Animating Democracy May 2010 E-News
News from the Field

Judy Baca to receive Americans for the Arts Public Art Network (PAN) Award
June 24, 2010

Americans for the Arts Public Art Network will present artist Judy Baca with the Public Art Award at this year’s Half-Century Summit, our anniversary convention, in Baltimore, MD. Baca is the founder and artistic director of SPARC: Social & Public Art Resource Center, which is a socially relevant, activist minded and spirited organization. SPARC believes that art is a tool for social change and self-transformation, and Judy Baca has been a key in working toward that goal.  At the Summit, Baca will give a keynote lecture highlighting an array of projects from her career as an artist and leader of community-based art practice at SPARC.

Calls for Proposals

Deadline: May 24, 2010

The ÜBER LEBENSKUNST project, an initiative project of the Federal Cultural Foundation in cooperation with the House of World Cultures, is turning the city of Berlin into a showcase for initiatives that bring together culture and sustainability and experiment with new models for action.

With the Call for Future, the ÜBER LEBENSKUNST project seeks to strengthen the dedication, spirit of innovation, and expertise of local initiatives, then bring these initiatives together and give them a broader public platform. To this end, they have put out a call for artistic and social initiatives to apply for project funding. Selected projects will be provided conceptual and financial support through to the final ÜBER LEBENSKUNST Festival to be held in the summer of 2011 in Berlin. The application deadline is May 24, 2010. The application form is available for download at

Grant Proposal Deadline for Bridging Cultures, a program of the National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH)
Deadline: June 1, 2010

A new program of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Bridging Cultures, explores the “ways in which cultures from around the globe, as well as the myriad subcultures within America’s borders, have influenced American society” and is now accepting grant proposals. Funding will be provided to plan and implement a program consisting of a forum and a workshop on one of two humanities themes: Civility and Democracy, to examine “our responsibilities to each other as citizens and as members of civil society"; and The Muslim World and the Humanities, to “shed new light on the impact of Islam on the world and to broaden understanding across cultures."

Proposals are invited from colleges or universities, libraries, museums, historical societies or other historical or cultural institutions, and collaboration is encouraged. (A big thanks to Imagining America for their original posting.)

Taking Part Conference: Call for Papers, Provocations, and Performances
Deadline: June 25, 2010

The Taking Part Conference, taking place at the University of London’s Southbank Centre and Goldsmiths, October 29-30, 2010, seeks to engage participants with questions regarding the role of arts and cultural activity in civil society. This major international and multidisciplinary meeting will provide a place for sharing research findings, hearing about the wide range of national and international arts practice engaging directly with the community, and creating new contexts for debate and animating the dialogue in challenging and exciting ways.

The two days will offer opportunities to share effective practice, listen to keynote speakers, and contribute to the thinking through the creative methods of World Cafe, Open Space Technology, and pecha-cucha.

Submit papers, provocations, or performance ideas to by June 25, 2010.

Events on the Horizon

How Democracy Works Now film series
May 12–June 10, 2010
Washington, DC

From May 12–June 10, eight remarkable films that are part of a new documentary series on HBO are having their theatrical premiere in downtown Washington, DC.

Two independent documentary filmmakers, Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini, spent six years filming inside Capitol Hill to create a set of cinema-verité documentaries that together trace the high and low points of the controversial quest for comprehensive immigration reform.

How Democracy Works Now, the documentary series on HBO, was shot with unprecedented access to the dramas of backroom negotiations and war room strategy sessions never seen by the public. Major senators and congressmen, influential lobbyists, small-town grassroots leaders, and the unsung heroes of Capitol Hill—congressional staffers—are all vividly portrayed.

To buy tickets for these screenings or find out more, visit

Bearing Witness: Work by Bradley McCallum & Jacqueline Tarry
May 8–July 31, 2010
Baltimore, MD

Bearing Witness: Work by Bradley McCallum & Jacqueline Tarry is a multi-venue survey of more than 10 years of work by the husband-and-wife collaborative team Bradley McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry organized by the Contemporary Museum and MICA’s 2009/2010 Exhibition Development Seminar. Bearing Witness is an exhibition connecting McCallum and Tarry’s community-based and advocacy-based projects with their studio-based and gallery-based video, painting, and installations works.  Educational programming, which runs until July 31, includes a cell phone tour, a night for open artistic expression, an open video call, and a film series with an emphasis on intergenerational and intercultural exchange stemming form existing relationships within the city of Baltimore.

Limiting Knowledge in Democracy: A Social Research Conference
May 27, 2010
New York City

Join award-winning journalists, distinguished scholars, and policymakers to examine how the U.S. government and other political and cultural institutions distort or otherwise affect the flow of information. Hosted by the New School in New York City, these three rescheduled sessions ask key questions about what constraints on access to knowledge safeguard our democracy and what limitations erode it.

3 Truths
June 4–5, 2010
Los Angeles

Naomi Iizuka's 3 Truths weaves together a sprawling cast of Angelenos from all walks of life all asking one question: What Is The Truth? As L.A.'s landmark Hall of Justice stands in the distance, Cornerstone Theater Company transforms downtown's California Plaza in Los Angeles into a dramatic, judicial arena where fates are decided and lives hang in the balance. Immediately following each performance, audience members are invited to join in dialogue with L.A.'s important civic and cultural leaders as they come together to discuss urgent issues of justice facing our city and beyond.

Blueprint for Accountability
June 7, 2010
New York City

Culture Project presents, Blueprint for Accountability, a theatrical event taking place at New York University's Skirball Center. Spurred by the one-year anniversary of the president’s pronouncement to close Guantanamo,  Culture Project will stage Blueprint for Accountability in order to engage the public in constructing a “blueprint” for a more just and democratic future. Assembling some of the most important and influential voices of our time to help understand the unparalleled events, policies, and circumventions of the past administration, the Blueprint for Accountability series fuses theater, film, debate, and discussion. The event will call attention to these crimes and urge policymakers, elected officials, and world citizens to craft a decisive moral response capable of restoring both America’s dignity and standing throughout the international community.

Alternate ROOTS 34th Annual Meeting: The Aesthetics of Diversity
August 10–15, 2010
Lutheridge Conference Center, Arden, NC

Alternate ROOTS in partnership with the National Association of Latino Arts & Culture presents its 34th Annual Meeting, The Aesthetics of Diversity, August 10–15, 2010 at the Lutheridge Conference Center in Arden, NC (just outside of Asheville).

The annual meeting will be in preparation for Alternate ROOTS’ 2010 launch of a three-year initiative, The Aesthetics of Diversity. It will explore issues and opportunities to advance a progressive agenda in the South through the lens of the South’s newest citizens, immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries, India, Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. Aesthetics of Diversity will examine questions of art and culture focusing on place in 2010, people in 2011, and traditions in 2012. The goal is to build bridges across and among diverse communities and inform discussions such that members of various communities have a lens through which to view how they may positively impact change in their community.

Register at

With support from the
Ford Foundation
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