New Site Highlights the Field of Arts for Change, Exploring How Art Effects Social Change in Today’s Society

Monday, March 12, 2012

press releaseContact:
Catherine Brandt

Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, today announced it has launched a new website for Animating Democracy, a program that works to inspire, inform, promote and connect arts as a contributor to community, civic and social change.

 Designed to bring significant visibility to and serve as a commons for artists and cultural organizations, change agents, funders and other interested parties, the new website creates a hub where arts for change work and its impact are portrayed and where practitioners and stakeholders can find relevant resources and connections.

"Artists and arts organizations with common values, interests and intents are often unaware of others working on the same issues. They are not frequently connecting their work, sharing information or learning from other’s experience," says Pam Korza, co-director of Animating Democracy. "Consequently, it is difficult for both the artistic community and general public to understand and appreciate the contributions being made by artists and arts organizations to social change. The Animating Democracy website is designed to bridge that gap in communication and understanding." 

With the new website, Animating Democracy is amassing the stories and aggregating the evidence of the impact arts for change work is having across the country. Specifically, the site offers:

  • A wide-angle view of the landscape where arts for change work is taking place, what it looks like, how it is being talked about, who is doing the work and who is supporting it.
  • Tools, frameworks and resources to help artists, arts organization leaders, community partners and funders consider what evidence to look for and how to document and track the change arts and arts organizations are spurring.

The new site also incorporates resources generated by Animating Democracy's Arts and Social Change Mapping Initiative  and the Arts & Civic Engagement Impact Initiative  as well as a wealth of publications, tools and resources from Animating Democracy’s first decade of contributions to the field. 

The website, as well as the larger Arts and Social Change Mapping Initiative, are supported by the:  Nathan Cummings, Open Society, CrossCurrents, Lambent, and Surdna Foundations. 

Launched in 1999, Animating Democracy, a program of Americans for the Arts, works to inspire, inform, promote and connect arts as a contributor to community, civic and social change.  With an emphasis on the vital role of the arts in a democratic society, Animating Democracy supports Americans for the Arts’ primary mission to foster an environment in which the arts can thrive and contribute to the creation of more livable communities and brings to bear Americans for the Arts’ unique strengths in research, policy, professional development, visibility, and advocacy. Animating Democracy’s initiatives are designed to build knowledge about quality practice, create useful resources, and bring national visibility to arts for change work.

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 50 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at