & Civic Engagement

Author(s): Stropnicky, Gerard
Date of Publication: May 2013

This is the second of two essays by Gerard Stropnicky, director, writer, actor, and co-founder of the Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET) that reflect on NET’s MicroFest: USA. In this essay, Stropnicky looks at the work of socially engaged ensemble theaters featured at MicroFest: USA to examine how ensemble values and practices influence the work and its impact in the context of place-based revitalization and renewal. He looks at the work through three lenses: intention, values, and language of engagement. He discusses how clarity of social intention supports artistic choices and

Author(s): Thompson, Nato
Date of Publication: December 2010

Artists who are committed to social justice through their work must navigate a complex contemporary art world characterized by numerous political positions and aesthetic expectations. In this paper, Nato Thompson observes two overarching approaches taken by artists—strategic and tactical—that operate against a political and economical infrastructure. Thompson describes successful examples in both categories, including sustained place-based work; culturally engaged radical pedagogy; engaged museums; engaged academic institutions; and a variety of work that raises questions rather

Author(s): Potts, Erin
Date of Publication: December 2010

Musicians are powerful allies who leverage their activities in ways that amplify the messages and strategies of social justice movements and that draw the necessary resources—creativity, targeted audiences, press, funding—to make change possible; they do this best when they have support, strategy, and tools. Inspired by a desire to work on social change and to help raise money for the causes and issues they care about, musicians are contributing publicly in powerful and concrete ways: They lend their celebrity to movements and issues. Their creativity inspires people to think

Author(s): De Michiel, Helen
Date of Publication: December 2010

Open space documentary is an emerging framework for community-based media. Intentional participatory media experiments are proliferating across rapidly developing and evolving distribution platforms. New technology and social media have quickly created biodiverse habitats where artists are able to test how media can communicate stories, imagine social change, and function as a dynamically evolving participatory “open space.” Instead of national or global definitions, the open space documentary model frames hyperlocal and community-based media practices as key to bringing