Inside Artist-Municipal Partnerships

Whether it is a City’s commitment to redress systemic racial inequities, a juvenile court system shifting from penalizing youth to a restorative justice approach, or a local arts agency advancing the power of art as civic change agent, more municipalities are engaging artists to bring new capacities and strategies to government agencies and, in doing so, increasing their effectiveness in achieving civic goals. More artists, too, are moved to contribute their creative assets to the public good by gaining access to and working as partners with municipal agencies and systems. This week, Animating Democracy’s blog salon, Inside Artist-Municipal Partnerships, explores the question: What does it take to make partnerships between municipal agencies and artists work? Leading-edge local arts agency leaders and arts practitioners who are serving as instigators, facilitators, intermediaries, and advancers of these partnerships share principles and practices they’ve tested and lessons they’ve learned that can help guide peer agencies and peer artists toward effective partnerships.

Loving the Question of Beauty

Why is beauty, a word often included in definitions of aesthetics, missing from the list of 11 attributes of excellence in the Aesthetic Perspectives framework? It is a question that prompted many conversations during the making of the framework as we wrestled with exclusive connotations of “taste” and what is “beautiful.” I posit that the sum total of the 11 aesthetic attributes complexifies beauty and provides a framework for reconsidering what is beauty in Arts for Change. 

Wake Up to a New Day

Notions of excellence and equity are linked and increasingly demand that we attend to both the positive and negative ways they intersect in policies, practices, and decisions. Which artists get opportunities, who gains resources, how are arts and cultural practices understood and valued by critics, audiences, and gatekeepers? Our Excellence and Equity Blog Salon explores these questions and provides guidance in the form of Animating Democracy's new framework Aesthetic Perspectives: Attributes of Excellence in Arts for Change.

Digging In: Cultivating Equity through Personal Responsibility

Systems don’t change themselves. Equity can’t happen without commitment from the individuals who comprise organizations, communities, and society and understanding where each other is coming from.

Tribute to Grace Lee Boggs

Last month, our country lost one of its great thinkers and activists for a just and equitable society.  We join friends and colleagues in Detroit and across the nation in mourning the loss of Grace Lee Boggs who passed away on October 5. She was and will live on as an unrelenting exemplar of what it means to live a life of humanity and activism in striving for social justice.

Cooking up Frameworks - Inviting You to the Evaluation Test Kitchen

At the October Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) conference, artist Rosten Woo described the Vendor Power! project, a poster/brochure initiated by the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) and designed by artist Candy Chang to make comprehensible New York City’s most commonly violated street vending rules which are buried in hundreds of pages of impenetrable bureaucratese.  For thousands of vendors whose first language is not English, the Vendor Power! poster became an essential tool, directly helping them to understand their rights, avoid fines, and know how to respond when approached by police. Woo reported with satisfaction that, following CUP’s distribution of 10,000 posters, the Dept. of Consumer Affairs seized the poster’s power to address a longstanding institutional problem and printed another 10,000. Here the system took action to change a problematic practice.  If only evidence of change was always so clear!

What Metrics Matter? A Complicated Question in CSR and the Arts

Alex Parkinson, researcher for The Conference Board, urges in his blog post that arts and culture leaders need to become adept at demonstrating the social impact of the arts in terms that speak to corporate leaders. I agree! But, it’s not just about arts leaders building evaluation capacity. Social responsibility and impact starts with both cultural and corporate leaders defining clear intention and acknowledging that some shifts may be needed in defining the metrics that matter when assessing arts and corporate social responsibility investments.

Giving Circles: On-the-Ground Philanthropy and Civic Engagement (from Arts Watch)

According to the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, giving circles are a growing trend in philanthropy that is rooted in tradition and here to stay. Also called donor circles, they are a relatively simple way for everyday people to pool their money and decide together where to give it away.  They have emerged over the last decade as a significant philanthropic trend among donors of all wealth levels and backgrounds.

Help Map the Funding Landscape for Arts that Make Civic and Social Change (from Arts Watch)

How are funders—public and private sector alike—thinking about and supporting arts and culture as a strategy for civic engagement and social change? That’s what some funders and Animating Democracy want to find out as we launch a survey of local, state, and regional arts agencies, private and corporate foundations, and other funders as part of our Arts & Social Change Mapping Initiative. The survey for funders will be available online from December 1–18, 2009.

The Contributions of Small and Midsized Community-Based Arts Organizations (from Arts Watch)

At the recent Americans for the Arts annual convention, Animating Democracy debuted a newly published essay by Ron Chew, former director of the Wing Luke Asian Museum in Seattle.  In “Community-based Arts Organizations: A New Center of Gravity,” Ron underscores the crucial contributions of small and mid-sized community-based arts organizations, often culturally specific, to the cultural ecosystem, to civic engagement, and toward achieving healthy communities and a healthy democracy.  He points out that these groups off

Subscribe to RSS - Ms. Pam Korza's blog