October 2012
Animating Democracy News and Updates

Writers Wanted: Call for Animating Democracy Blog Salon, Does Size Matter?
E-mail jchin@artsusa.org if interested.

The notion of scaling up has gained currency (and buzz) as arts organizations, artists, and funders seek greater impact from their efforts and investments. The idea of sharing something that is effective so that the benefits can be experienced by more people is attractive, especially when something is producing good results. Disseminating ideas, replicating programs, sharing models and practices, transferring skills and technology are all approaches to scaling up.

But, when is a creative project, program, or initiative ready to go to scale or when is staying small best?

Animating Democracy’s next blog salon, Does Size Matter?, will run from December 3-7. It will present diverse perspectives on the challenges and opportunities of orchestrating and resourcing greater scale. We are looking for bloggers who are interested in writing on how scale and/or scope support or hinder positive social impact in their work or the work that they support. Please contact Animating Democracy Program Coordinator Joanna Chin (jchin@artsusa.org) by this Friday, October 19 to discuss blogging opportunities.

Animating Democracy at Imagining America


Animating Democracy was actively engaged in the annual conference of Imagining America: Arts & Scholars in Public Life held in New York City, October 5-7. Pam Korza, presented in two sessions. In Mapping the Field, she introduced the Arts & Social Change Mapping Initiative as a broader context and mapping effort. In Communications and Technology: Innovations, Cogitations, and Cool Tools to Tell the Story of Engagement, Pam talked about our website and messaging and communications strategy work. Additionally, we're proud to report that our full series of books, carried by New Village Press, sold out!

Pam co-chairs Imagining America’s Assessing Practices in Public Scholarship research group and is on the National Advisory Board. Imagining America advances knowledge and creativity through publicly engaged scholarship that draws on the humanities, arts, and design.

News from the Field

TRUST: Documentary on Albany Park Theater Project Wins Film Festival Awards

The documentary, TRUST, which follows the work of Albany Park Theater Project, a Chicago-based teen theater company, recently won two Best Documentary awards from Sebastonpol Documentary Film Festival and Reel Rasquache Art & Film Festival, as well as the Youth Vision Award from the United Nations Associated Film Festival. The film focuses on a group of underserved teenage actors whose lives are transformed through the process of creating a daring original play from the real life of Marlin, an 18-year-old Honduran company member. Preview the film's trailer and purchase a copy of the film at trustdocumentary.org/buy.

Spacing Out: Innovative Cultural Uses of Space

Artists, art administrators, community leaders, urbanists, researchers, and policymakers joined together at the “Spacing Out” forum to share best practices and challenges faced when activating and enhancing Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts in New York City. The forum was coordinated by Urban Bush Women, Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts Working Group, and the Art & Democracy Project. The event focuses on the need to include a neighborhood’s cultural workers into community development initiatives. Read a blog about the forum's results.

New Publications and Resources

Rural Arts and Culture Map

Conversation and collaboration are key elements in the creative process. The Rural Arts and Culture map is a platform for individuals across the country and world to share their artistic and cultural lives. This map was designed by Feral Arts and is hosted by Place Stories. These artists had the mission to create a space for inclusive, boundary-crossing storytelling to promote interdisciplinary collaboration.

Creative Time Report

Hear artists' voices as they analyze contemporary social issues and news from around the world. Creative Time Reports launched this October. It is a multimedia website founded on the belief that artists play a critical role in public discourse. The Report enables artists to disseminate original reporting and analysis in a variety of formats. The site also fosters ongoing dialogue across a variety of social-media platforms and encourages public feedback. Visit the Creative Time Report.

Museum 2.0 Guest Post: Community and Civic Engagement in Museum Programs

Executive Director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History Nina Simon’s blog, Museum 2.0, explores the way that web 2.0 philosophies can be applied to museum design. While many of her blog posts feature thoughts on and examples of innovative, participatory museum work, one recent highlight was a guest blog by Stacey Marie Garcia, who shared some of the key points from her  master’s thesis on community engagement in museum programming. Access the full version of Stacey's thesis.

Across the Pond, Tap the Table Theatre Reflects on Restructuring as a Social Enterprise

In a recent Guardian article, Wayne Ingram, the founding director of Tap the Table Theatre, discusses how his company embodies a new model of theater companies as social enterprise, where social change is core to the organization's mission. Since the company’s original conception through to its official registration as a company, its members took huge steps to restructure Tap the Table and its philosophies with assistance from both the University of Northampton and the Young Foundation. Read the full news article from The Guardian.

Calls for Proposals

Creative Placemaking: Call for 2013 Proposals
Deadline: November 1

ArtPlace launches its third round of grant applications to support creative placemaking in communities across America. Creative placemaking is a means of investing in arts and culture through integrated strategies to drive vibrancy and diversity so as to transform communities. Thus far, ArtPlace has awarded $26.9 million in grants and up to $1 million to 76 organizations in 46 communities across the country. Learn more about the application process.

Nominate an Arts Organization to Be Featured on Alternate ROOTS
Deadline: October 31

Alternate ROOTS supports artists that create art with, in, and for their communities. They offer a variety of opportunities for art organizations to promote their work and secure funding. Alternate ROOTS has deadlines approaching for its artist funding and residency programs. It is also taking nominations for exceptional arts organizations in honor of National Arts & Humanities Month. Visit the website for more information.

Events on the Horizon

ASU’s Performance in the Borderlands Projects
September–November 2012
Various locations, check website for details

ASU's Performance in the Borderlands Project is bringing artists, academics, activists, and community members together in a public forum to discuss how art can change and shape the city.

The Performance in the Borderlands Project is a research, education, and public programming initiative dedicated to the understanding and promotion of cultural performance in the borderlands between the United States and Mexico, and all the cultures this region comprises.

What Can We Learn from dOCUMENTA (13)?
Wednesday, October 24, 7:00 p.m.
Santa Monica, CA

The 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, CA hosts presentations from artists and curators who participated in or visited one of this year's most important exhibitions in contemporary art, dOCUMENTA (13). Panelists will look at projects and reflect on their relation to social practice right now. What can we learn from the art projects, curatorial practice, expanded notions of location, pedagogy, and their intersections?

Vote and Make Art Day
November 6, 2012
Polling stations throughout the United States

Andrew Purchin calls for artists to make art on Election Day. On November 6, 2012, people will make art of any kind, in public for at least five minutes as close as they can to their polling place. Participants can post photos or videos of their art making experience on our Facebook page, 1000 Artists: Presidential Inauguration 2013, and it will automatically show up on athousandartists.com/news. “Vote and Make Art Day” capitalizes on creativity to promote reflection in our democratic political process.

LACE: Can LA Make Socially Engaged Art Happen?
Saturday, November 10, 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. (PT)
Hollywood, CA

From trust building and community process to funding and timing, this session invites participants to grapple with fundamental questions: what does it take to sustain a project? How can one best represent the community? How long will the work really take? Explore the possibilities and limits of current organizational models and curatorial strategies that support Social Engagement Art practices.

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