Author(s): Assaf, Andrea
Date of Publication: Oct 20, 2021

The Poetry Dialogues project was a series of intergenerational workshops, presentations, and community dialogues that utilized contemporary and traditional poetry forms—including rap, spoken word, African jali (or griot) praise poetry, Muslim prayer-calling, and Filipino balagtasan—to engage audiences and communities in dialogue on self-defined issues. The Poetry Dialogues project was based on an exploration of dialogic poetry, the concept of poetry as dialogue and its potential to contribute to a broader civic dialogue. The project included: intergenerational dialogue

Author(s): Haft, Jamie
Date of Publication: 2012

A growing number of colleges and universities are expanding and deepening the role that publicly engaged scholarship in the humanities, arts, and design can play in contributing to positive change in the communities and regions within which higher education institutions exist. This paper provides an overview of how this is happening, largely through mutually beneficial partnerships between campuses and communities. Such collaborations aim to leverage assets as well as tackle local problems through the unique capacities of humanities, arts, and design while enhancing faculty teaching and

Author(s): Boggs, Grace Lee
Date of Publication: 2003

In October 2003, Detroit-based activist, cultural worker, and octogenarian Grace Lee Boggs energized and inspired a national gathering of artists, arts organization and community leaders, and activists with her speech at Animating Democracy's National Exchange on Art & Civic Dialogue. Boggs described a United States that is increasingly jobless; that jeopardizes its youth in a problem-wrought education system; and that is resented for its economic, military, and cultural domination. "Can we create a new paradigm of our selfhood and our nationhood?" she implored. In Boggs&

Author(s): Treuhaft, Hanna
Date of Publication: August 2008

In November 2007, artistic directors from four artist-led organizations (Cornerstone Theater Company, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Sojourn Theatre, and Urban Bush Women) gathered to share ideas about community-engaged art practices, and connection with and responsibility to audiences and young artists. This report, written by Hannah Treuhaft, a company member from Sojourn Theatre and participant at the gathering, recaps and assembles themes and perspective from the four participating organizations.  Through discussion, four themes and conversations dominated: 1) methodologies and

Author(s): Stewart, Shannon
Date of Publication: January 2011

In towns all across the United States, young people are using music and art to make interesting, creative, and positive things happen in their communities. They are punks, rappers, educators, singer-songwriters, artists, and community organizers who carve out safe creative spaces for people to come together. This paper by Shannon Stewart characterizes youth-based music organizations that are fostering civic engagement through music. Stewart provides a current view of these groups as preface to the 2007 All-Ages Movement Project Project Report. The All-ages Movement Project (AMP), a network

Author(s): Premo, Michael
Date of Publication: October 2012

As artist, cultural worker, and organizer, Michael Premo offers a prismatic lens through which Detroit appears as an “incubator of possibility,” a place where an affirmative path forward is being forged by creativity.  He reflects on the exemplary work of The Alley Project, Detroit Summer, Matrix Theatre Company, and Detroit Future Youth to highlight how young people are stepping up as the next generation of artist-activists, leaders, and perpetuators of the character and spirit that is uniquely Detroit.  They are adding their own fresh vision on creative process and

Author(s): Hillman, Grady
Date of Publication: December 2010

Largely led by community artists and arts organizations with long-standing commitments to applied arts practice with diverse marginalized populations, arts in corrections assume varied forms and intentions. Arts programs provide expressive and reflective opportunities that enable the incarcerated to examine the trajectory of their lives. Arts and restorative justice programs are taking root in many states and communities, particularly with juvenile justice, providing offenders an opportunity to make restitution to those they have injured while learning the positive values and history of the

Author(s): Kahn, Polly
Date of Publication: February 2014

The role that American orchestras play in community life has been steadily expanding over the last several decades. Fresh approaches to community involvement both in the musical offerings of in- and after-school programs as well as engaging traditionally underserved populations have paved the way as orchestras grow in their civic and social roles. This paper by Polly Kahn of the League of American Orchestras illuminates how orchestras are responding to changing demographics, helping people come together in ways that cut across their differences. Innovative participatory models show how

Author(s): Coryat, Diana
Date of Publication: January 2011

Youth media is a diverse array of practices in which young people collaborate with artists and educators to express themselves creatively, communicate with peers across borders, and participate in community dialogue and problem solving. Social justice-focused youth media facilitates a root-cause analysis of “why things are the way they are,” has a vision of a more just and equitable society, and uses media to contest dominant narratives and to support systemic change. The process of creating and presenting media can be transformative for youth, educators, communities, and