Find and learn about Artists, Organizations, and Projects involved in arts for change work!
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Alphabetical list of all profiles (artists, organizations and projects)
Playwrights Project is a nonprofit arts education organization that seeks to advance literacy, creativity, and communication by empowering individuals to voice their stories through playwriting programs and theatre productions. Its programs teach the power of spoken and written language, nurture promising young writers, develop theatre artists and audiences, and honor individuals by dramatizing their life stories. Playwrights Project teaches playwriting and theatre in schools using a dynamic, interactive curriculum that helps students to gain confidence, non-violent techniques for solving problems, essential language skills, and knowledge of theatre. Playwrights also runs the California Young Playwrights Contest. Each year, writers under the age of 19 submit original scripts, and selected writers win script readings or full professional productions. The organization supports the development of emerging playwrights through workshops that offer them the opportunity to hear their plays read by actors, engage in discussion with an audience, and work one-on-one with a theatre expert to further develop their plays. Other programs dramatize stories from the lives of seniors, foster youth, and underserved populations.
poetry readings; poetry workshops; community events; publishing and bookmaking workshops; resources for classroom enhancement
Point Made makes films about the various facets of American identity. Founded in 1997, Point Made Films work to document aspects of our society that teach us more about who we are as Americans and as citizens of the world.
Thirty-four artists were invited to create innovative and engaging artwork after a stimulating discussion on social and economic inequality, wealth distribution, and what is so taxing about taxation. Some chose to explore how to visualize analytical data. Other artists explored the capacity for art to spark an emotional response to the research presented by the Center for Advanced Hindsight.
The Portrait of America series initiates monumental, interactive public art exhibitions to engage communities in a constructive dialogue that triggers positive change. The exhibitions hold a mirror up to a community to reveal what is already there – the inherent dignity and promise of its people. Portrait of America partners with established community organizations to ensure a broad community outreach, meet the needs of the city, and establish relationships and programs with a lasting presence and impact.
In 2004, artist Joe Standart began Portrait of America in New London, Connecticut. By mounting an exhibition of monumental portraits of the city’s residents throughout public spaces in the downtown area, Standart turned the entire downtown into an outside gallery in which fine art was accessible to all. Seen by over 700,000 people, the exhibition drew extensive positive press, helping to establish the reputation of New London as an up and coming center for the arts. It also...
Public Arts and educational initiatives
Created through a series of community Weaving Bees, this abandoned playground is being woven with reclaimed materials into a neighborhood gathering space. This project is aimed at inter-generational collaboration, building friendships and community, as well as sharing weaving skills.
<p>Project Cabrini Green is a public art installation addressing the demolition of the last high-rise of the Cabrini-Green housing development. The Project, led by the artist Jan Tichy and developed together with Efrat Appel, was created in collaboration with youth from Chicago, most of them attending educational programs in the Cabrini-Green area and with students from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.<br />
On March 28th, two days before the beginning of the demolition, 134 self-contained, battery-powered LED modules were placed inside 134 of the building's vacated apartments. The lights blinked every day from 7pm to 1am CDT, for the four week duration of the demolition, and were gradually erased with the building. Each blinking light had a unique pattern. These patterns were a visual translation of poems written and recorded by the youth who attended workshops developed and instructed by Tichy, Appel, and students from the...
Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is a nonprofit planning, design and educational organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities. Its pioneering Placemaking approach helps citizens transform their public spaces into vital places that highlight local assets, spur rejuvenation and serve common needs.
PPS was founded in 1975 to expand on the work of William (Holly) Whyte, the author of The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. Since then, PPS has completed projects in over 2,500 communities in 40 countries and all 50 US states. Partnering with public and private organizations, federal, state and municipal agencies, business improvement districts, neighborhood associations and other civic groups, PSS improves communities by fostering successful public spaces.
In addition to leading projects in their nine program areas (parks, transportation, markets, downtowns, civic centers, multi-use, campuses, squares, and waterfronts), PPS also trains more than 10,000 people every year and reaches countless more through its websites and publications. PPS has become an internationally recognized center for resources, tools and inspiration about Placemaking.
Through research, conferences, and strategic partnerships, PPS promotes Placemaking as a transformative agenda to address some of the most pressing issues of our time. Its newest collaboration is with the National Center for Bicycling & Walking (NCBW) which became a resident program of PPS in 2011. NCBW is guided by the conviction that a balanced transportation system makes for healthier individuals and communities.
In its broadest application, Placemaking is a catalyst for building healthy, sustainable and economically viable cities of the future.
