We understand how and why artistic activism works, and we help people use best practices combined with their unique skills and cultural context to create and maintain innovative campaigns and resilient movements.
Advocacy and arts organizations, and individual artists and activists have been increasingly coming to us wanting training they cannot receive elsewhere. Over the past 9 years, we have trained over 1400 artists and activists in-person across the United States, a dozen countries and 4 continents and thousands more online.
Others teach a particular technique or practice, we teach a philosophy and methodology so people can create a practice and technique themselves. We harness the creativity that exists in all people, whether they consider themselves artists or not, and help them turn their creativity into a powerful tool for social change. We focus on outcomes and effectiveness. A creative action may look great or be popular, but we’re not afraid to ask if it really worked.
The School for Creative Activism is for activists and advocacy organizations. This 2 – 5 day workshop increases the impact of campaigns by teaching participants how to use culture and creativity to engage and activate new audiences. We have done this workshop for 10 years, from Berlin to South Africa, and from North Carolina to New York City. We’ve worked with Greenpeace, Trans Mezra Balkans, Veterans for Peace, and dozens more organizations.
The Art Action Academy is for artists and art organizations. The Art Action Academy teaches what art school doesn’t – how to bring creative skills to activism in ways that work. We’ve worked with multidisciplinary NYC artists in partnership with the Queens Museum, and arts organizations at the Metropolitcan Museum of Art, with artists in Russia, West Africa and the West Balkans fighting corruption through performance, music and poetry, with queer and trans artists from Croatia, and many more. Learn more.
Creative Grantmaking Workshop is for funders supporting creative activism and advocacy. This workshop that covers how to provoke and support high-quality artistic activism. We’ve worked with grantmakers and program officers from around the world, including through the Open Society Foundations and Philanthropy NY.
Creative Leadership Collaboration a train-the-trainers program to enable artists and activists to train their peers and communities in effective creative activism. Center for Artistic Activism has collaborated with artists and activists in the Western Balkans and Western Africa to create regional training networks specifically tailored to their particular contexts.
Online Center for Artistic Activism Training to expand the scope of our trainings and make then accessible to a wider audience we created our free Center for Artistic Activism Webinar Series, and continue to develop customized live online trainings for individuals and organizations.
Advocacy Innovation Labs are online trainings organized around the goals and objectives of a specific campaign. Our Free the Vaccine for COVID-19 campaign trains participants in artistic and access to medicines activism, and make progress toward real wins through a collective creative process.
Custom Training All our workshops are tailored to the group and intended outcomes. Just as culture is unique to a place, time and group of people, our trainings are always refined in dialogue with our partners.
Open Society Foundations wanted to support marginalized people in resisting corruption and saw that typical advocacy techniques were not working. We trained local artists and activists and helped them created regional Art Action Academies in West Africa and the Balkans that are providing techniques that work to people fighting corruption through culture worldwide.