Animating Democracy July 2011 E-News
News from the Field

$100,000 Our Town Grant Awarded to Art At Work for Meeting Place Project

Art At Work (AAW) announced that it will receive an Our Town grant, one of only 51 awarded nationwide, from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Created by the arts nonprofit Terra Moto Inc., and led by artist Marty Pottenger, Art At Work is a national initiative to improve municipal government through strategic art-making projects involving city employees, elected officials, and local artists. AAW will receive support on Meeting Place, a multidisciplinary arts project to help five of Portland’s neighborhoods develop and deepen their networks of connection by tapping into the transformative power of the arts with dynamic yearlong partnership with local artists. Watch a short video from the press conference announcing the Our Town award to Art At Work at

Project Art Connects Starts in Downtown Bradenton, FL

Realize Bradenton in Florida recently initiated Project Art Connects, a three-year, innovative project in public art and social media. It connects local history with future planning by engaging young people in driving conversations about Bradenton’s  past, present, and future.
Art and history teachers, visiting artists, historians, and environmental experts will work with students to guide their investigations and use of historical documents and objects, museum exhibitions, and oral history accounts. Students will record the knowledge gained, ideas, and visions in words, illustrations, and computer graphics, while investigating the resources of the South Florida Museum, Manatee Village Historical Park, and the downtown riverfront.

Call for Entries

TIDES Announces 35th Anniversary Social Justice Poster Design Content

Tides, a social change nonprofit organization that works to leverage individual and institutional leadership and investment to positively influence local and global communities, is inviting poster designs celebrating the organization’s thirty-fifth anniversary from artists, graphic designers, and anyone in the Tides community. Submissions can be drawn from any area of Tides’ issue areas, reflect on building community for social change, or offer visions for a more just and sustainable world.

(Announcement text republished from:

New Publications and Resources

Voices from the Field III: Lessons and Challenges from Two Decades of Community Change Efforts
By Anne C. Kubisch, Patricia Auspos, Prudence Brown and Tom Dewar

Published by the Aspen Institute’s Roundtable on Community Change, this volume, Voices from the Field III: Lessons and Challenges from two Decades of Community Change Efforts, examines the accomplishments of community change efforts during the past two decades and identifies priority issues around which policy, practice, and learning agendas should be organized going forward.

Penelope Project featured in Theatre Communication Group (TCG)’s July/August American Theater

The July/August edition of TCG’s American Theater features an article about the Penelope Project’s Finding Penelope, a site-specific theater project that was the culmination of more than two years of collaborative work between Luther Manor long-term care facility, Sojourn Theatre, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts, and UWM’s Center on Age and Community.

Dialogue: A Virtual Workshop

Dialogue: A Virtual Workshop is a series of 12 videos that shares the basics of the Public Conversations Project’s approach to dialogue. From understanding the importance of participant preparation to developing the right questions to ask in a dialogue, this series illustrates PCP’s approach—and the principles behind it—via an in-depth resource that combines videos, guides, and interactive links.

Events on the Horizon

Marking Progress: Evaluating Movement Toward Racial Justice
July 27, 2011

Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity will host a webinar entitled, Marking Progress: Evaluating Movement Towards Racial Justice, on July 27. This webinar will address challenges, offer examples of current evaluative efforts, and share suggestions to help us ask the right questions from various roles of community activist, advocate, researcher, or funder. More importantly, it will be conducted as an interactive session to ensure participation by funders, activists, and others struggling with or learning in their own evaluations.

Arts & Democracy Project Conference Call: Creative Responses to the 10th Anniversary of 9/11
August 10 at 12PM EST

The 10th anniversary of 9/11 is a moment for reflection and a catalyst for action. Arts & Democracy Project is hosting a conference call to share creative responses to the anniversary.  Join the call if you have a project to share, are looking to connect with other projects, or want to know more about what projects have evolved from 9/11.  To receive a call in number, please RSVP to  To present a project (about 2 minutes of presentation time depending on the amount of response), please send a two-line description along with a link, which will be distributed in a follow-up eblast.

Imagining America’s 12th Annual National Conference: What Sustains Us?
September 22–24, 2011
Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN

Imagining America (IA) invites higher education affiliates (faculty, students, staff, and administrators) and community partners (individuals and organizations) to participate in its twelfth annual national conference, September 22–24, 2011, in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, co-hosted by Macalester College and the University of Minnesota.

Through the theme of this year's conference, “What Sustains Us?” we will convene conversations, collaborations, and actions about a central issue of our time—sustainability. Participants will engage a broad range of questions about sustainability: environmental concerns (in both campus and community contexts), our existential and vocational condition, our social and institutional relations regarding humanities and arts practices, as well as concerns of globalization and the often-invisible labor that supports us.