We use Facebook to connect with you, and you use Facebook to connect with us. It’s not our preferred way, but it’s where over 4000 of you have chosen to stay informed about what we do at the Center for Artistic Activism. Part of our philosophy at the C4AA is to meet people where they are, and, undeniably, hundreds of millions of people (and some bots) are on Facebook. However, looking at the statistics provided by Facebook, we’ve come to realize that the connection we were after isn’t actually made. You wouldn’t realize because you don’t know what’s kept from you. (In fact, statistically, you’re probably not reading this on Facebook.)
We currently have 4,093 “fans” for our page on Facebook. For a scrappy organization focused on artistic activism, that’s not bad (especially since we never bought bots to boost our numbers). Those thousands came from years of hard work doing outreach.
Stephen Duncombe and Steve Lambert started the organization around 2009, shortly after Facebook asked organizations to create “pages” to help differentiate from personal “profiles.” In those early years, we used our fan page to share the progress we were making to support artists and activists fighting corruption in West Africa, to help save the lives in the opioid crisis, to get proper healthcare for LGBTQ people in Eastern Europe, and our work to make activism more creative, fun, and effective.
After trainings and other events, our page was especially active as new alumni from countries around the world joined to stay in touch. However, in recent years, the traffic dropped off.