Animating Democracy News and Updates

In February and March, Animating Democracy is facilitating conversations with grantmakers and others about the findings of its recent report, Trend or Tipping Point: Arts & Social Change Grantmaking. These forums respond to the study’s finding that funders of all types are increasingly considering support for arts and culture as strategies for change.  As they do, they desire education that can help deepen understanding, drive interest, and foster readiness to consider supporting arts for change work as well as to discuss real or perceived barriers. Animating Democracy will partner throughout 2011 with funder affinity groups and others to share findings about the current state of arts for change philanthropy, enable funders to exchange information and ideas with colleagues and consider what they might do to advance arts for change.  Upcoming webinars and presentations include :

FORUM: Thursday, February 24, 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
Boston, MA
New England Blacks in Philanthropy

Animating Democracy presents as part of the forum, For Arts’ Sake: Voice of Change, exploring the role of art in social change. 

WEBINAR: Tuesday, March 15, 2:00 p.m. EST
Grantmakers in the Arts

Hear from Co-Directors Barbara Schaffer Bacon and Pam Korza key findings from this research and how to put it to use in your community. Register here.

WEBINAR: Monday, March 21, 2:00 p.m. EST
Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE)

For information:

FORUM: Wednesday, March 30, 9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
New York City
Philanthropy New York

This forum is co-sponsored and co-presented by the Nathan Cummings Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Surdna Foundation, Lambent Foundation, and CrossCurrents Foundation. For information:

For further information about hosting a forum, contact Animating Democracy Co-Director Pam Korza at

News from the Field

It’s not just black and white Engages Arizona Public in Criminal Justice Issues
Arizona State University Art Museum
February 1–May 14, 2011

It’s not just black and white is a three-month residency exhibition with Gregory Sale, a Phoenix-based artist. Housed in the Arizona State University Museum gallery, this project will provide opportunity for the public to explore the impact of modern criminal justice through fact-based tours, dialogues, and programs—offering first-hand experience of the many strands that make up this complicated narrative. Sale will work through artistic gestures to initiate and host dialogue, aspiring to give voice to the multiple constituencies of the corrections, incarceration, and criminal justice systems.

Cornerstone Theater Embarks on New Hunger Cycle Project

Cornerstone Theater has begun a four-year project diving into the complex issues of food and hunger—food equity, access, nutrition, health, and the environment. This exploration will fuel the presentation of real stories about this intimate topic people deal with every day.
Over the next four years, the group will investigate the universal and urgent need for food and how filling that need has the power to transform individuals and communities. As Cornerstone begins the process of discovering communities that are related to the many issues connected to food and hunger, the company invites people to share their stories.

Ford Foundation Launches JustFilms Initiative

The Ford Foundation recently announced the new JustFilms Initiative, which aims to advance social justice worldwide through the talent of emerging and established filmmakers. Beginning in 2011, the foundation is investing $10 million a year over five years in documentary projects that address urgent social issues and help us understand our past, explore our present, and build our future. The goal is to expand the community of emerging and established filmmakers who often lack funding to realize their visions and reach audiences.

To learn more about JustFilms and find information about grant opportunities, visit

Publications and Resources

Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes from a Choreographer
By Liz Lerman

In her new manifesto, Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes from a Choreographer, Liz Lerman reflects on her lifelong exploration of dance as a vehicle for human insight and understanding of the world around us. Through this wide-ranging collection of essays and articles, she combines broad outlooks on culture and society with practical applications and personal stories. Her expansive scope encompasses the craft, structure, and inspiration that bring theatrical works to life as well as the applications of art in fields as diverse as faith, aging, particle physics, and human rights law

Calls for Proposals

Oregon Humanities Seeks Leaders for New Conversation Projects
Deadline: March 31, 2011

Are you a scholar, artist, community leader, or innovator interested in leading active conversations in communities across Oregon? Oregon Humanities is looking for people to propose and lead Conversation Projects.

The Conversation Project offers Oregon nonprofits free programs that engage community members in thoughtful, challenging conversations about ideas critical to our daily lives and our state's future. Check out the website to see some of the creative ways that current leaders are using song, statistics, and videos to inform, engage, and inspire. Then propose your own program and submit an application by March 31.

Events on the Horizon

Celebrate SWAN (Support Women Artists Now) Day
March 26, 2011

WomenARTS, a community of artists and allies working to empower and provide opportunity and visibility for women artists, is organizing the Fourth Annual SWAN (Support Women Artists Now) Day on March 26, 2011. SWAN Day is an international holiday that celebrates women artists. It is an annual event taking place on the last Saturday of March (Women's History Month) and the surrounding weeks.

WomenARTS is calling on artists and community members to create their own SWAN Day event.  For more information about the holiday, to access fundraising and organizing tools, and to view the SWAN Day Calendar, please visit the website at

The People’s Potlucks
May–August 2011

Organized by MAPP International, The America Project continues to provide a means to bring together creative process and public engagement in service to imagination, civic dialogue, and critical citizenship. MAPP’s newest project, The People's Potlucks, is a series of artist-led dinner conversations held throughout New York City from May through August 2011 that explore—through personal stories, group readings, creative activities, and honest dialogue—the idea of living as citizens of conscience in an interconnected, global society. For more information, visit

Save the Date: 66th Annual National Conference on Citizenship
September 22–23, 2011

The National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) is pleased to announce its 66th Annual Conference will be held on the campus of Arizona State University on September 22–23, 2011 in partnership with the Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA). Convening for the first time outside of Washington, DC, NCoC hopes to take advantage of current local events to ignite compelling discussions about the role that citizens
and communities can play in addressing and solving nationwide problems. To read more about the event, go to