CENTER FOR ARTISTIC ACTIVISM — CREATIVE COMMONS BY-NC-SA

EDUCATION

Art is essential for social change. For change to happen, people need a sense of possibility to fuel their motivation. Art provides us a vision of what could be, as well as a critical reflection upon the world we must act within right now. Art also helps us feel and experience both pain and possibility, rather than simply know and understand it. In a word: Art moves us. Yet, all this sound and fury needs to be directed if it is to signify something. The tactics and strategies of activism offers us the tools and methods to turn artistic affect into political effect.

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Developed for experienced organizers and activists, the SCA leverages the pragmatism of grassroots activism and the creativity of the arts. We’ve designed a curriculum that teaches cultural tactics and creative strategies employed effectively by organizers in the past while recognizing and drawing upon the cultural resources and creative talents residing within individuals, organizations, and communities in the present. Through presentations, participatory exercises, and hands-on practice, SCA participants learn to brainstorm tactics and plan campaigns that utilize culture and creativity. From small community organizations to international NGOs, we work with visionary activists who are looking to broaden their base of appeal and the reach of their message by employing culture alongside more traditional organizing practices. Our training provides the skills and knowledge to help you develop innovative and creative ways to bring about social change. Read more

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Many artists want to create work that has a social impact. Unfortunately, organizing a successful social-change campaign isn’t part of a typical art education. The AAA helps socially-engaged artists make more impactful work and better evaluate its effect. Building upon the success of the School for Creative Activism, in which community organizers are trained in cultural tactics and creative strategies, the Art Action Academy flips this model on its head, reorienting the workshops toward artists. Instead of training grassroots change-makers to become more creative, the AAA trains socially engaged artists to become more effective change-makers. The goal of the AAA is not merely to impart knowledge, but to access, organize and operationalize the creative, cultural and political resources possessed by the artists themselves. If you are an artist group looking to maximise the social and political impact of your creative practice, we can help. Read more

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After the November 2016 U.S. election, we immediately went to work hosting live online webinars to quickly and widely disseminate the fundamentals of artistic activism. The C4AA Fundamentals webinar series introduces many of the concepts and exercises from the School for Creative Activism and the Art Action Academy. All of these are archived as videos online. You don’t need to watch all of them, or watch them in order (but we hope you will!). Our How to Win webinar series started after the Fundamentals, and gets deeper into specific practices of artistic activism. We also have some fantastic special guests who have done incredible creative and activist work.

Watch the webinars now

WHAT WE DO

Change doesn’t start with action, it starts with vision. A mission statement is fine for the “about page” on your website or at the top of your board report, but in order to truly change the world we live in we need to be able to vividly imagine the world we desire. This takes dedicated time and attention. Through the Imagining Utopia workshop, C4AA faculty work with groups to stimulate their imagination of what could be. Beginning with presentations of dreams of the future from the past and diverse visions of Utopia, we then guide participants through a series of exercises designed to liberate and articulate our own visions of the future. But we don’t just leave participants in their dream world. As a group we work with these Utopian sketches and collectively figure out how we might make these dreams – or at least a part of these dreams – into reality. We call this process pragmatic utopianism. Whether you are a class of  elementary school students or seasoned grassroots activists (we’ve worked with both) this workshop is designed to help free your minds from the tyranny of the possible, and then make the impossible possible. Read more

 LOGISTICS

Our standard SCA training runs 3-5 days and follows this schedule [link to schedule], but we can work with your group to customize a training that works best for you. Contact us about bringing the School for Creative Activism to you. 

 LOGISTICS

Our standard AAA  training runs 3-5 days and follows this schedule, but we can work with your group to customize a training that works best for you. Contact us about bringing the Art Action Academy to you. 

 LOGISTICS

Webinars run about 50 minutes, and are live online but some of them are also archived. See the Webinars page to watch the archives and to find out when you can join in the next one live.

 LOGISTICS

Our standard Imagining Utopia training runs about 3 hours, but we can work with your group to customize a training that works best for you. Contact us about bringing Imagining Utopia to your community.  

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