Animating Democracy August 2011 E-News
Animating Democracy News & Updates

Join Animating Democracy for a Workshop Hosted by the Tucson Pima Arts Council
Tucson, AZ
September 9–10

In Tucson, AZ, September 9–10, Animating Democracy will co-present a workshop with artist Marty Pottenger for the Tuscan Pima Arts Council focusing on the arts and civic engagement. The workshop aims to build knowledge and practical skills in planning, implementing, and evaluating artistic projects and programs that aim to foster civic engagement and dialogue. These sessions are open to artists, educators, arts and culture organizations, activists, and cultural and civic leaders from Tucson and Pima County, AZ. Please R.S.V.P. to Rafael Otto at by Friday, September 2. For a detailed schedule and more information, visit

New Publications & Resources

Check Out the National Endowment for the Arts New Our Town Communities Website

Earlier this year, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) awarded grants to 51 creative placemaking projects to support community development through the arts and design via its Our Town program. The latest addition to the NEA website is a full section devoted to the Our Town Communities where you will find photos and more information about all the projects.

Original post on the GIA Blog

Barry’s Blog Features Interview with Bill Cleveland

Barry’s Blog, a blog for the arts administrator provided by the Western States Arts Federation, interviews community artist and field leader Bill Cleveland. Spurred by Cleveland’s new book, Between Grace and Fear: The Role of the Arts in a Time of Change, the interview produces discussion that encourages philosophical thinking about the role the arts play in responding to, and shaping, our world.

Part I establish some common vocabulary and the context for discussing the role of the arts in world change.

Part II addresses questions of “how to…” and challenges Cleveland to give examples of organizations and people weaving art into community life.

Part III expands the discussion to encompass the perceptions of the arts field and leaders by those outside of the field and cross-sector relationships with an eye toward the future of the field.

Civic Engagement and Community Information: Five Strategies to Revive Civic Communication

The Knight Commission recently released a new policy paper by CIRCLE Director Peter Levine entitled Civic Engagement and Community Information: Five Strategies to Revive Civic Communication. It calls on community and elected leaders to adopt sensible strategies to strengthen civic communication and citizen engagement. The paper was commissioned by the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. It is the sixth in a series of white papers aimed at implementing the recommendations of the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy.  To read the report online, visit

Events on the Horizon

Democracy Convention
Madison, WI
August 24–28, 2011

The Democracy Convention, taking place in Madison, WI, August 24–28, aims to strengthen democracy in communities, schools, workplaces, local economies, military, government, and media. As the inaugural Democracy Convention, this convening will house at least nine conferences under one roof.  The format recognizes the importance of each of these separate democracy struggles, as well as the need to unite them all in a common, deeply rooted, broad-based movement for democracy.

The Democracy Convention is a project of the Liberty Tree Foundation and co-convened by the Alliance for Democracy, Progressive Magazine, and Move to Amend.

Not In Our Town National Week of Action: Communities Stand Together Against Hate
September 18–24

Communities nationwide are using a new PBS documentary, Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness, to find ways to prevent hate crimes and anti-immigrant violence.

The film tells the story of residents of a Long Island village taking action after a local immigrant is killed in a hate crime attack by seven teenagers. While starkly revealing the trauma of hate, the film provides a blueprint for people who want to do something before intolerance turns to violence.  As part of Not In Our Town National Week of Action, September 18–24, communities throughout the country will host screenings, events, and discussions on hate crime prevention, working to develop new ways to make their towns safer. For more information on how to get involved, visit

Posting from Everyday Democracy

National Conference on Citizenship
Philadelphia, PA and Phoenix, AZ
September 22–23

Registration is now open for the 66th Annual National Conference on Citizenship. This yearly convening is the signature event of the organization National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC). Held in proximity to Citizenship Day (also known as Constitution Day), NCoC convenes leaders in the field of civic engagement to exchange information and to discuss ways to progress our shared mission of encouraging Americans to become fully involved citizens. Visit to learn more and secure a spot today. The 2011 conference will consist of a series of events to be held during Citizenship Week, beginning September 15 in Philadelphia and culminating September 22–23 in Arizona.

Balance Unbalance Conference 2011
Montreal, Canada
November 4–5, 2011

Environmental problems are a challenge for all disciplines, but bringing together people from the various “little worlds” and setting up a base for communication across disciplines is still a difficult mission. The Balance Unbalance Conference 2011 will bring artists together with scientists, economists, philosophers, politicians, sociologists, engineers, and management and policy experts. The aim is to “develop the role of the arts and artists in dealing with environmental challenges” by way of intellectual exchange, reflection, debate, and the promotion of projects and actions.

Original post by Cultura21