Here all of our resources are collected together. Find a resource based on a geography, issue, cultural practice, or impact by using the map and menus below. Northwest West midwest Northeast Southeast Southwest




Storytelling in Crisis

The virtual dialogue, Storytelling in Crisis, presented by Storyline, Arts & Democracy, The Laundromat Project, Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts NY (NOCD-NY) and US Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC) explored strategies for crafting storytelling responses that center care and connection, amplify resistance, and support resiliency. We heard from storytellers who have learned from their experience of making work grappling with pandemics; epidemics; and natural, social, political and economic disasters. Michael Premo (Storyline) facilitated a discussion with Steven Thrasher (Northwestern University), Nick Slie (Mondo Bizarro, Cry You One, I -10 Witness Project), and Regina Campbell (Rikers Public memory Project).  

Activating the Cultural Power of a Movement

On Oct 9, 2020, Arts & Democracy, The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, and NOCD-NY convened Activating the Cultural Power of a Movement, an event that showcased inspiring, movement based organizations across the country. The webinar featured presentations by leaders from racial justice, environmental justice, immigrant rights, and economic justice groups including Michelle Ramos (Executive Director, Alternate ROOTS), Angeles Solis (Director of Worker Organizing, Make the Road Action), Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson (a member of Movement for Black Lives’ policy table leadership team), Charon Hribar (Revivals Coordinator, Poor People's Campaign), and Nina Eichner (Creative Projects Manager, Sunrise Movement).

Artwork by Melanie Cervantes, Dignidad Rebelde

We Decide: Arts, Culture, and Voting Power

Arts & Democracy joined with The US Department of Arts and Culture to convene We Decide: Arts, Culture, and Voting Power to learn how arts, culture, and creative media can reimagine our democracy and revitalize civic participation, with a focus on historically disenfranchised communities. We heard from artists and cultural organizers working in Louisiana, Florida, Texas, and Wisconsin as well as those working nationally. Presenters included Andrea Assaf, Dr. Rob “Biko” Baker, Trupania “Trap” Bonner, amalia deloney, and Savannah Romero and call participants shared their work as well.

Artwork by Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya


Staying In It With You

An intergenerational conversation about grantmaking, artmaking, and meaning making with Ron Ragin and Judi Jennings. 

A 2020 Bridge Conversation by Ron Ragin and Judi Jennings

Creative Housing Activism and Engagement

Creative Housing Activism and Engagement focused on how artists and other creative activists are addressing the need for truly affordable housing and the impacts of displacement in our communities through creative alliances, cross sector partnerships, artmaking, and oral history. The call was coponsored with Naturally Occurrng Cultural Districts NY.

Story Circle on the Right to Belong

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,, and Media Mobilizing Project.

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.

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).

Just Economies: Part 1

Just Economies: Creative approaches to building & strengthening
just and democratic economies Part 1, July 10, 2014

In the face of growing economic inequity, people around the country are coming together to reimagine and rebuild their economies and communities based on the values of equity, democracy, cooperation, self-determination and sustainability. This nationally focused call highlighted examples from Jackson Mississippi, Eastern Kentucky, and from Native communities across the country.

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.

Rural Art and Culture Yields Big Impact

Judi Jennings, Kentucky Foundation for Women and Savannah Barrett, Art of the Rural discuss Feminist Art: Advancing Social Change in Rural Kentucky, an innovative digital mapping project documenting the powerful and transformative work taking place across rural Kentucky.

Creative Engagement and a Moral Economy for All

This blog is the introduction to a longer essay inspired by the Network of Ensemble Theater's Appalachian MicroFest. I learned in Appalachia what it looks like when culture, place, identity, and community come together in the struggle for social justice. I witnessed how mountaintop removal causes great pain, and experienced music as an integral part of organizing. I became aware of the long record of misrepresentation of Appalachian people and their history by the media and how this misrepresentation has been used to justify the exploitation of the region’s resources. 

