Organizations – arts, advocacy, and philanthropic –  recognize how cultural, social, and political change are intertwined. Many organizations, however, don’t have the internal expertise or time to develop new strategies for integrating artistic activist methods into their work. The Center for Artistic Activism can help.

We don’t have a “one size fits all” philosophy of artistic activism. We work with you to develop the best, most creative course of action for your group, your issue, your creative resources and your unique cultural context.

Contact us – we’re always happy to jump on the phone to talk about what you need and if we can help.

Here’s some examples:

Open Society Foundations wanted to help artists and activists across Europe use innovative artistic activism methods to highlight inequality in access to medicine and health care. We established the Artistic Activism Awards, providing mini-grants and mentoring to groups of artists and activists. We guided a host of campaigns from Ireland to Hungary, working with the groups to take risks and avoid common pitfalls in order to create truly surprising interventions that had real political impact. Case Study: 2017 Artistic Activism Minigrants.

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art wanted to help their colleagues across 25 major NYC arts organizations understand how to integrate arts and community activism, and maximize the impact of the artists they support. We worked closely with the Museum to create and implement a custom curriculum.

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Greenpeace wanted help getting their already robust and innovative Action Team to use creativity and culture to better engage new audiences in their environmental campaigns. We worked with them to create a custom set of trainings to help their geographically remote staff collaborate to invent new methods for culturally-based campaigns.

Philanthropy NY, a group of the foremost NYC-based foundations, wanted their program officers and directors to understand the landscape of artistic activism and how funders might assess and support practitioners. We created a custom curriculum and led the group on exercises that helped them walk away with specific tools to use in their work.

Treatment Action Group (TAG) wanted help doing something different from the same old protest tactics at the 2018 AIDS Conference in Amsterdam. We mentored them to create a suite of innovative tactics that they will continue to use for years, and more importantly, helped them develop new skills and use their own staff’s creativity. Bryn Gay from TAG says: “You guys helped us avoid activist burnout – we didn’t realize we could have so much fun while being really impactful.” Case Study: Amsterdam AIDS Conference.

Action Aid Logo White

ActionAid wanted to measure the impact of their programs that promote youth engagement in civic life through art. Working with artistic activists in West Africa, we collaborated on the development and implementation and self-assessment tools for their program participants.

Public Defender Association Logo

Public Defenders Association was confronted with the opioid crisis hitting hard in Seattle and wanted to revitalize their campaign to help marginalized drug users receive treatment. We helped them vastly increase their volunteer and public engagement through a series of actions and new tactics through our Accelerator campaign mentoring program. Read more about the Accelerator program and our work in Seattle.

SWEAT wanted to increase their presence and influence at the International AIDS Conference in 2016 in Durban, South Africa. We helped their activists tap into their creative resources and form specific ambitious objectives, all of which were met, including an amazing meeting with Elton John. Case Study: Accelerator and SWEAT


The Accelerator Program

Our Accelerator Program is an initiative designed to help groups jumpstart their social change campaigns through intensive Center for Artistic Activism mentoring and project implementation. It is in-depth, on-site collaboration with senior staff from the Center for Artistic Activism.

Impact and Assessment Advising

Our Impact and Assessment Advising specializes in helping artists and activists, and arts and advocacy organizations, understand and assess the goals, audiences, ethics and impact of their creative projects through self-assessment and participant-led evaluation.

As in all the cases above, we customize consulting based on needs of the organization. Some of what we do includes:

  • Introduction to Artistic Activism and Best Practices: giving keynotes, talks and presentations.
  • Arts Action Mentoring: mentoring artists in the implementation of creative actions, from concept through self-assessment and helping arts orgs figure out how to best support their social practice artists.
  • Accelerator Program: helps advocacy organizations conceive of and create new tactics and campaigns that strategically incorporate culture and creativity.
  • Organization Consultation can help an organization form longer term strategies and methodology that integrate creative advocacy best practices and collaborations.
  • Impact and Assessment: working with artists, activists and organizations to develop practice-appropriate evaluation.

Contact us

We’re happy to provide more information about any of our programs. After a brief conversation, together we can figure out a good match for you and your team.

Advising Info

I am so grateful for your time and your precious advice and guidance, the way you framed the process, your questions and your feedback have been transformative and thanks to you I am tweaking the project.

– Dani

Get in touch! Let us know your situation and what you’re hoping to achieve. Our programs are always customized to fit the specific contexts we work within.