Animating Democracy E-News - Animating Democracy March 2010 E-News (Plain Text Version)

View Graphical Version | Search back issues

News from the Field

Reanimating Lots for Community Dialogue

The Arts Council for Long Beach’s A LOT series brings temporary visual- and performance-based artwork to vacant lots in the city’s targeted areas. Each project is accompanied by an open-air symposium related to urban planning, civic engagement, and art.

The first installment of the A LOT series, EXPULSION, will feature an original performance danced by four men from Collage Dance Theatre (CDT). For EXPULSION, CDT will activate a vacant lot in Long Beach’s Cambodia Town that is owned by the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency. Based on the themes of immigration and dislocation, this free, cross-disciplinary site performance explores the temporary, often fragile nature of “home.” Taking place at 6:00 p.m. on March 19 and 20, the performance will feature dancers from Long Beach’s Khmer Arts Academy and will incorporate stories from local community members. The performance on March 19 will be followed by a symposium with Artistic Director of CDT Heidi Duckler.

Printing with Purpose: Exhibit from Leeway Highlights Activist Printmaking

The Leeway Foundation presents Shouts from the Wall, an exhibition of approximately 50 limited-edition prints, posters, and apparel, covering issues of current national and global interest created by members of Taller Tupac Amaru, an Oakland-based artist collective dedicated to the production and public distribution of political posters; members of the Philadelphia-based collective RECLAIM: Silk Screen Production and Community Workshop; and individual local artists.

The artists featured in Shouts from the Wall work to foster a resurgence in printmaking mediums by producing original posters, prints, and apparel for community-based grassroots organizations throughout the country. The bold graphics and direct messages in the works build upon a rich tradition of social activism, and the issues they explore are both timely and relevant.

Viewings are by appointment only March 25–June 25 at the Leeway Foundation Offices in Philadelphia. To schedule a viewing call 215.545.4078.

Performance Sparks Student Dialogue on Current Constitutional Issues

Living News, a live theatrical performance in the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, introduces current constitutional issues to students and encourages them to explore their points of view on timely issues. Incorporating three actors, video, contemporary music, and current news broadcasts, Living News energizes students by including them in the discussion throughout the performance, as well as a 30-minute post-performance dialogue.The performance runs March 8–June 11, 2010.

The ever-changing theatrical exhibit is highlighted in the Philadelphia Inquirer, which can be found at For more information, visit

Imagining America National Conference Call for Proposals

Submissions Deadline: Friday, April 2, 2010. The Imagining America 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 conference will take place in Seattle, WA, September 23–25, 2010.

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.

Publications and Resources

Evidence of Change: Exploring Civic Engagement Evaluation
Building Movement Project

In many cases, not knowing how to demonstrate the results of civic engagement and social change work has hindered service providers from adopting these activities and has prevented them from receiving funding for this work. This report summarizes the recent efforts of the Building Movement Project, the Alliance for Children and Families, and the Ms. Foundation for Women who came together to respond to this call for methods and tools for measuring the impact of social change work. It offers a look into how organizations currently view their relationship with impact measurement and then presents a brief summary of the key findings that came out of the Civic Engagement Evaluation Summit convened by the partner organizations. The report culminates with a set of recommendations for how to increase the nonprofit sector’s capacity to respond to the increasing need for tools to measure the impact of civic engagement and social change work.

For the full report, visit

The Art of Action: Shaping Vermont's Future through Art
Orton Family Foundation

The slideshow entitled The Art of Action: Shaping Vermont's Future Through Art features 10 Vermont artists who were selected for the Art of Action project—an initiative conceived by philanthropists Lyman Orton and Janice Izzi and supported by the Vermont Arts Council, the Vermont Folklife Center, and the Orton Family Foundation. Through the project, the artists and the art they create become a vehicle and a catalyst for discussing and shaping the future of Vermont. The slideshow can be viewed at  [return to top]

Events on the Horizon

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, entitled What Difference Are We Making? Assessing Social Impact of Arts for Community Change, on Thursday, March 25.

For more information about At the Crossroads, contact or visit

Towards a New WPA: Supporting Women Artists Now
New York City, NY
Saturday, March 22, 2010

On Monday, March 22 at 7:00 p.m., WomenArts will present Towards a New WPA: Supporting Women Artists Now, a play reading and panel discussion, at Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City. The event is part of the third international SWAN (Support Women Artists Now) Day, a celebration of women artists that is held annually during March as part of Women’s History Month.

The event will feature a staged reading by NewShoe Theatre Group of Mixed Relief, a one-act play that juxtaposes voices of women writers of the WPA with contemporary women theater artists. Following the reading, a panel of leading arts activists will discuss new strategies to increase arts funding and promote cultural equality.

The League of Women Theatre Artists will host a reception following the panel. For reservations, please visit

2010 Sojourn Theatre One-Week Summer Institute
Devising Civic Theatre: Performance, Social Practice, & Dialogue
Portland, OR
Lewis & Clark College
June 21–June 26, 2010

Sojourn Theatre is offering a six-day workshop/training for adults working in theater, education, and community settings. Participants will have the opportunity to explore the techniques and strategies that Sojourn Theatre Artistic Director Michael Rohd uses in collaborative work with groups in a variety of settings. This institute offers sequences of physical activity, solo to group work, and devising strategies that are adaptable for the contexts in which you create, produce, teach, and lead.

For information or registration details, e-mail

Dance Exchange Institute
Dance Exchange Studios and other DC-area locations
July 5–17, 2010

Join the full company of the Dance Exchange for an immersive two-week experience as they focus on collaboration, adaptation of movement to one’s own range and capacity, and exploration of the choreographic and generative methodology of Dance Exchange.

This institute is a comprehensive experience of the tools, techniques, and philosophy of the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. Activities will include daily technique classes designed with high and low intensity options in mind, sessions focused on movement invention and choreographic crafting, and practice in leadership and followership. Evening activities will include video showings of archival Dance Exchange works, Critical Response Process training, master sessions with Liz Lerman, “Moving Dialogue” panel discussions, and more.

In collaboration with the National Building Museum, the institute will culminate in multiple site-specific performances in a downtown Washington, DC parking garage.

For more information and to register, contact Ellen Chenoweth at 301.270.6700, x 18 or via e-mail at  [return to top]

About Animating Democracy

Animating Democracy is a four-year initiative of Americans for the Arts and is made possible with support from the Ford Foundation.

Share With Us!

Do you have news you would like to share with Animating Democracy and the broader world of art and civic engagement? Send an e-mail to with "Animating Democracy E-News" in the subject line. Please be sure to include full contact information.

Remove Me

To remove yourself from this list, send an e-mail to with "unsubscribe" in the subject line.

Contact Us

DC Office
1000 Vermont Avenue NW
6th Floor
Washington DC 20005
T 202.371.2830
F 202.371.0424

New York Office
One East 53rd Street
2nd Floor
New York NY 10022
T 212.223.2787
F 212.980.4857