C 4 A A   T R A I N I N G  P R O G R A M

In October 2015, in collaboration with Transgender Europe (TGEU) and funded by Open Society Foundations, we traveled to Berlin to carry out a School for Creative Activism.  We made a short movie to give you a bit more of an insight in exactly what goes on during our workshops. Enjoy!

→ What is The School for Creative Activism?

The School for Creative Activism is a participatory workshop infusing community organizing and civic engagement with culture and creativity.

Working directly with organizers and community actors, the SCA leverages the strengths of grassroots activism and the attention grabbing and complex messaging of art through a curriculum designed to:

C U R R I C U L U M  A I M S

Teach cultural tactics and creative strategies employed effectively by organizers in the past.

Recognize and draw upon the cultural resources and creative talents residing within individuals, organizations, and communities in the present.

Collectively run scenarios and plan campaigns that utilize culture and creativity.

Build a network of organizers and artists using a model of creative organizing more effective in our media-saturated, spectacle-savvy world.

T H E  F I R S T  R U L E  O F  A C T I V I S M

The first rule of activism is to know the terrain and use it to your advantage and the current political topography is one of symbols and signs, images and expressions. This is the avant-garde of activism today. From small community organizations to international NGOs, visionary activists are looking to broaden their base of appeal and the reach of their message by employing culture alongside more traditional organizing practices. Our training will help these organizations use innovative and creative ways to engage politics.


The SCA is not just about ‘better messaging,’ our goal is more effective organizing. Our curriculum updates the activist tool-kit through the reimagination and reconfiguration of tactics, strategy and organization in such a way that creativity and culture factors into every plan and every action.

The SCA is the only training school that offers a broad-based education focused on the organizers themselves; teaching overarching principles, perspectives, and skills of creative activism that they can apply to their own campaigns. Innovation is required: we don’t just provide tactics, we teach a proven methodology for developing creative campaigns. In addition, the SCA is run by a practicing political artist and a recognized cultural theorist, both with extensive teaching experience.

To date we have worked with over 1000 activists and artists from across the United States, in 11 Countries, and 4 Continents.

The School of Creative Activism was developed by a generous grant from The Democracy and Power Fund of the Open Society Foundations (formerly Open Society Institute

H O S T I N G  T H E  S C H O O L  F O R  C R E A T I V E  A C T I V I S M

To bring the SCA to your community contact the Center for Artistic Activism directly.


 2017 – Washington, DC.
Greenpeace. April 30.

2017 – Washington, DC.
Greenpeace. January 9-13.

 2016 – New York, NY.
Jewish Voices for Peace. October 14.

2015 – New York, NY.
Humanity in Action Conference on Art and Activism. October 17.

2015 – Berlin, Germany.
TGEU (transgender rights). October 8-11.

2015 – Atlanta, Georgia.
Training LGBT activists in Atlanta. September 24-27.

2015 –  Cape Town, South Africa.
SWEAT and Sisonke (sex workers rights), May 30 – April 2.

2014 – Barcelona, Spain.
Access to medicine, December 15-18.

2014 – Chicago, IL.
Auburn Seminary, Chicago Theological Seminary. April 25.

2014 – Skopje, Macedonia.
Training LGBT and AIDS activists from Macedonia. 5 day workshop, March 17-22. 

 2014 – New York, New York.
Beautiful Trouble/C4AA/Yes Labs joint training. February 8.

2013 – Glasgow,  Scotland.
Training Changin’ Scotland, a pro-democracy group organizing around Scotland’s upcoming independence referendum. Weekend workshop, Nov 1-3.

2013 – San Antonio TX.
Training undocumented youth immigration activists. Weekend workshop, September 13-15.

2013 – Boston MA.
United for a Fair Economy, June 5.

2013 – Chicago IL.
Training Iraq (and Afghanistan) Veterans Against the War, prior to their national convention. Weekend workshop, July 29-31.

2013 – Boston MA.
Training United for a Fair Economy staff and field organizers at their annual conference. Short intensive,  June 5.

2013 – Warwick NY.
Training Muslim-American activists organizing against police surveillance. Weekend workshop, May 31-June 2.

2013 – Nairobi, Kenya.
Training AIDS and maternal health activists from Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe. 3 day workshop, March 19-22.

2012- New York NY.
Training  the Work Family Strategies Council (advocates for worker sick leave and flexi-time). Short intensive, Ford Foundation, December 3.

2012 – Ivorytown CT.
Training New York area faith-based social justice activists.  Weekend workshop, November 9-11.

2012 – Houston TX.
Training Houston-based anti-youth incarceration activists. Weekend workshop, October 26-28.

2012 – Boston MA.
Training Boston-based tax justice activists. Weekend workshop, August 3-5.

2012 – Austin TX.
Training Austin-based Texas state budget and expenditure activists. Weekend workshop, June 19-21.

2011- New York NY.
Training New York City-based grass-roots activists representing fifteen area organizations. Weekend workshop,  May 13-15.

2011 – Mebane NC.
Training anti re-segregation activists from across North Carolina. Weekend workshop, April 1-3.

In 2013 we were in Macedonia, working with LGBTQ and Roma-right activists, and we asked them what they expected and what they got out of our workshop. Here’s what they had to say.

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