Project Onward is a studio and gallery dedicated to the creative growth of artists with mental and developmental disabilities. Located in the historic Chicago Cultural Center, Project Onward provides workspace, art materials, professional guidance, and opportunities for exhibition and sales to artists who have exceptional talents but face challenges ranging from autism to mental illness.
Project Row Houses is an artist organization founded by artist Rick Lowe and six other African-American artists in 1993 in the Northern Third Ward of Houston, Texas, one of the city’s oldest African-American communities. PRH transformed an abandoned one and a half blocks of 22 shotgun-style houses into a “social sculpture” that has become a community celebrating art, African-American history, and culture. In 2010, it expanded to 49 buildings including seven artist installation houses, seven houses for young single mothers, artist live/work spaces, office space, commercial spaces, a community gallery, a park and 34 low-income duplex units. Programs include artist installations and residencies, arts education, a Young Mothers Residential Program and restoration of the neighborhood’s legendary Eldorado Ballroom. PRH considers all of this “public art.” In 2003, PRH established the Row House Community Development Corporation (RHCDC) as a separate, affiliated corporation that has designed and built nine new low-income housing units and is in the process of building and acquiring additional property for rental and home ownership. Project Row Houses has become a sterling example of neighborhood revitalization. Artist Rick Lowe and six other African-American artists and residents wanted to develop a site where they could share their artwork with the community of Houston's Third Ward. Twenty-two dilapidated and abandoned shotgun-style houses were completely transformed in 1993 by volunteers as a site for public art, education, youth and community while celebrating African-American history and culture. Michael Kimmelman in the New York Times (2006) described the process: Seed money came from the National Endowment for the Arts and from the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation. The director of the Menil Collection gave his staff Mondays off to help renovate. Chevron redid the outside of a dozen buildings. Hundreds of volunteers pitched in to clear trash and sweep up used needles, hang wallboard and fortify porches. A local church adopted a house, and so did people and families from the neighborhood. This “social sculpture” (after Joseph Beuys) has expanded to 49 buildings including seven artist installation houses, seven houses for young single mothers, artist live/work spaces, office space, commercial spaces, a community gallery, a park and 34 low-income duplex units. PRH considers all of this “public art.” In 1999, PRH received, as a gift, the legendary Eldorado Ballroom at Elgin and Dowling Streets, the historic Third Ward site of blues and jazz performances, weekly talent shows and sock-hops from 1939 until it closed in the early 1970s. Well-known artists B.B. King, Sam Lightnin’ Hopkins and other African-American singers and musicians of the day played the Eldorado; they were restricted from other clubs because of strict segregation laws. After four years of renovations, the Eldorado re-opened in May 2003, “reminding people of what this proud institution means to the community,” says PRH. PRH collaborated with Houston Community College on the 2003-2005 Eldorado Series, presenting and recording African-American jazz musicians that played at the Eldorado Ballroom in the 1940s to 1960s. Programs at PRH now include “Artist Rounds,” interactive installations in seven of the original row houses by artists from around the world. Each Round is four months long, focusing on a theme relating to and involving the Third Ward community. In 2010, Round 32, “eco, xiang, echo: meditations on the african, andean & asian diasporas,” curated by artist William Cordova, involved installations by eight artists addressing “the often-overlooked connections between distinct cultures.” The program is 15 years old and has hosted more than 200 regional, national and international artists of diverse artistic and cultural backgrounds. The Artist Studio Program offers space to three professional artists in exchange for their participation in the surrounding community. The PRH/Core Residency, in collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, makes a year-long residency available to a Glassell Core Fellow Artist, who can live onsite at PRH and conduct a community arts project. The five-year-old Summer Studio Program has invited 36 emerging artists from ten local colleges and universities to create and exhibit work that responds to, engages, and/or is reflective of the community. Arts education programs include an After School Program that serves more than 40 to 50 students in grades K-9 every year, and a Summer Program for 60 to 80 students in grades K-9, all taught by professional artists. The Education Program has maintained long-term, meaningful collaborations with a number of schools and organizations that include Houston Grand Opera, Houston Children’s Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Trinity Methodist Church and the Experiment in International Living Program. In response to a serious community need, PRH began the Young Mothers Residential Program (YMRP). This program has helped over 60 single mothers with onsite homes and rent subsidies, workshops, mentoring, counseling, and encouragement to graduate from college. After graduating from Penn State with a Ph.D. and teaching at the University of Pittsburg for three years, former MRP member Assata Richards returned to PRH to direct the YRMP program. Former YMRP member Terena Molo, now a lawyer, serves on PRH’s Board of Directors. In 2003, PRH established the Row House Community Development Corporation (RHCDC) as a separate, affiliated corporation that has designed and built nine new low-income housing units and is in the process of building and acquiring additional property for rental and home ownership. The “Street Scaping” program makes it possible for artists to create and install permanent public artworks around the PRH/Row House CDC campus. The New York Times has called PRH “the most impressive and visionary public art project in the country—a project that is miles away, geographically and philosophically, from Chelsea and Art Basel and the whole money-besotted paper-thin art scene.”
