Animating Democracy September 2011 E-News

News from the Field

Albany Park Theater Project Honored with Human Rights Award

Earlier this summer, the National Immigrant Justice Center honored Albany Park Theater Project (APTP) with its Midwest Light of Human Rights Award, recognizing the organization’s commitment to using the arts to advocate for the human rights of all people.  Producing Artistic Director David Feiner and APTP alum Mourtaza Ahmad Ali accepted the award at a luncheon in Chicago attended by more than 700 civic leaders.

CultureStrike Coalition Kicks Off National Campaign

CultureStrike Coalition has gathered more than 50 acclaimed writers, visual artists, and filmmakers to kick off a national arts-based campaign challenging punitive, anti-immigrant laws and long-standing federal immigration policies. Members of CultureStrike met with local artists and grassroots activists to collaborate on new national efforts and holding public workshops and events, September 10–16 in Tucson and Phoenix, AZ.

Among the coalition members are a number of award-winning writers including National Book Award winner Maxine Hong Kingston and National Book Award finalist Jessica Hagedorn; New Yorker Magazine “20 under 40″ writer Daniel Alarcón; a Tony Award winner; two MacArthur Fellows; four American Book Award winners; and a Yale Poetry Prize winner. The group also includes notable visual artists such as Emory Douglas, former Minister of Culture of the Black Panther Party; El Mac, prominent street artist and painter; and Tania Bruguera, interdisciplinary artist and 1998 Guggenheim fellow.

New Publications & Resources

Eleven Reflections on September

The original cast recording of Eleven Reflections on September by Andrea Assaf, featuring Aida Shahghasemi, Salah Fattah, and Tim O'Keefe, engineered by Owen Henry & Keegan Fraley, is now available for digital download. The recording is a combination of spoken word and Middle Eastern music that relays the continuing ripples from 9/11.  Recorded at Pangea World Theater in April 2011, this CD is produced by Art2Action Inc.

Towards Accountability: An Essay in Collaborative Activist Media Production

The National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture recently published a white paper, “Towards Accountability: An Essay in Collaborative Activist Media Production,” written by Lawrence Daressa, co-director of the California Newsreel.

The paper asks how independent social change documentary makers know the films they make are the films social change activists want to use and how do the funders of these films know how effective they are for promoting social change. Daressa describes one model, “user-based documentary design,” California Newsreel has implemented to make its films more accountable to its stakeholders.

National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation Launches Idea Incubator

The National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD), an organization that promotes the use of dialogue, deliberation, and other innovative group processes to help people come together across differences to tackle our most challenging problems, recently launched a new feature on their website called the Idea Incubator.  The Idea Incubator makes it easier for people to pose ideas that benefit the field, gather feedback, and gain partners.  Check it out at

Calls for Proposals

Nominations for Social Change Leaders in Arts and Culture Fellowship
Deadline: September 26, 2011

Rockwood Leadership Institute is now accepting nominations for the inaugural year of the 2011-2012 National Fellowship for Social Change Leaders in Arts and Culture, made possible by the Surdna Foundation. This is a wonderful opportunity for artists and cultural workers working within a nonprofit organization or a fiscally sponsored project based in the United States to gain useful leadership and collaboration skills.

This seven-month intensive leadership program is designed to teach powerful visioning, listening, speaking, presentation, coaching, team-building, and feedback skills to leaders engaged in advocacy and organizing for progressive social change through the use of an artistic medium or cultural work.

Chicken & Egg Pictures Call for Entries Is Now Open!
Deadline: Friday, September 30, 2011

Chicken & Egg Pictures, a hybrid film fund and nonprofit production company, is accepting project applications for its Mother Wit Human Rights Film Fund.  The Mother Wit Human Rights Fund is dedicated to supporting women filmmakers and courageous human rights activists who, together from both sides of the camera, take on critical human rights struggles in the global south and the United States. These films are meant to inspire, enrage, and catalyze the collective belief and will needed to ensure civil rights, reproductive health rights, environmental, racial and economic justice, education and literacy for all—and especially for women and girls.

For more information, check out To apply, visit

Events on the Horizon

Creative Time’s Third Annual Summit and Living as Form
September 23–25, 2011
New York City

Creative Time is hosting its third annual Summit followed by Living as Form, an international project exploring more than 20 years of cultural work that blur the forms of art and everyday life.  The Summit, which takes place on Friday, September 23, will bring together cultural producers to discuss how their work engages pressing issues affecting our world through presentations and performances. The Summit will be followed by Living as Form, which will open September 24–25 with special events, but run until October 16. The project brings together 25 curators and documents more than 100 artists' projects in a large-scale survey exhibition inside the historic Essex Street Market building. The project also features nine new commissions in the surrounding neighborhood and provides a dynamic online archive of more than 350 socially engaged projects.

For details on Creative Time’s Third Annual Summit, go to

For more info and to see a schedule of events for Living as Form, visit

Future of Music Policy Summit 2011
October 3–4, 2011
Washington, DC

The Future of Music Policy Summit 2011 will bring together incredible array of musicians, arts advocates, policymakers, technologists, media representatives and industry figures to discuss issues at the intersection of music, technology, policy, and law. Attendees will examine current trends while looking ahead to a sustainable, 21st century music ecosystem that rewards creators and fans.

CREATE/CHANGE: Transforming Care for Elders through Creative Engagement
Milwaukee, WI
June 24–28, 2012

The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee’s Center on Age & Community and Peck School of the Arts will hold a four-day summer institute on June 24–28, 2012.  The institute, CREATE/CHANGE: Transforming Care for Elders through Creative Engagement, invites artists, students, and long-term care professionals of all kinds to the UWM campus to collaborate and design their own projects.  

CREATE/CHANGE is inspired by the success of The Penelope Project, a two-year endeavor that engaged an entire continuing care campus in reading Homer’s Odyssey, holding creative discussion groups, and staging an original play throughout the care facility for an outside audience.  The collaborators on The Penelope Project, Sojourn Theatre, Luther Manor, and The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, will team up again to teach the summer institute by sharing their experiences and inspiring others to radically revision how programming is offered in long-term care.

Online registration will be available soon. Visit to learn more and to sign up for notification of space availability.