Animating Democracy June 2011 E-News
News from the Field

Duke University Initiates Civic Engagement Studios

The Duke Center for Civic Engagement (DCCE) announced its inaugural set of Civic Engagement Studios for 2011-2012. The DCCE envisages each Civic Engagement Studio as an immersive space for small interdisciplinary groups of faculty, students, and community partners to contemplate, experiment, design, and disseminate creative approaches to social change. Undergraduate and graduate students will also have the opportunity to participate in a range of courses and public events. At the end of the academic year, each Studio will present an innovative solution or action-plan that addresses a civic challenge in a public forum. 

To learn more about the Civic Engagement Studios, visit

The St. Augustine's Project Announces Launch of Second Historic Slave Gallery Restoration

Through the efforts of the St. Augustine's Project, two historic Slave Galleries on Manhattan’s Lower East Side will enter the second phase of a long-awaited historic restoration this month. The Slave Galleries are haunting, box-like rooms above the balcony of St. Augustine’s Church, a landmark built in 1828.  The St. Augustine's Project, a 501(c)(3) organization, is dedicated to completing the restoration of these spaces and ultimately establishing a museum to build understanding and foster dialogue about African Americans’ contributions to the development of Lower Manhattan. Through a generous grant from The 1772 Foundation, The St. Augustine’s Project will take a second vital step in achieving this mission.

This phase of the restoration will expose and preserve historical markers from different time periods, allowing future visitors to experience the Gallery as occupants at different stages in the building’s history might have. In addition, this phase of the restoration will ensure that the East Gallery meets all safety standards for a site of its size and intended use.

Calls for Proposals

Blue Earth Alliance Project Submission Deadline
Deadline: July 20, 2011

Blue Earth sponsors photographic projects whose goal is to educate the public about endangered cultures, threatened environments, or current topics of social concern. Preference is given to work that is educational and informational in nature, with proposals of any geographic scope held in consideration. Photographers selected will have their projects promoted by Blue Earth in order to raise awareness on issues that affect contemporary society, as well as receive assistance in securing resources and support that enables the project to be positioned at the forefront of the field. Submission guidelines can be found online at

Leeway Foundation Arts for Change Grant
Deadline: September 15, 2011

The Leeway Foundation's grantmaking programs honor women and trans artists for their ability to create social change through their artistic and cultural work. The Art and Change Grant provides project-based grants of up to $2,500 to women and trans artists in the Delaware Valley region to fund art for social change projects. The Leeway Foundation encourages applications from artists who have an art for social change project or opportunity that impacts a larger group, audience, or community. Further information on this funding opportunity can be found at

Events on the Horizon

Contemporary Slavery Exhibition
June 3–August 5, 2011
New York City

Contemporary Slavery, a project of Social Environmental Aesthetics and the second annual ECOAESTHETIC exhibition, inve
stigates various forms of contemporary slavery—from human trafficking to the exploitation of farm and domestic workers, immigrants, and prisoners to sweatshop, bonded, and child labor—through a bombardment of images taken by leading photojournalists documenting this issue. Conceived by Papo Colo, the exhibition exposes the horrors of slavery that still exist today in all corners of the world. Contemporary Slavery is on display through August 5 at Exit Art in New York City.

Off the Beaten Path: Violence, Women and Art Exhibition
June 6–September 23, 2011
Atlanta, GA

Off the Beaten Path presents the work of 32 contemporary artists from 25 countries, including Yoko Ono (Japan), Louise Bourgeois (France), Wangechi Mutu (Kenya), Mona Hatoum (Palestine), and Hank Willis Thomas (USA), whose work addresses the issues of violence against women and girls around the world and their basic human rights to a safe and secure life. The project combines cutting-edge art with important social messaging and storytelling to help create awareness, inspiration, and address systems for positive social change and action. Curated by Randy Jayne Rosenberg, executive director of the nonprofit group Art Works for Change, the exhibit seeks to create a new conversation on the full spectrum of issues that surround this important topic. The exhibition will be on display at the Global Health Odyssey Museum from June 6–September 23, 2011. An online version of the exhibition is also available at

ROOTS Fest Art, Culture & Creativity: A National Learning Exchange
June 22–24, 2011
Baltimore, MD

Across the nation, communities face complex problems of derelict infrastructure, violence, illness, oppression, and invisibility. Alternate ROOTS is set to host a three-day galvanizing event that will elevate the national conversation about the power of art, culture, and creativity in building and maintaining resilient communities. Through examination of the rich history of West Baltimore, participants will learn about the neighborhood’s past, present, and future challenges and opportunities, and launch a community-oriented approach to tackling and maintaining positive change. The goal of the exchange is to elevate this topical conversation in front of leaders in local government, media, and business and create a new model of community development.

Save the Date: The Melting Pot Mural Dedication
June 25, 2011
Philadelphia, PA

The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program will celebrate the completion of a new mural by Jon Laidacker at the Capitolo Playground on Saturday, June 25. The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program is the largest public art program in the United States, uniting artists and communities through a collaborative process, rooted in the traditions of mural-making, to create art that transforms public spaces and individual lives. Artist Jon Laidacker worked with community members, assistant artists, and youth at St. Gabriel’s Hall to create this mural. During this process, participants learned about art making, community engagement, mosaics, and mural making. For information on attending the unveiling celebration, visit

Save the Date: Arts & Social Justice Conference
July 22, 2011
St. Louis, MO

The Women’s Caucus for Art’s mission is to create community through art, education, and social activism through recognizing the important role that the arts play in our lives and acknowledging the power of the arts to affect positive change. In this spirit, the Arts & Social Justice Conference is intended to be a venue in which to explore the role of the arts in promoting social justice and quality in our communities and around the globe. The conference, sponsored by the Midwest Region of the Women’s Caucus for Art and the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission, is open to artists, activists, art historians, curators, community organizers, educators, arts administrators, students, and anyone interested in how art can change the world for the better.

Watch for Registration Details: Imaging America’s 2011 National Conference
September 22–24, 2011
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

Imagining Americas’s 2011 conference in Minneapolis focuses on the theme “What Sustains Us?”  Hosted by the University of Minnesota, it will include on-campus sessions, seminars, and a day of visits to metropolitan and rural sites where transformative collaborations are forged between Minnesota’s diverse higher education institutions and communities. Examples of community explorations include : The Theater of Engagement (In The Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater), Public History as Public Commons (Minnesota History Center), and Models of Community-Initiated Research (Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, University of Minnesota).   The keynote address, titled Seeding the Future, will be a conversation between collaborators artist, activist, and Senior Fellow in Agricultural Systems, University of Minnesota Seitu Jones and Dr. Rose Brewer, African American & African Studies, University of Minnesota. For conference information, visit