Animating Democracy March 2009 E-News
Animating Democracy News and Updates

Americans for the Arts 2009 Convention: More Details on the Civic Engagement Track Advance Workshop

Renewable Resources: Arts in Sustainable Communities will convene arts and culture professionals from across the country in Seattle to network and participate in over 75 field-crafted sessions and will offer attendees the opportunity to see the Public Art Year in Review and hear from keynote speakers.

Come to the Annual Convention a day early on Wednesday, June 17, to participate in one of seven workshops focused on specific topics—including a full-day workshop exploring basics and best practices of arts-based civic engagement. Through project examples, lively exchange, video, and hands-on learning this advance workshop will help participants learn to maximize engagement opportunities and to facilitate meaningful civic dialogue. Further, the workshop will offer participants the opportunity to discuss current projects and to vet new ideas with colleagues from the field.

The workshop is presented by Animating Democracy Co-Directors Pam Korza and Barbara Schaffer Bacon and Director of Education and Community Programming at Sojourn Theatre Hannah Treuhaft. Attendees of this advance workshop will receive a complimentary copy of the Arts & Civic Engagement Tool Kit.
Details for convention are being updated regularly—check out the convention homepage for more information as it becomes available. Deadline for advance registration is April 13, 2009.

Americans for the Arts Public Art Network announces Call for Submissions for the 2009 Year in Review: Deadline extended to April

Since 2001, the Public Art Network’s Year in Review award has annually recognized outstanding public art projects through an open call submission and curation selection process. This year, submitted public art projects for the Public Art Year in Review will be reviewed by artists Janet Echelman and Mildred Howard and will be presented at the 2009 Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in Seattle, as well as included in the 2009 Year in Review CD and the upcoming public art online image database being created by WESTAF.

Public art projects (temporary or permanent) completed in calendar year 2008 are eligible for submission. The deadline is April 6, 2009, at 5:00 p.m. (MT). Full details on the application process and requirements can be found online.

News from the Field

MuralArts launches This We Believe citywide mural projec

In celebration of 25 years of art education, mural-making, and working in communities, the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program has invited local participants for their first citywide mural project. Centered on the theme This We Believe, the initiative will provide an opportunity for residents to share what they believe about the city. Facilitated community forums in neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia will enable participants to share their voice, which will in turn inspire two teams of artists—Kien Nguyen, Eric Okdeh, & Michelle Ortiz and Phillip Adams, David Guinn, & Damon Reaves—to create two proposed mural designs. The community-driven designs will be put to a citywide vote, and the winning mural will become the platform for a series of community paint days.

Transforma offers Creative Recovery Mini-Grant

The Creative Recovery Mini-Grant Program, administered by Transforma, supports work that exists at the intersection of art, social justice, and recovery in New Orleans—fueling the recovery by supporting activity that occurs on the ground level. Awards range from $500–$2,500 and are intended to provide direct project support for the work of independent artists, collectives, gathering spaces, and publications that contribute to the rebuilding of New Orleans. Projects can include an exhibition, a public art project, the publication of writing, an online project, an artist residency, a screening, and more. More details, along with a list of past grantees can be found online. Deadline for applications is April 27, 2009. (Thanks, Community Arts Network.)

Pennsylvania Humanities Council invites applications for Commonwealth Speakers Program

The Pennsylvania Humanities Council (PHC) is recruiting scholars and artists interested in actively teaching and engaging people in their local communities with history, literature, arts, and other humanities fields. For fulfilling an average of three requests to speak per year (plus additional opportunities from the PHC), Commonwealth Speakers receive a $300 honorarium per presentation for service, plus reimbursement for travel expenses. The deadline for applications is March 20, 2009.

Articles and Publications

New on the Community Arts Network: Exchanging Gifts in Charleston, SC

In this new essay posted on the Community Arts Network, South Carolina critic Darryl Lorenzo paints a realistic portrait of Charleston as the backdrop to Jean-Marie Mauclet and Gwylène Gallimard’s recent project The Future Is on the Table. The project culminated last year during a two month-long series of exhibitions, performance, and dialogues centered on the themes of water, shelter, and the exchange of gifts. Through comparison of The Future Is on the Table to another community-based arts effort led by Suzanne Lacy and Rick Lowe in Charleston, Lorenzo examines the project's community engagement elements and intentional underpinnings to understand what led the interactive, local-global project by Mauclet and Gallimard to success in the complex local social environment.

Events on the Horizon

URBANEXUS: The New Face of Civic Engagement
Date: March 19, 6:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
Memphis, TN

The New Face of Civic Engagement—the next salon in a series hosted by Next American City Magazine—will feature a collaboration between seven local representatives discussing the role of civic engagement in moving Memphis forward. Guests include representatives from Launch Memphis, Coalition of Livable Communities, The Stax Museum, UrbanArt, and others. Each presenter will share ways in which their organizations are making creative approaches to civic engagement. This salon is part of URBANEXUS, a series of discussions and lectures centered on the future of the urban life in great cities across the country. Admission is free for all attendees.

Support Women Artists Now (SWAN) Day
Date: March 28, 2009

Support Women Artists Now (SWAN) Day is a new annual event and international holiday that celebrates women artists. SWAN Day is designed to focus attention on the work of women artists and to inspire communities around the world to find new ways to support women artists as a basic element of civic planning. It’s celebrated locally in communities around the world (as of late February, there were 110 local events planned). To participate, check out events planned in your community, or organize and host an event of your own—such as a party or any arts activity that celebrates women artists.

National Arts Advocacy Day
Dates: March 30–31, 2009
Washington, DC

Bringing together arts, education, entertainment, and policy leaders, National Arts Advocacy Day highlights the importance of developing strong public policies and appropriating increased public funding for the arts. A new administration and Congress brings the promise of bold, new leadership for the arts in America. However, during these uncertain economic times, it is important to let congressional leaders know that the arts are an economic engine for development and a priority for every American.

This March, join hundreds of grassroots advocates from across the country in legislative training sessions, the Congressional Arts Breakfast on Capitol Hill, the Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy at the Kennedy Center, and meetings with your members of Congress on important arts-related issues. Your involvement does make an impact! Register today!

Call for Proposals: Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life
Culture, Crisis, Recovery
Dates: October 1–3, 2009
New Orleans, LA

Imagining America invites faculty, students, and community partners to participate in their tenth annual national conference, October 1–3, 2009, in New Orleans, hosted by Tulane and Xavier Universities. The theme for this year’s conference, Culture, Crisis, and Recovery, invokes the current economic crisis, the city of New Orleans’ ongoing experiences after Hurricane Katrina, and the role that engaged scholarship and practice through the arts, humanities, and design has in recovery efforts of all kinds across the United States.

Imagining America has issued a call for proposals for the 2009 conference. Proposals should be related to the conference theme and expand the understanding of public scholarship. Imagining America is particularly interested in proposals that speak to the themes of public scholarship in economic crisis, culture and partnership in post-Katrina New Orleans, and responding to crisis in one's own backyards. Further, considerations of reciprocity—what it means in practice, the role it plays in sustaining efforts, and how it is awarded and evaluated—are encouraged.

For more details on session formats and the process for submitting a proposal, contact Kevin Bott at Deadline for proposals is Friday, April 24, 2009.


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