Design for Success! The Arts & Civic Engagement Tool Kit

Whether you’re starting with art that could engage people around an issue or are motivated by an issue for which art could play a catalyzing or convening role, you’ll want to design your project for its greatest possible social or civic results. As you develop a project or program, this section offers tools from Animating Democracy’s Arts & Civic Engagement Tool Kit to help you design for success!


The Tool Kit offers both arts and community organizers practical tools to plan and implement effective and meaningful arts-based civic engagement projects.

Specific impact related resources include:

Areas of IMPACT: Civic, Artistic, Institutional

Clarify desired outcomes to guide assessment of your project’s effects on community (or audience), your organization, and on the creative work or programming.

What Difference Do We Want to Make?

How Will We Assess Our Impact

Other selected elements include:

Potent Roles for Arts & Culture in Civic Engagement

Consider effective roles for art as SPARK, INVITATION, SPACE, or FORM of engagement.

Think PROJECT! Points and Opportunities for Engagement

Enhance impact by identifying viable “moments” within a whole project where engagement can be intentionally fostered.

IMAGINE, DEFINE, DESIGN: Planning Arts-based Civic Engagement Projects

Use worksheets and examples to design art and engagement activities that create meaningful experiences for participants and publics.

Visit the Americans for the Arts Bookstore to order the full Arts & Civic Engagement Tool Kit.