CULTURAL ORGANIZING

These writings, workshops, courses, and other resources represent our framework for building a robust practice where culture is fully integrated into organizing.

 

Workshops

Arts & Democracy offers cultural organizing workshops and learning exchanges ranging from a one-hour conversation in the midst of a conference, to a weekend long workshop. Workshops are designed with local cosponsors to support ongoing local organizing.

Cultural Organizing for Community Change, Brooklyn 2016

Cultural Organizing for Community Change will take place in Gowanus, Brooklyn on Saturday, November 12, 2016 from 9:30am - 6:00pm. The day-long learning exchange will include a cultural organizing framework, skill building workshops, a neighborhood tour, a visual arts installation, discussion of the NYC cultural plan, networking, and resource sharing.
Topics


Program

Following up on the powerful Building Connections gathering in West CLT with a story circle about the right to belong as part of the Peoples State of the Union. Hosted by Arts & Democracy, QC Family Tree, The Tribe, and Power Up NC with US Department of Arts and Culture.

Internet and Social Change: Building Culturally, Politically, and Technologically Connected Communities

January 9, 2016, Behailu Academy, Charlotte, NC

Internet + Social Change, Building Culturally, Polically, and Technologically Connected Communities interactive workshop. National sponsors were Arts & Democracy and Media Democracy Fund. Local partners included Behailu Academy, PowerUp NC, QC Family Tree, and The Tribe. Special guests included Center for Media Justice, Color of Change, Coworker.org, and Media Mobilizing Project.

Cultural Organizing for Community Change, Brooklyn 2015

Cultural Organizing for Community Change took place Sunday, November 22 from 9:30-6pm in Gowanus Brooklyn. Organizers, artists, media makers, and policy makers came together to learn effective ways to deepen their work and engage their creativity in organizing.

2015 KY Cultural Organizing Learning Exchange

With a focus on racial inclusion the KY Cultural Organizing Learning Exchange brought together artists, activists, advocates, & educators from across Kentucky at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Bowling Green on June 19, 2015. The Learning Exchange was presented by Arts & Democracy, Kentucky Foundation for Women and Alternate ROOTS.

Toolkits for Creative Change

May 19, 2015, 1-2pm EST, 10-11am Pacific

This call featured: Envisioning Development by the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP); Making Waves by The Culture Group; and the People's Creative Toolkit/Herramientas Populares, Arts & Democracy's soon-to-launch collaboration with SEIU Local 26, Rogue Citizen, and Line Break Media.  

2014 Cultural Organizing for Community Change, Brooklyn NY

November 15, 2014, 9:30am - 6:00pm
At Groundswell, Reel Works and Spaceworks, 540 President Street, Brooklyn

Organizers, artists, media makers, educators, and policymakers came together to learn effective ways to deepen our work and engage our creativity in organizing for community change. The day included a cultural organizing framework, hands-on skill building workshops, case studies, resources, and networking opportunities.

Co-sponsored with Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts NY (NOCD-NY)

Art Meets Activism: A Cultural Organizing Workshop in Charlotte, North Carolina

October 18, 2014, Behailu Academy, Charlotte, NC 

Over thirty artists, activists, neighborhood leaders & youth from Charlotte gathered for a Cultural Organizing workshop, produced by Arts & Democracy in collaboration with the UNCC’s College of Art + Architecture and the Charlotte Action Research Project (CHARP).


Cultural Organizing for Social Change in New Orleans

July 19, 2014, Blue Plate Artist Lofts, New Orleans, LA

Two dozen artists and activists from the New Orleans area gathered for the 4th annual Cultural Organizing workshop, produced by Arts & Democracy in collaboration with Junebug Productions

Cultural Organizing for Social Change, Frankfort, KY

Saturday, May 10, 2014, KY Domestic Violence Association, Frankfort, KY

Over 40 artists, organizers, activists and policy advocates from across Kentucky and beyond came together to participate in this day long workshop focused on Cultural Organizing for Social Change in Kentucky.  While the group was quite diverse, they shared a belief in the power of art & culture to advance social justice for all Kentuckians. The purpose of the workshop was to connect individuals, organizations and resources to create and sustain cultural organizing as a statewide strategy.


