During the 2024 primary season, eleven exceptional teams of artistic activists are coming together to develop and implement big, bold ideas for how to address the greatest challenges our country and its democracy face:

How do we increase excitement in civic participation?

How do we increase access to civic participation?

How do we increase safety in civic participation?

Each of the following teams have four weeks, $4000, and endless mentorship and support from the Center for Artistic Activism’s experts to conduct experiments and learn all they can.

The Experiments

Canvasser Waze

Team: Maria Javier, Jeanine Abrams McLean, and Cate Mayer of Public Wise, Fair Count, and Be. The. Ones. | Locations: Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi

Convention ALL

Team: Becky Bullard and Andrew Dinwiddie of Democrasexy with Deeds Not Words and MOVE Texas | Location: Texas

Delivering Democracy

Team: L.M. Bogad | Location: Pennsylvania

The Future of South Carolina

Team: Cate Mayer of Be. The. Ones. | Location: South Carolina

Glow in the Dark Voting Stations

Team: Carlitos Díaz of QLatinx with additional local organizations | Location: Florida

Local Democracy Challenge

Team: Alexandra Leal Silva of Common Cause California | Location: California

Music: the Motivoter

Team: Nate Dewart of Songs For Good with Fair Count | Location: Georgia

Oops! All Donuts!

Team: Mark Kendall of CoolCoolCool Productions | Location: Georgia

Pop Up Culture Shop

Team: Jessica Tully and Alejandra G Ramirez of Center for Cultural Power with Gregory Sale of Arizona State University | Location: Arizona

Save Our Progress

Team: Sara Mortensen and Angela Eng of Fandom Forward | Location: Online

Voting is Mutual Aid

Team: Aileen Loy | Location: Georgia

Why Experiment?

For a corporate perspective (whose takeaways we can certainly apply to our own work):

“If testing is so valuable, why don’t companies do it more? After examining this question for several years, I can tell you that the central reason is culture. As companies try to scale up their online experimentation capacity, they often find that the obstacles are not tools and technology but shared behaviors, beliefs, and values. For every experiment that succeeds, nearly 10 don’t—and in the eyes of many organizations that emphasize efficiency, predictability, and “winning,” those failures are wasteful.

“To successfully innovate, companies need to make experimentation an integral part of everyday life—even when budgets are tight. That means creating an environment where employees’ curiosity is nurtured, data trumps opinion, anyone (not just people in R&D) can conduct or commission a test, all experiments are done ethically, and managers embrace a new model of leadership.” Read more here.

For a human rights perspective (that reclaims innovation from the private sector):

“There is near-consensus among human rights practitioners that the field faces, if not a crisis, a daunting array of complex challenges. For the majority of the world that lacks significant economic and political power, there is an urgent need to diversify our tools and increase our capacity to innovate as quickly as the powerful do. To meet this need, some human rights advocates have embraced design thinking and the innovation lab model as a way to shake free of old patterns and identify promising, if sometimes crazy, ideas.” Read more here.