Public Comment as Performance

Government meetings can become a key performance venue with some clever planning. The bar is already set so low that one can easily say their peace and do it with panache! Get inspired by these fun examples… There are situations where open public comment, response, or testimony is invited; shareholder meetings, city council, Q&As, and …

Michael Young Remembered

This was sent out with Michael Young’s memorial announcement this past week. This is the Michael we worked with an his words are worth highlighting: “We are stronger together than going it alone. The pure nature of us, as social justice organizers, activists, researchers, policy advocates and progressive champions, is to debate, collaborate and innovate …

Advocacy Innovation Lab: Free the Vaccine for COVID-19

“Free the Vaccine for COVID-19” is the first implementation of our Advocacy Innovation Labs, designed to train participants in artistic activism while generating new, creative, and innovative tactics to solve urgent problems. The Issue: What’s the Problem We’re Addressing? It’s hard to imagine the day we read the headline “COVID-19 Immunizations Begin.” However, history shows …

Creative Anti-Corruption: Facing down the education system in Albania

Diplomas and degrees are markers of one rigorous study and indicate to others a measure of achievement. Unfortunately, if you want a PhD in Albania, it’s within reach. Just find the right administrator and be prepared to pay. Be careful who you approach because some may prefer sexual favors to cash. This problem makes everyone’s …

Alumni Spotlight: Debbie Almontaser

Debbie Almontaser was part of Center for Artistic Activism workshop in 2015. We selected her because of her past accomplishments and we’re so proud of the work she’s done since! Check out this video about the 2017’s New York Bodega Strike and let your heart swell. Debbie has a new book out also, Leading While …

Comedian Roy Wood Jr. on Audiences

Roy Wood Jr. does his own form of audience testing. In this interview for the Good One Podcast, Wood talks about how he developed a hilarious bit called “Black Patriotism?” for his special, Father Figure. In the interview Wood talks about testing his jokes on different kinds of audiences in different parts of the country …

Let’s Step it Up! Workshop handout

What is this? We wanted a clear, concise list of prompts to remind us of important things to remember when planning an action. We offer this to you and hope it helps. A Strengthening Tonic for Stronger, Leaner, More Æffective Creative Actions The Foundation Dream Have you wandered through your imagined utopia lately? First Steps …

Politics of Humor in an Age of Fools

Notes from Stephen Duncombe’s presentation Politics of Humor in an Age of Fools HEMI Encuentro at UNAM, Mexico City, 10 June 2019 I’ve been thinking a lot about the politics of humor in these very dire and serious times. So what do I think? A great deal of humor points out the absurdity of the normal, …

Phoebe Davies

In this interview, C4AA research fellow Sarah J Halford talks with Phoebe Davies, a social practice artist based in London. In it, Davies discusses her work on constructing social spaces that provide an environment for productive, and often difficult, conversations about politics, sex, gender, and more. She also shares her thoughts on the importance of more collaboration and thoughtful reflection in and around art and activism.

Owen Griffiths

In this interview, C4AA research fellow Sarah J Halford talks with Owen Griffiths, a social practice artist based in Swansea, Wales in the UK. Griffiths shares his strategy for using art projects as tactics to enter into publicly-owned spaces. He collaborates with others to transform these spaces into beautiful and useful landscapes that are co-authored by people in the community. Ultimately, he argues that the art is used to beautify the space, create community buy-in, and keep the space in the hands of the people – rather than sold to a private corporation.

Pam Korza

In this interview, C4AA co-director Steve Duncombe talks with Pam Korza about methods of evaluation in artistic activism. They consider the resistance that some artists have to quantitative evaluation, as well how we might evaluate the work from a perspective of aesthetic excellence. Korza also shares her extensive knowledge as co-director of Animating Democracy, an organization that fosters art for social change projects, and the six outcomes that she looks for when evaluating the success (or failure) of a project.

Marlène Ramírez-Cancio

In this interview, C4AA co-founder Steve Duncombe talks with Marlene Ramirez-Cancio, Associate Director of Arts and Media at the Hemispheric Institute. They discuss the elusive nature of evaluating artistic activism through qualitative frameworks. What is the vocabulary for doing so? And why is that vocabulary so difficult to find? Marlene shares her thoughts on these questions and challenges arts funders to become more comfortable with metrics that measure qualities beyond material successes.

Gan Golan

In this interview, George Perlov talks with Gan Golan, artistic activist and author of the bestselling children’s book parody “Goodnight Bush” and “The Adventures of Unemployed Man,” the critically-acclaimed graphic novel about the economic crisis. Golan discusses the importance of movement narratives and calls for artists and activists, alike, to figure out ways to measure what a movement means to the public.

Favianna Rodriguez

In this interview, C4AA co-founder Steve Duncombe talks with Favianna Rodriguez, prolific art activist and Executive Director of CultureStrike. She shares her creative process behind the “Migration is Beautiful” butterfly, an image that has been widely adopted as a symbol of the migrant rights movement. They also discuss Rodriguez’s theory of change, which involves a strategic focus on cultural change over policy change, as she argues that policy is “the final manifestation of an idea,” that stems directly from culture.