Culture, Planning, and Community Engagement

This experiential mini-course investigated arts and culture, broadly defined, as a critical part of envisioning and building an equitable and sustainable Atlanta. Through site visits, tours, cultural events, and conversations with practitioners and policymakers representing multiple perspectives, we explored the intersection between arts and culture and participatory planning.

Cultural Organizing for Community Change - Brooklyn

November, 2013, Groundswell, Brooklyn, NY

Cultural Organizing for Community Change provided a space where artists, media makers, organizers and policy makers could learn effective ways to deepen their work and strengthen their capacity to connect creativity, culture, and organizing for community change.

Arts and Activism 101: Arts as a Catalyst for Social Change, Los Angeles, CA

Arts & Democracy Project was proud to partner with the AFL-CIO to integrate arts and culture into their 2013 International Convention. We hosted a two hour "Action Session" workshop for delegates to learn the basics of cultural organizing then apply them to creating art for a march later in the day. Nationally recognized Los Angeles artist Ramiro Gomez led the workshop. Gomez creates representative cut-outs primarily of domestic workers and places them in the affluent environments that employee such workers in real life. He led participants through a process of creating their own cut-outs, which were later placed throughout downtown Los Angeles in a convention-wide action.

Creative Recovery and Cultural Resiliency

Creative Recovery and Cultural Resiliency is an article by Caron Atlas in the Summer 2013 Grantmakers in the Arts Reader about the ways arts and culture played an integral role in relief and recovery after Hurricane Sandy in New York City. The article features the Wellness Center at the Park Slope Armory Evacuation Shelter, the work of Dance Theatre Etcetera in Red Hook, Brooklyn, the Sandy Storyline, and a summary of a conversation between New York and New Orleans cultural leaders about cultural work following disaster.

Cultural Organizing for Community Change, Frankfort, KY

Cultural Organizing for Community Change (Frankfort, KY) provided a space where artists, activists, cultural workers, organizers and educators from across Kentucky came together to strengthen their relationships, and deepen their capacity to use the tools of creativity, imagination, and culture for social justice organizing. This participatory workshop featured case studies, tools, strategies, networking and relationship building.


Culture, Planning, and Community Engagement Course

This experiential mini-course for Pratt Institute's Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development investigated arts and culture, broadly defined, as a critical part of envisioning and building an equitable and sustainable Chicago. Through site visits, tours, and conversations with practitioners and policymakers we explored the intersection between arts, culture, media and participatory planning. 


Cultural Organizing Weekend in New Orleans, Louisiana

This workshop provided a space where artists, activists and organizers learned effective ways to deepen their work and increase their impact by activating the tools of creativity and imagination.  By using a combination of local and national resources, the workshops also promoted networking and collaboration.

Cultural Organizing for Community Change, Brooklyn, NY

Cultural Organizing for Community Change provided a space where artists, media makers, organizers and policy makers could learn effective ways to deepen their work and strengthen their capacity to use the tools of creativity, imagination and organizing for community change. The workshop included cultural organizing framework, skill building workshops, networking opportunities, and an intergenerational conversation with cultural organizers. 


Participatory Budgeting NYC Creative Resources

Arts, culture, and media were integrated into Participatory Budgeting in New York City (PBNYC) in its 2011-2012 inaugural year. This list of creative resources, compiled by Arts & Democracy Project with the Arts and Culture Committee of the PBNYC Citywide Steering Committee, is intended as an inspiration for year 2.

Cultural Organizing: Integrating Arts & Culture with Organizing

July 24, 2012

Cultural organizing is a core practice of the Arts & Democracy Project that exists at the intersection of arts, culture and activism. Cultural organizing integrates arts and culture into organizing strategies. It is also about organizing from a particular tradition, cultural identity, and community of place or worldview to advance social and economic justice. This call will focus on four different approaches to to this practice.


Culture, Planning, and Community Engagement

This experiential course, created for Pratt Institute's Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development investigated arts and culture, broadly defined, as a critical part of envisioning and building an equitable and sustainable Los Angeles. Through site visits, tours, cultural events, and conversations with practitioners and policymakers representing multiple perspectives, we explored the intersection between arts and culture and participatory planning.

Cultural Organizing for Community Recovery

This weekend-long workshop in New Orleans provided a space where artists and organizers learned effective ways to deepen their work and strengthened their capacity to use creativity, imagination and organizing in community building.

