Community Arts at Work Across the U.S.
In this paper, long-time community arts chronicler Linda Frye Burnham offers snapshots of selected projects that help capture the range of community arts projects and programs happening today. They are led by veteran and up-and-coming artists and cultural organizations; new forms of interdisciplinary collectives; and arts and community agencies working in collaboration. Examples demonstrate how single projects, repeated community events, and ongoing programmatic and organizational efforts can effect community, civic, or social change. This paper may be read in tandem with “Arts-based Community Development: Mapping the Terrain” by William Cleveland, refreshed and reprised from his time-tested characterization of community-based arts, published in 2002 by the Community Arts Network. Cleveland offers a “map” that defines four neighborhoods of intention—to build and improve, to educate and inform, to inspire and mobilize, to nurture and heal. Animating Democracy has included the map in Frye Burnham's paper and located the community arts endeavors she describes on it by their corresponding number. The map gives a sense of the spectrum of community arts endeavors and the multiple ways in which such creative activity works to make change.