Have you heard about the Center for Artistic Activism Secret Sauce? Well, if you’re wondering whether creative activism works, or challenged by what it even means for creative activism to work then you’re in luck – at the next edition of Revolutionizing Activism on May 26th at 12pm EST we’re sharing the secret sauce behind some of our best recipes for evaluating creative activism.
Our very own Stephen Duncombe, co-founder of The Center of Artistic Activism, will lead a conversation that highlights exciting case studies and best practices for assessing your advocacy. Featuring multidisciplinary artist Shaun Leonardo, and Liba Beyer (Chief of Global Campaigns UNHCR), join us as we take a look at how to creatively measure success – how we can figure out what’s working and how you can use that information to creatively and intentionally experiment on your next project!
Meet: Shaun Leonardo
Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist Shaun Leonardo has invited people from all sides of gun violence to debate about the pressing issue – but using movement, not words! He talks about the fact that words – especially when issues are emotionally charged – can actually get in the way of communication and productive debate. Considering the horrific events in Buffalo and other cities across America this week, we can’t think of a better time to talk about Shaun’s experience of using creativity and art to shift the conversation about gun control and other pressing social issues. We can’t wait to talk with Shaun about his ongoing groundbreaking performance piece, Primitive Games, and how he assesses his own work.
Meet: Liba Beyer
Liba Beyer joined UNHCR after twenty years of service at Human Rights Watch (HRW), most recently as the Director of Global Campaigns where she launched Human Rights Watch’s first-ever public engagement and mobilization unit. We first met our other panelist, Liba Beyer, when she completely blew us away with her amazing talk at the frank gathering about her Persuasion Lab at Human Rights Watch (HRW). She talked in such a smart way about how to “feed people vegetables in a world of candy”, and how that can be measured! Beyer consults on organizational strategic management, fundraising, impact evaluation, and human rights research in Rwanda, Indonesia, Thailand, Israel, and the Occupied Territories.
Our Experiment to Assess Artistic Activism
By actually testing and gathering data. In 2018, Stephen Duncombe and Silas Harrebye conducted the Copenhagen Experiment, the first-ever public experiment on the comparative effect and affect of artistic activism vs. more conventional forms of activist interventions. The research team carried out activist interventions around a current environmental issue on a popular and well-traveled bridge in the middle of Copenhagen, Denmark. Each day a conventional activist intervention: public speaking, petitioning, or flyering, was paired with a “creative” way of accomplishing the same task in a classic A/B experimental model.
More Reading About A/Effective Artistic Activism
Want to understand more of the theory and science behind evaluating artistic activism? Stephen Duncombe’s 2018 article, “Does It Work? The A/Effect of Activist Art” is a great place to start.
Have your own recipes for project evaluation? Be part of the conversation! We’d love to know how you evaluate and assess your advocacy.