Arts & Democracy Project congratulates Animating Democracy, on their new web site, a great resource for our field! We've asked Animating Democracy co-director Pam Korza to write a guest blog to take us on a tour of the site. There is so much to take advantage of there!


First, congratulations to Arts & Democracy on its new web site!  The new look is bold and fresh and, as always, the site serves as an important source of content, news, and discourse at the intersection of arts, culture, and participatory democracy.  We know what great thought and hard work this represents! 

So, it’s with particular pleasure that, from Arts & Democracy’s cyber front porch, I invite you to visit Animating Democracy's new web site.

The landscape of arts for change work is vast with many fertile paths.  Some are well forged by creative disciplines such as theater or by long histories of endeavor such as cultural organizing or community development. Along other paths, exciting new ground is being broken—from the use of social media to the work of some major cultural institutions.  Creative streams of practice—community-based art, arts-based civic engagement, public impact design—cross and nurture each other.  And there are increasingly more diverse stakeholders and travelers, creatives, and sector leaders, exploring the power of the arts toward creating sustainable environment, communities, and society. 

Animating Democracy’s new site provides wayfinding across this expansive landscape while also offering resources that drill deep into particular stories, types of work, and the principles, practices, and policies that guide, support, and help to increase its impact.   

Enter the site through any one of its three gateways:

1. LANDSCAPE - Offers a wide-angle view of where arts for change work is taking place, what it looks like, and who’s doing and supporting the work.  You’ll find:

PROFILES -Find and learn about artists and cultural and community organizations in this searchable data resource that will grow with the field’s participation.  Add your own PROFILE

Trend Papers Get illuminating views of arts and social change activity and practice; from cultural organizing to environmental arts, community development to youth media and social justice, contemporary art to community and folk art by artists, scholars, and field leaders.

Portrait of Funding Support - Gain insights through Animating Democracy’s Trend or Tipping Point: Arts & Social Change Grantmaking Report and review a Funder Directory of more than 150 funders supporting arts for change.

2. IMPACT’s storehouse of resources helps you understand, capture, and convey what difference you’re making in your arts for change work. It features:

Key concepts related to social impact and evaluation.

Stories and examples that describe how real arts projects and programs have been evaluated and what was learned about impact.

Social impact indicators plus data collection methods for common social and civic outcomes.

Links to evaluation resources, tools, and frameworks selected for their value to arts for change work.

3. ANIMATING DEMOCRACY’s  highly regarded case studies, publications, tools, and resources from its first decade of contributions to the field. 

We invite you to explore the landscape of arts for change. But, we want you to make the site your own!  Propose a paper. Comment on resources and ideas that speak to you.  And give us feedback on how to make it a better resource for you.  

On Animating Democracy’s new web site, check out Matthew Perry’s Artist PROFILE, find out about the Art & Soul Project inStarksboro, VT, and learn from its evaluation plan!

Together we are amassing the stories, making visible, and aggregating the evidence of the arts’ contribution to social change.  By connecting artists and arts organizations, partners, and supporters, we are strengthening an amazing community of practice.

Animating Democracy is a program of Americans for the Arts.  Thanks to the Nathan Cummings, Open Society Foundations, CrossCurrents, Lambent, and Surdna Foundations for support of the website and larger Arts & Social Change Mapping Initiative.