Project South is a leadership development organization based in the U.S. South creating spaces for movement building. We work with communities pushed forward by the struggle to strengthen leadership and provide popular political & economic education for personal and social transformation. We build relationships with organizations and networks across the U.S. and global South to inform our local work and to engage in bottom-up movement building for social and economic justice. Project South creates opportunities for organizing, movement-building, and leadership development through the Grassroots Popular Education Project on local, national, and international levels. We build strategic thinking and planning capacity of grassroots and community groups to organize around local/regional issues by using popular education techniques; we develop leaders in these organizations who are indigenous who know and understand the issues within their communities through lived experience; and we connect community issues to the "bigger picture" of building a new movement for social and economic justice. This profile courtesy of Arts & Democracy.
Promethean Community uses a variety of theater techniques to co-create an environment that allows the community stakeholders to create new ways of relating to each other. This consciousness raising allows the community to create an on-going supportive and developmental environment that directly challenges many of the negative consequences of our society: Isolation, alienation, intolerance, prejudice, etc.
Prometheus Radio builds, supports , and advocates for community radio stations which empower participatory community voices and movements for social change. A primary focus is on building a large community of LPFM stations and listeners and to grow this community into a powerful force working toward a democratic media future . Toward that end, Prometheus supports community groups at every stage of the process of building community radio stations, facilitates public participation in the FCC regulatory process, and sponsors events promoting awareness and support of media democracy and LPFM radio. This profile courtesy of Air Traffic Control.
Prospect New Orleans is the premiere biennial of international contemporary art in the U.S. By showcasing new art from around the world in a setting that is both historic and culturally unique, Prospect New Orleans contributes to the revitalization of New Orleans by bringing international attention to the city's visual arts community.
Prospect New Orleans is the largest biennial of international contemporary art in the United States. Conceived in the tradition of great international biennials that merged city and art, such as the Venice Biennale and the Bienal de São Paulo, the Prospect New Orleans project showcases new artistic practices from around the world and contributes to the revitalization of New Orleans by spurring tourism and bringing international attention to the city's vibrant visual arts community. The first biennial, Prospect , took place from 2008 to 2009; Prospect 2 is slated to launch in October 2011.
Prospect New Orleans was founded on the principle that the art of our time can play a significant role in revitalization of an important U.S. city. It is committed to building a contemporary art tourism infrastructure on a signature event that galvanizes local art creation and entrepreneurial activity. The Prospect projects assign mearly equal weight to social progress and aesthetic...
Provisions Learning Project is a social change learning resource that amplifies compelling voices that challenge and redefine the mainstream. Meridians is an online resource that links to other resources including: books, art projects, organizations, websites, films, and academic programs covering 30 arts and social change topic areas. Provisions Library is a physical space featuring books, periodicals, and DVDs. The resources provide alternative perspectives on social change topics, exhibitions, and public projects that engage the arts as a means of exploring social issues. Provisions features on-site exhibitions, screenings, and workshops.
Human Right to Housing (support tenants facing eviction due to variety of reasons including foreclosure in Maryland)
Education Stability (access to public (k-12) education for homeless students in Maryland)
Access to Health Care and Public Benefits
Just Kids Partnership
National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel
Immigrants Rights Project
Workers' Rights Project
Murnaghan Appellate Advocacy Fellowship
PAGE (Publicly Active Graduate Education) is Imagining America’s network of, and fellowship program for, early career publicly engaged scholars in the arts, humanities, and design. PAGE broadens notions of scholarship and professionalization within the academy through activities which enhance the theory and the tools for students and scholars to articulate their own public scholarship; foster a national, interdisciplinary community of peers and veteran scholars; and create opportunities for collaborative knowledge production.
Begun in 2003, PAGE has grown into a thriving and vibrant association of the next generation of scholars working to take on new methods of collaboration and scholarship. These conversations come together each year, at Imagining America’s national conference, where the PAGE Summit connects practitioners from across IA’s network workshops on publicly driven scholarly practices.
Puppet Underground is a puppeteer's collective in DC committed to using art and performance to support movements and grassroots organizing for social and economic justice. The group offers support for local social justice and grassroots organizing groups by offering workshops, shows, puppets, stilters, creative organizing strategy or anything else they can think up for us to do.