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

$40,000 Awarded for Impact and Mapping Resource Development

We are excited to announce that the Surdna Foundation has awarded a $40,000 grant to Americans for the Arts to support the further development of Animating Democracy’s website. The grant will support a website that integrates resources from two Animating Democracy initiatives: the Arts & Social Change Mapping Initiative and the Arts & Civic Engagement Impact Initiative.

News from the Field

Community Arts Network Preserved as Part of the Open Folklore Project

The Community Arts Network (CAN), Indiana University Bloomington Libraries, and the American Folklore Society are pleased to announce that the CAN website has been archived as part of the Open Folklore project. Open Folklore is intended to be an online portal to open-access digital folklore content and plans to launch a prototype of its online component in October at the American Folklore Society meeting in Nashville.  After CAN announced it would be forced to immediately shut down its website due to lack of funds, the IU Bloomington Libraries offered to capture the CAN website using Archive-It, a subscription service from the Internet Archive that allows institutions to build and preserve collections of digital content. Because CAN is a content-rich website that is of great interest to folklorists,  the IU Bloomington Libraries made use of their subscription to Archive-It to preserve the site without charge.

Users may visit the archived site at The full text of the site may be searched at the Archive-It home site,

New Documentary: Acting Together: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict

The documentary, Acting Together: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict, by Cynthia Cohen and Allison Lund, will be released on September 23, opening a four-day conference on theater in zones of violent conflict, produced by Theatre Without Borders and La Mama.  The film tells the stories of courageous and creative artists, cultural workers, and peacebuilders working in zones of violent conflict, supporting communities to nonviolently resist abuses of authority; build bridges across differences; mourn losses; and, together with former enemies, imagine a new future.

To see a trailer of the documentary, please visit: For a full schedule of the Theatre Without Borders/La Mama conference, please visit:

Junebug Says Farewell to Founding Artistic Director

After 30 years, Junebug Productions’ founding Artistic Director John M. O’Neal, a noted actor and playwright, will retire in mid-2011 and assume the position of artistic director emeritus. O’Neal was one of the co-founders of the Free Southern Theater (1963–1980), which served as the cultural arm of the Civil Rights Movement. In 1980, Mr. O’Neal founded Junebug Productions and began touring in a series of original plays based on a mythic character named Junebug Jabbo Jones, the embodiment of a wise, down-home Everyman.  For more information on O’Neal’s departure and Junebug’s transition, visit

Publications and Resources

Immigration: Arts, Culture and Media 2010 - A Creative Change Report

The Opportunity Agenda launched the Immigration Arts and Culture Initiative with the goal of fostering arts, culture, and media activities that promote the inclusion, integration, and human rights of immigrants in the United States. Recently released, The Opportunity Agenda’s report, Immigration: Arts, Culture and Media 2010, is the final element of this initiative.  The report identifies examples of arts, culture, and media projects that effectively move hearts and minds; break down prejudice; inspire community engagement; and, in the long term, encourage public support for the fair treatment and inclusion of immigrants in American society. A key outcome of the study is the identification of a pipeline of projects that could be brought to scale and/or considered for possible collaboration and support. This study, which was designed around a series of interviews and a survey to elevate best practices and compelling ideas, also includes a series of recommendations.

The Public Art 101 Webinar Series from Americans for the Arts

Attention artists! New to public art? Going after your first project? Learn the basics of applying for public art commissions!  This three- part series includes:

  • Making the Transition from Studio Artist to Public Artist
    September 29, 2010, 2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m. EST

  • Getting Started
    October 13, 2010, 2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m. EST

  • Developing the Design; Working with Materials and Budgets
    November 3, 2010, 2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m. EST

Please visit for more information or e-mail to learn about local hosts presenting the webinars in your area.

Calls for Proposals

Deadline: Sept. 30, 2010

Join artists from across the nation who are using their voices and talents to fight for equal access to high quality education for all Americans by entering RE:FORM SCHOOL’s art contest.  The contest is open to multiple art disciplines and almost anyone can submit an entry.  However, submissions must be about the themes of knowledge, community, teachers inspire, and creativity & innovation. Five winners will have their work displayed at the RE:FORM SCHOOL Gallery in New York City alongside some of today’s most respected contemporary artists.

RE:FORM SCHOOL is a high-profile group art exhibition, event series, and public awareness campaign, taking place in New York City. Thousands of artists, parents, community leaders, educators, and grassroots organizers are coming together in a vibrant and creative space in order to shine a light on what is working; explore the potential of what might be; and celebrate the role imagination, creativity, and innovation will play in the process.

Submit artwork at

Be a Part of Sojourn’s Newest Large Scale Project

Sojourn Theatre in Portland, OR has begun work on its next large scale company project, a two-year process exploring the life and work of theater director, writer, and political activist, Augusto Boal, the relationship between art and politics, and how change occurs within and outside systems of power.  The touring piece, entitled Joker, is a “bio-fantasia,” a messy love affair with the audience, and a radical re-imagining of civic possibility.

Sojourn is in the process of exploring universities and other host residencies for 2011 and 2012 as they develop the project and engage in workshop activities, so please contact them through their website if interested. These residencies would involve interaction with students and campus communities as well as dedicated studio time for Sojourn’s development work, which could be observed by students, and engage students in portions as well.

Events on the Horizon

Altering the Face and the Heart of America: The Gard Symposium
September 24–25, 2010
Lowell Center, UW-Madison Campus, Madison, WI

It’s not too late! On September 24–25, people from all walks of community life, interested in the future of healthy communities, will gather for a series of presentations, responses, and discussions with people like Lew Feldstein (co-author of Better Together) and Dr. William Cronon (whose research seeks to understand the history of human interactions with the natural world). Participants will hear from a sociologist, technology specialist, politician, religious leader, and economist what they believe a "healthy community" to be, and artists will respond. 

Even if you can’t attend you can check out the White Papers and blog and add your voice to the conversation about healthy communities from a variety of different fields and perspectives at

My City’s Still Breathing: A Symposium Exploring the Arts, Artists, and the City
November 4–7, 2010
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

My City’s Still Breathing is a symposium that will gather local, national, and international experts from a wide range of disciplines to deliberate and debate the current and future relationship of art and design to city-making.  For more info, visit, e-mail, or call +1.204.943.7668.

With support from the
Ford Foundation
Washington, DC Office
1000 Vermont Avenue NW, 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
T 202.371.2830 | F 202.371.0424
New York City Office
One East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022
T 212.223.2787 | F 212.980.4857