These stories are about how media, art, and culture provide creative strategies for policy change. Each story is accompanied by a link to a video.

Walking the Talk: Putting Racial and Cultural Equity Values into Practice

It's an important step to state our beliefs in racial and cultural equity in these fraught times. It's a bigger one to change what we do to make those beliefs a reality. The webinar, cosponsored with NOCD-NY and PolicyLink illustrates community-based and public sector approaches to putting equity values into practice. It features Libertad O. Guerra, Loisaida Center; Kathy Hsieh, Seattle Office of Arts and Culture; and Keryl McCord, Equity Quotient.

Arts of Regional Change

The Art of Regional Change (ARC) brings together scholars, students, artists, and community groups to collaborate on media arts projects that strengthen communities, generate engaged scholarship, and inform regional decision making. Founded by media artist jesikah maria ross, ARC is a joint project of the University of California at Davis Humanities Institute and the UC Davis Center for Regional Change.

A Youth Voices Curriculum Resource and Guidebook developed to help other communities engage in similar projects is planned for spring 2012.

Center for Urban Pedagogy

The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) Making Policy Public series of foldout posters uses graphic design to explore and explain public policy. Each poster is the result of collaboration between a designer, an advocate, and CUP.  To date, CUP has produced eight posters/instructional pamphlets on issues ranging from affordable housing to the rights of domestic workers.

Operation Paydirt / Fundred Dollar Bill Project

Operation Paydirt/Fundred Dollar Bill Project (Paydirt/Fundred) is a multidisciplinary, artist-driven project addressing the national crisis of lead-contaminated soil. With the self-expression of the young people most affected by lead contamination, these projects propose a solution that incorporates demonstrated scientific procedure. The approach extends across disciplines of art, science, and education and is sensitive to aspects of community development and urban infrastructure. 

Not In Our Town (NIOT)

Not in Our Town (NIOT) is a national organization that creates films and video, and facilitates convenings to help communities working together to stop hate through creative anti-bias programs and responses. Anchored by a social networking website, NIOT documents and shares initiatives, helps link individuals and groups, and provides guidance for positive intergroup responses to hateful actions. Aired on PBS stations on September 21, 2011 (, and screened at venues around the country, Light in the Darkness is the latest in a series of films produced by the Working Group of NIOT. In addition to their documentary work, NIOT has produced over 45 videos (

Llano Grande

The Llano Grande Center for Research and Development’s vision is to inspire a youth culture that aspires to attend college and engage in community change. Beginning informally in the early 1990s with activities intended to show Edcouch-Elsa High School students in Texas that college was both possible and necessary for them, the Llano Grande Center was formalized in 1997 as a program of the Edcouch-Elsa Independent School District (EEISD). The center has trained students, educators, and community development agents locally, nationally, and internationally on how to distinguish, tell, and use their story to achieve community change. 

Sojourn Theatre

Sojourn Theatre is an ensemble of ten core artists creating new performances  in Portland, Oregon, and around the country. Their innovative work shares a goal of bringing together strangers to collectively experience and strategize in arts-based civic dialogue projects. Sojourn’s members are nationally recognized for their innovation as artists and engagement practitioners, and the company’s work is featured regularly at conferences and universities nationwide as a "best practice model" for arts-based civic dialogue projects. 

The Strength of Scribe, Where Videos Give Voice to Unheard Stories

Scribe Video Center came into being in December 1982. It was founded by Louis Massiah as a place where individuals and communities could learn media making and explore the use of video as both an artistic medium and a tool for progressive social change. The center has grown in size from a small rented workshop space to an internationally recognized media arts education center in a 4,000-square-foot loft that has helped thousands of people and over 150 community groups document their passions and concerns in some 200 videos produced with the center’s support.