Cultural Organizing: Experiences at the Intersection of Art & Activism

This paper explores the power of cultural organizing with examples of groups and individuals placing art and culture at the center of organizing strategies: organizing from a particular cultural identity, community of place, or worldview. It highlights the work of Third World Majority, Raices, M.U.G.A.B.E.E. and Ricardo Levins Morales.



Quilt at Hopscotch House

Kentucky Foundation for Women Workshop

Arts & Democracy Project held a day-long cultural organizing workshop for women activist artists at the Kentucky Foundation for Women's Hopscotch House retreat just outside of Louisville.

BCC: Building Collaborative Capacity - NYC

Building Collaborative Capacity is a series of workshops, gatherings, and partnerships that help build the connective tissue necessary to deepen collaborative work so it can be truly effective.

NOCD-NY (The Naturally Occurring Cultural District Working Group)

On August 18, 2010 NOCD-NY, the Naturally Occurring Cultural District Working Group joined with cultural and community leaders and elected officials to launch a citywide alliance to revitalize New York City from the neighborhood up. Arts & Democracy is proud to be part of this coalition. 

Cultural Organizing Workshop at ROOTS Fest

Artists who are dedicated to social justice often find themselves organizing their communities, their audiences, or even other artists. But what does it mean to be an 'organizer'?  This workshop took place during ROOTS Fest's National Learning Exchange and explored the intersection between culture and organizing. (June, 2011)


Cultural Organizing for Community Recovery, New Orleans

A report and reflection on the Community Organizing for Cultural Recovery workshop held in New Orleans February 18-20, at the McKenna Museum for African American Art. Its goal was to strengthen capacity to use the tools of creativity, imagination, and organizing in community building.

Detroit U.S. Social Forum Workshops and Creativity Lab

Modeled after the World Social Forum process that began in Porto Alegre Brazil in 2005, the US Social Forum is grounded in a belief that social, political and economic transformation are not only possible but necessary, and that they must be embodied by a "multi-racial, multi-sectoral, inter-generational, diverse, internationalist movement." Arts & Democracy Project sponsored two workshops at the Social Forum in Detroit in July, 2010, and with several colleagues organized a Creatvity Lab.

 


Creative Recovery: Culture, Planning, and Community Engagement course

This experiential mini-course, offered to Pratt Institute urban planning graduate students, investigated arts and culture, broadly defined, as a critical part of envisioning and rebuilding an equitable and sustainable New Orleans. Through site visits, tours, cultural events, and conversations with practitioners and policymakers representing multiple perspectives, the class explored the intersection between arts and culture and participatory planning.

Cultural Organizing for Progressive Change session at the National Organizers Alliance Gathering VI

This session at the Baltimore National Organizers Alliance conference featured three guest presenters: Walda Katz-Fisgman, Project South; Jerome Scott, Project South; and Ricardo Levins Morales, Northland Poster Collective (July, 2008)

Cultural Organizing for Progressive Change at Michigan Policy Summit

The session explored the power of cultural organizing to expand who is included in organizing and how they are included, creatively frame and communicate visions of change, encourage critical thinking, break down fear, and humanize polarized issues. (Lansing, May 2008)

Atlanta United States Social Forum

The Arts & Democracy Project’s session on cultural organizing at the first-ever USSF in Atlanta had a standing room only crowd of 60 people. (June 2007)

Rural Cultural Organizer Gathering

This was a small 1.5 day-long strategic national gathering of cultural organizers cosponsored by the Main Street Project /Raices, Center for Rural Strategies, and the Humboldt Area Foundation in Klamath, CA, April 2007.  Also participating were Alternate Roots, Appalshop, Central Valley Partnership for Citizenship, Llano Grande Center, Feral Arts, United Indian Health Services, and Northland Poster Collective.


Cultural Organizing: A Conversation at the Intersection

At the 2005 Grantmakers in the Arts conference a group of activist artists, community organizers and funders began a conversation about the purposeful intersection of art and activism. That session stimulated follow-up e-mail exchanges and writing among the conference participants and a few others. The resulting discussion is reflected in this article, published in the Summer 2006 GIA Reader. Our intention was to make cultural organizing visible by sharing its principles, demonstrating its rigor and creativity, and illustrating its diverse methodologies.

Cultural Organizing for Community Change, Brooklyn 2015

Our upcoming cultural organizing workshop in Brooklyn will take place Nov 22. We will post the developing agenda for the workshop soon.