Animating Democracy February 2010 E-News
Animating Democracy News and Updates

Professional Development Fellowships Available for Emerging Leaders of Color in the Great Lakes Region

Deadline: March 1, 2010. Emerging arts leaders are encouraged to apply for the 2010–2011 Americans for the Arts’ Professional Development Fund for Emerging Arts Leaders of Color. A total of five Joyce Fellows from the Great Lakes Region (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin) will be selected to participate in this program. Fellows will receive stipends of $3,000 to support their attendance at the 2010 Americans for the Arts Half-Century Summit (Baltimore, MD), 2010 National Arts Marketing Project Conference (San Jose, CA), and the 2011 Arts Advocacy Day (Washington, DC). In addition, fellows will have special opportunities to meet field leaders, connect with mentors, and receive individualized career coaching. Support for this program is provided by the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation. Download application materials and eligibility information at Americans for the Arts, or for more information contact Local Arts Agency Services Coordinator Stephanie Evans at or by phone at 202.371.2830.

News from the Field

Suzanne Lacy Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Los Angeles-based artist and founding chair of the MFA in Public Practice program at Otis College of Art and Design Suzanne Lacy received the College Art Association's (CAA) 2010 Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement. She was awarded the honor at CAA’s 98th Annual Conference on February 10, 2010, in Chicago.

In announcing this 2010 award recipient, CAA wrote “the continuum of Suzanne Lacy’s career mirrors the history of contemporary art: performance, installation, activism, social practice, and public engagement.” She was an integral and pioneering member of the Women’s Studio Workshop, the Woman’s Building, and other important landmarks of feminist art.

A book exploring Lacy’s dynamic work, entitled Suzanne Lacy: Spaces Between and written by Sharon Irish, was released in early February by University of Minnesota Press.  For more information, visit

Publications and Resources

ARTSblog launches Green Papers

As a way to celebrate the successes of the past 50 years in the arts field and simultaneously look toward the future, Americans for the Arts has collected Green Papers from a variety of national arts service organizations and peer groups representing different perspectives and disciplines. These Green Papers are short visions of the future meant to inspire a nationwide dialogue on the future of the arts. Particularly relevant to arts-based civic engagement and social change work are:

Join the conversation on ARTSblog, where you’re encouraged to comment and react to the Green Papers posted.

TED Conference Video: The Power of Arts to Drive Social Change

As part of the TEDIndia Conference, Mallika Sarabhai performed a combination of skits and songs to advance concerns about public health, sexual assault, and violence. The November 2009 conference, put on by TED, a nonprofit dedicated to sharing thought-provoking talks and performances, explored the question of what the future holds for South Asia. Her work was written about in Butts in Seats: Musings on Practical Solutions for Arts Management, and demonstrates the power of arts to drive social change by making controversial topics like rape more accessible. More on her video session can be found at

Launching of Imagining America News Page

In collaboration with the Community Arts Network, Imagining America (IA) has created a News Page to enhance communication between and within campuses and communities and to increase visibility for exemplar public scholarship and practice in the arts, humanities, and design. Visit the page to stay up-to-date on consortium and field-wide news.
To feature news from your campuses and communities and to share your thoughts about the IA News Page, e-mail IA News Page Editor Jamie Haft at

Events on the Horizon

Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life
Eleventh Annual National Conference
Seattle, WA
September 23–25, 2010

Imagining America invites university affiliates (faculty, students, staff, and administrators) and community partners (individuals and organizations) to participate in its eleventh annual national conference, hosted by the University of Washington. The conference, centered on the topic of Convergence Zones: Public Cultures and Translocal Practices, signals an exploration of how public scholarship creates new connections among disciplines, communities, and sectors. The keynote speaker for the conference will be Diana Taylor, professor of performance studies and Spanish at New York University and the founder of the Hemispheric Institute, whose work on performance and politics across the Americas highlights the mediations involved in cross-cultural transmission and exchange.

Call for Proposals
Imagining America welcomes proposals that engage the broad conference theme and are particularly focused on innovations that span the virtual and embodied networks, built and natural environments, and local and global processes that shape existing and emerging forms of public scholarship. To learn more about the conference and proposal submissions, please download the call for proposals:

Deadline for submissions is Friday, April 2, 2010. The Program Committee will send final notifications regarding proposed sessions no later than June 11, 2010.

Coming to Americans for the Arts Half-Century Summit in Baltimore this June?
Check out Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness
American Visionary Art Museum in downtown Baltimore
October 3, 2009–September 5, 2010

Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness
, the annual thematic exhibition produced by the American Visionary Art Museum, looks at works related to the quest for human rights and personal fulfillment. Works by the last surviving descendants of the Tsars of Russia, Iroquois Indians, French Revolutionaries, illegal immigrants, Algerian War veterans, Guantanamo Bay detainees, Holocaust survivors, incarcerated prisoners, African-American civil rights activists and Iraqi doctors are among the 86 international perspectives featured in the exhibit.

At the Crossroads: A Community Arts and Development Convening
St. Louis, MO
March 25–27, 2010
Join approximately 150 practitioners and their partners in arts-based community development programs and collaborations for At the Crossroads: A Community Arts and Development Convening. Hosted by The Community Arts Training Institute at the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission, this dynamic conference is designed to examine new paths and crossways for the arts in these changing times. To register, visit

In addition, join Animating Democracy for a Special Pre-Convening Workshop, What Difference Are We Making? Assessing Social Impact of Arts for Community Change on Thursday, March 25. This creative interactive workshop will feature artist Marty Pottenger and evaluator Chris Dwyer of RMC Research who teamed up on a joint learning and evaluation design adventure around Marty's work with the Arts & Equity Initiative in Portland, ME.

Learn lessons from the Arts & Equity case study and how to use this framework in your arts for change work. This workshop will help you focus on measuring what matters, turn anecdotes into credible qualitative evidence, and determine reasonable data collection methods. You'll also see how the framework, used over time, can help you make the case for the role of the arts in making social change in your community. Animating Democracy Co-Directors Barbara Schaffer Bacon and Pam Korza will introduce resources and other findings from the Arts & Civic Engagement Impact Initiative.

For more information about At the Crossroads, contact or visit

Performing the World 2010
New York City, NY
September 30, 2010–October 3, 2010
Call for Proposals Deadline: March 1

New York City will host a unique conference/festival, Performing the World (PTW) 2010, from Thursday, September 30–Sunday, October 3, 2010.

PTW is a new kind of gathering that brings people together, not on the basis of professional or political identity, academic discipline, or artistic endeavor, but around their common involvement in performance as an activity of growth and development. The theme of the 2010 conference is: “Can Performance Change the World?” The conference is sponsored by the East Side Institute and the All Stars Project, Inc. The Institute and the All Stars are eager for community, social justice, social entrepreneurial organizations, and individuals from New York City—which has emerged as a center for performance innovation—to be well-represented at PTW. If you would like to join as a presenter, the deadline for proposals is March 1.

The Call for Proposals is available at If you have questions about, or would like more information on PTW, please contact

WomenArts Presents SWAN (Support Women Artists Now) Day
Saturday, March 27, 2010

SWAN Day is a new international holiday that celebrates women artists. Organized by WomanArts, an arts service organization dedicated to helping women artists, the Third International SWAN Day will take place on March 27, 2010, the last Saturday of Women’s History Month.  The celebration aims to inspire communities around the world to find new ways to recognize and support women artists as an integrated part of civic life.  WomenArts invites you to participate in a variety of ways including organizing an event, hosting a SWAN Day party, or connecting students to women artists. 

For more information or to participate in SWAN Day 2010, visit

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Ford Foundation
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