Stories & Places

March 5, 2013

Cultural practice and artistic expression breathe life into communities.They create opportunities for individuals and institutions to transform their sense of self and relationships with one another, and share their local traditions and ways of being.   

This conference call looks at the power of place-based culture to create community narratives, advance racial and economic equity, promote participatory democracy, and foster self-determination and inclusion in rural communities.  We will hear from five presenters about culturally-based work in a diverse range of contexts addressing themes that include traditional practice, opportunities for young people as emerging leaders, cultural economies, ecological and cultural stewardship and cross-sector partnerships.

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.

Civil Rights, Human Rights, and A Moral Economy for All

Arts & Democracy co-hosted a book party to celebrate the publication of "Helen Matthews Lewis, Living Social Justice in Appalachia." The Brooklyn event featured Helen in a rare New York City appearence along with book co-editor Judi Jennings and special guest Marie Cirillo. The presentation shared Helen's lifelong commitment to activism and included her writings on environmental justice, moral economy, global solidarity, and powerful women taking a stand.

SEIU artist residencies

Arts & Democracy Project and SEIU (Service Employees International Union) are partnering on artist residencies in six SEIU locals in Miami, Florida; Central CA; Las Vegas, NV; Minneapolis, MN; Toronto, ON; San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Each of the residencies will create an artwork to be presented at the SEIU convention in Denver in May 2012.

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.

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.

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.

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.

State of the Nation Gathering

This three-day conversation on cultural organizing, cosponsored with M.U.G.A.B.E.E. and Alternate Roots was part of the 4th Annual State of the Nation Festival in Jackson, MS. The State of the Nation Festival is dedicated to strengthening relationships and supporting collaboration between artists from Louisiana and Mississippi who are committed to addressing social, political, and economic justice issues facing the region. The length of time allotted to this conversation allowed several participants to present their work to the group and to develop an honest conversation about the challenges of the work and how to overcome them. (October 2007)

Highlander 75th Anniversary Celebration Gathering

This gathering took place as part of the Highlander Center’s 75th Anniversary and followed a one-day institute on cultural organizing that was also part of the celebration.  The goal of Highlander was and is to provide education and support to poor and working people fighting economic injustice, poverty, prejudice, and environmental destruction.  Presenters at the gathering included: co-facilitators Anasa Trautman, Highlander Center; Caron Atlas and Javiera Benavente, Arts & Democracy Project; Amelia Kirby, Appalshop; Carlton Turner, Alternate Roots; Michelle Miller, SEIU; Mathew Jones, SNCC Freedom Singers; and Baldemar Velazquez, Farm Labor Organizer Committee.

Report on Latino Culture & Traditional Arts in TN

Report on Latino Culture and Traditional Arts in Tennessee by Norma E. Cantú, Ph.D.

Tennessee Arts Commission hired Norma E. Cantú, Ph.D., to carry out a fact finding mission in West, Middle and East Tennessee to meet with representative members of Latino communities and learn about Latino culture and traditional arts in the state. This is the report that resulted from this inquiry. 

Appalshop and Robert Salyer

Appalshop is a multi-disciplinary arts/education center in the heart of Appalachia that produces original films, video, theater, music and spoken-word recordings, radio, photography, multimedia, and books and provides the tools for documenting local stories.  It encourages the questioning of media as an information source while building media literacy.

Urban Bush Women

Throughout its 23-year history, the Urban Bush Women performance ensemble has spoken of the power of the spiritual tradtions of African American and the African Diaspora community through dance, music and storytelling.

Working Films

In my work as a curator, I was excited that 200 people could sit in a dark room, see a film, be moved, and ask, "what can we do?"...So then, Judith Helfand and I began to think about an organization that could deliberately connect the non-fiction stories of struggles with ground-level activists and organizers.  -- Robert West.

Who Will Carry the Work Forward?

An intergenerational conversation at the State of the Nation festival and a tribute to Nayo Watkins.

By Caron Atlas, R. Lena Richardson, and Carlton Turner