Animating Democracy on ARTSblog

Below you will find the entries related to Animating Democracy from ARTSblog, the popular blog maintained by Americans for the Arts that reaches a diverse audience including arts management professionals, artists, business leaders, arts advocates, and arts educators.


Art Spaces for Queer BIPOC During COVID

The purpose of Cedeem Gumbs’ three-part series is to highlight the way in which queer BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) identifying individuals have preserved their art spaces during a pandemic. Community as a concept is understood universally; in function its possibilities are inherently dynamic. However, community becomes a necessity when it is developed by way of shared experiences. (March 2021)


Inside Artist-Municipal Partnerships

Pam Korza highlights the question at the heart of the blog series: What does it take to make partnerships between municipal agencies and artists work? Over the course of nine blogs, leading-edge local arts agency leaders and arts practitioners who are serving as instigators, facilitators, intermediaries, and advancers of these partnerships share principles and practices they’ve tested and lessons they’ve learned that can help guide peer agencies and peer artists toward effective partnerships. (December 2018-January 2019) 


Excellence and Equity in Arts for Change

Notions of excellence and equity are linked and increasingly demand that we attend to both the positive and negative ways they intersect in policies, practices, and decisions. In her introduction to the 16-part blog series, Pam Korza draws attention to crucial questions: which artists get opportunities, who gains resources, how are arts and cultural practices understood and valued by critics, audiences, and gatekeepers? The Blog Salon explores these questions as contributors consider Animating Democracy’s framework, Aesthetic Perspectives: Attributes of Excellence in Arts for Change. (July 2017) 


Evaluation Learning Lab

Nine blogs offer perspectives from funders, artists, and evaluators, about how to define relevant frames, outcomes, and measures by which to evaluate arts for change work.  Coming out of Animating Democracy’s Evaluation Learning Lab, these voices speak to the Lab’s intention to shift the fulcrum of power in determining the effectiveness of artistic practice rooted in social justice. Alicia Gregory discusses the details of the Lab and blog salon here. (October 2015) 


The Beauty in Creative Social Change Work

Seventeen artists, cultural leaders, funders, and activists weigh in on why and how aesthetics are important in understanding, valuing, and advancing arts and social change. Regarding the assessment of the aesthetics of work rooted in social change, Gregory references poet John Haines on the role of the critic: “to provide a space in which creation can take place, a clearing in the imagination.” Alicia Gregory offers a thorough introduction to this series here. (November 2014)


Humor and Social Change

Thirty blogs drawn from across ARTSblog explore how artists, comedians, and other cultural commentators employ humor in the heavy work of social justice. Joanna Chin expands on the nature of this series here. (December 2013) 


Scaling Up Programs and Projects

In her blog, Joanna Chin summarizes some major themes/approaches that emerged during the Salon’s 20 blogs: defining and framing; breadth vs. depth; movement building vs. replication; structuring scale and scope; when scale meets technology; artists/individuals as core, and the potential of big institutions and funders. (December 2012)


Social Impact and Evaluation

With creative work that stems from a desire to address bigger social needs, it’s not enough to simply tack on a survey at the end of a project. Joanna Chin breaks down the series based on the idea that evaluation comes from the work itself and the desire to make positive change rather than from external forces like funders or public officials. In the end, it might be about creating a methodology, nagging people about surveys, mining data, and collecting stories, but the bigger, more interesting challenge is how that evaluation will shape what we do next. Delve into social impact and evaluation in the arts in this compilation of 29 blogs. (May 2012) 



Browse the complete list of Animating Democracy entries on ARTSblog.