Animating Democracy September 2008 E-News
Animating Democracy News and Updates

Americans for the Arts collecting emergency relief funds
In response to the devastation in Texas and Louisiana due to recent hurricane activity, Americans for the Arts is collecting donations to its Emergency Relief Fund. Funds will be used to provide assistance to local arts service organizations located in or serving those areas most affected by hurricane damage to help them rebuild the arts in their communities. We have been in touch with our constituents in the affected areas and will continue to monitor their situation as they recover from these storms and assess the damage to the arts in their communities. At this time, the application process for emergency relief funds is not open, and will only be opened when enough resources have been collected and are available to distribute.

Please help Americans for the Arts collect donations to the Emergency Relief Fund by including this information in your next e-newsletter or communication to your constituents.

Visit the Emergency Relief Fund section of our website to donate now.

Americans for the Arts launches Knowledge Exchanges: District Wide Change in Arts Education, October 27–28, 2008
Too often teachers alone are expected to provide arts education—when in fact elected school leaders, administrators, district staff, principals, arts organizations, and funders play important roles in high-quality, highly accessible arts education. This fall, District Wide Change in Arts Education, the first in a series of Knowledge Exchanges—a new program of Americans for the Arts designed to offer participants an in-depth perspective of a local program or model—will present Arts for All, a Los Angeles-based program which designed a series of policy changes and educational initiatives intended to institutionalize sequential K–12 arts education in county school districts.

Through the Knowledge Exchange, participants will experience ground-level implementation through site visits, in-depth case materials, and interactive consensus-building workshops designed and led by Arts for All. At the end of the two-day conference, participants will gain an understanding of what infrastructure is necessary to provide arts education, the coalition necessary to build it, and how to take the first step and each step thereafter.

Register now for District-Wide Change in Arts Education! Visit the Knowledge Exchange homepage to find out more about Knowledge Exchanges featuring topics including public art and economic development later this fall.

News from the Field

Voices of America invites reflections on 2008 Election Media
Voices of America, the U.S. government broadcasting service intended for an international audience, invites participation in a new Internet radio project which will ask participants to reflect on the media spectacle of the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Through November 4, participants can record an audio file reflecting on election coverage, upload their files, and tag them according to language and content, download from the searchable database, and remix broadcasts and re-upload them.

Voices of America is a collaboration between Lee Azzarello and Sarah Kanouse and is sponsored by free103point9. The project is part of The UnConvention, a nonpartisan, Minneapolis-based collective of artists and citizens acting as a counterpoint to the highly scripted and predetermined nature of the contemporary presidential nomination process and convention.

MetLife releases new RFP for Museum and Community Connections Grants
The MetLife Foundation has released a new RFP for the Museum and Community Connections, a grantmaking program for U.S. art museums which expects to award grants totally $1 million. The program will fund projects which encourage art museums to reach out to populations of all ages and backgrounds through imaginative programs and/or exhibits that "help us understand and appreciate each other and our world." Grants totaling $1 million will be awarded to museums in central states in 2008. Application deadline is October 17, 2008.

2009–20010 Artists and Communities Guidelines available online
The Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation has announced the release of guidelines for the 2009–2010 cycle of Artists and Communities, a program offering support for long-term residencies. Developed collaboratively by visiting artists and nonprofit organizations, eligible projects conduct community-based creative projects that result in new work and involve the host community in the artistic process. Artists and nonprofit organizations from Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia, and West Virginia are eligible to participate in the program. The deadline for the applications is December 1, 2008 for projects taking place between April 1, 2009–March 31, 2010.

Articles and Publications

Call for Proposals: Community Arts Convening and Research Project
Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) has announced a call for proposals for the second annual National Convening and Research Project, a convening of community arts professionals designed to advance the field to be held in spring 2009 at California State University Monterey Bay. The convening and related publishing will address compelling issues and questions pertinent to the field of community arts and the health and well-being of communities including: empowering the voice of communities by tapping community resources and history; developing models for training, reciprocal learning and participatory research; arts-based community building and advocacy; documenting the evolution of the field and best practices in community arts; building new partnerships and leveraging resources; and documenting community-based cultural and aesthetic traditions and forms.

The project is actively seeking a wide array of approaches to presenting these topics, including case studies, community-based profiles, scholarly papers, essays, artist dialogues and hybrid combinations of theory, art, poetry, and personal narrative. College or university faculty members, community practitioners, community members, and students are encouraged to submit texts for consideration by sending a brief abstract (via the web) no later than November 15, 2008.

The National Convening and Research project is funded by the Nathan Cummings Foundation and sponsored by MICA. 

Events on the Horizon

Public Art and Democracy
Dates: September 26–27, 2008
Minneapolis, MN
Public Art and Democracy, co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota College of Design and the Department of Art, will examine the topics of public space and intervention into it. Through panels and keynotes, political scientists, artists, architects and designers, and activists and arts administrators will discuss questions such as: What makes a public space public? How can public art instigate civic discourse? How can artists and designers working within constraints create more meaningful public spaces? The conference features a keynote by artist Suzanne Lacy and program participants include FOREcasts’s Jack Becker and Intermedia Arts’ Program Manager Marlina Gonzales.

National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation
Dates: October 3–5, 2008
Austin, TX
The National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation—hosted by the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD)—brings together leaders and practitioners in public engagement and conflict resolution to share best practices, examine issues, and strategize on how to conquer five major challenges facing the dialogue and deliberation community. This year’s program features a wide selection of pre- and post-conference activity and a diverse collection of featured speakers including David Campt, author of The Little Book of Dialogue for Difficult Subjects; Carolyn Lukensmeyer, founder and president of AmericaSpeaks; and Bill Isaacs, author of Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together.

Open Space Learning Workshop
Dates: October 3–5, 2008
New York City
The Open Space Learning Workshop—facilitated by Lisa Heft, president of the Open Space Institute US—brings together professionals interested in sharing their experience with and learning about the open space process. Participants in the workshop will experience open space technology and learn about design, preparation, planning, and implementation of an Open Space session.

For more information about content and pricing and to register, contact Workshop Facilitator Lisa Heft at

Priming the Pump: Fueling Integrated Arts Marketing, Fundraising, and Sponsorships to Optimize Revenue!
Dates: November 9–12, 2008
Houston, TX
In today’s economy, arts organizations are seeking innovative ways to generate new audiences and revenue, while operating in an environment when philanthropic dollars may be stretched. The 2008 National Arts Marketing Project Conference will gather more than 700 colleagues from around the country to discover fresh perspectives on marketing and fundraising techniques through intensive workshops, an open forum for new ideas, and sponsorship clinics led by top marketing and sponsorship experts.

Session and program details are now posted online. New this year! A track of four sessions on branding including Branding 101, Advanced Branding, a session on how to leverage your sponsor’s brand, and a session on how branding gives oomph to your fundraising efforts.

18th Annual Conference Alliance of Artists Communities: Arts and Civic Engagement
Dates: November 12–15, 2008
Seattle, WA
The 18th Annual Conference of the Alliance of Artists Communities will explore what it means as an artist-centered organization to be a full participant in civic life—engaging in the global community; supporting artists working in social justice and public or community art; and integrating support for artists, creativity, and innovation into public policy. Keynote speakers include William Cleveland, author of Art and Upheaval and director of the Center for the Study of Art and Community, and Richard Andrews, president of the Skystone Foundation and former director of the Henry Art Gallery at University of Washington.

With support from the
Ford Foundation
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