Arts & Democracy Project Update

June 2011
Greetings from the Arts & Democracy Project!   

This issue of our newsletter highlights work that integrates the arts, culture, and media with economic justice organizing. 


Moving from economic crisis to just and sustainable communities requires imaginative thinking, creative communication and an increased capacity for those who are most affected to tell their own stories. The following resources and projects offer examples of such creative transformational work.

Arts, Culture, Media & Economic Justice Resources:  


DWUCornerstone Logo 2MMP logo



Domestic Workers United is an organization of Caribbean, Latina and African nannies, housekeepers, and elderly caregivers organizing for fair labor standards and to end exploitation for all. The Invisible Women-Rise, DWU's dance theater collaboration with artist Lisa Ramirez, was an important part of their successful campaign for a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in New York.  


Cornerstone Theater Company and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network partnered to create this traveling theater troupe made up of day laborers in Los Angeles. The troupe performs original short plays for audiences of fellow day laborers at job centers and work sites. Their plays highlight the struggles of living and working as a day laborer without documentation.


The Media Mobilizing Project exists to build the media and communications infrastructure for a movement to end poverty, led by poor and working people, united across color lines. Through the powerful combination of creative communications and organizing, MMP clarifies the issues at stake and inspires and unites those who have a vested interest in change. 





Doris Rowe image / Triangle




Commemorating the Centennial of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, which took the lives of 146 workers, mostly young immigrant women, and galvanized a movement for social justice. Ongoing work includes a permanent public art memorial and an online archive of community stories of the fire and its relevance today.


The 100th Anniversary of the Great Lawrence Strike of 1912, popularly referred to as the Bread & Roses Strike, begins next year. The Bread & Roses Centennial Committee has formed to coordinate a series of events and programs that will take place through the year to celebrate this historically significant event.  





Morristown: In the Air and Sun


A new multi-media essay by Anne Lewis and Fran Ansley based on the Appalshop film, Morristown: In the Air and Sun, focusing on issues of immigration, factory flight, and the organized demand for economic justice.


An extensive online collection of resources includes hard-to-find publications and powerful images related to art and social change, including a section on Work and Class.


Highlights the struggles of everyday people for healthcare, childcare, livable wages and more. Click the links to radio programs on a wide range of labor issues.


Audio recording from a panel presentation at the National Conference for Media Reform, which took place in April 8-10, 2011 in Boston, MA.





With great charts, statistics, and Federal Budget 101, which gives a guided tour through the budget, NPP 's website offers tools and resources to better understand the federal budget and the impact of spending priorities on our communities.


CPE simplifies the economy and puts useful economic tools in the hands of people fighting for social and economic justice.  Check out their website for tools & resources including the book Field Guide to the U.S. Economy.


UFE raises awareness about how wealth and power undermine the economy, corrupt democracy, deepen the racial divide, and tear communities apart. You can find great resources on their website including New Report: Flip It to Fix It, a report on immediate, fair solutions to state budget shortfalls and An Infographic: Comparing Growth of U.S. Family Incomes.



As always, we're proud to highlight the great work in this field to support and cross-pollinate an extraordinary network of artists, cultural workers, policymakers, educators, and activists.  Please be in touch, and let us know what you think!
All our best,

Amalia, Caron, Kathie, Jason, Javiera, Lena, and Yolanda
Arts & Democracy Project 

In This Issue:
Featured Projects
Commemorating Labor History
Arts, Culture & Media Resources
Economic Justice Resources
Conference Call Audio
Join Our Mailing List



podcast image 


The Arts & Democracy Project recently hosted a conference call on Arts, Culture, Media & Economic Justice. The conference call featured presentations by Domestic Workers UnitedTeatro Jornalero Sin Fronteras/ Cornerstone Theater, and Media Mobilizing Project


Check out this great conversation here .   






Upcoming Event
Furee logo
June 22-29, Brooklyn, NY
A comic update of Pins & Needles, a 1930s musical about people fighting for jobs, housing, a minimum wage, immigrants' rights and economic justice. Performed by members of FUREE at the Irondale Center in Brooklyn, NY. 




July 24-30, 2011 
Northampton, MA
The Center for Popular Economics Summer Institute is a week-long intensive training in economics for media makers, activists, educators, and anyone who wants a better understanding of economics. 


Call for Entries
Submission Deadline: 
January 15, 2012
Submit a 3-minute video answering the question: How would you use the 1 trillion spent yearly on the U.S. military for yourself, your family and your community?


If I had a Trillion Dollars 
If I had a Trillion Dollars Youth Film Festival is co-sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee and National Priorities Project.




The Arts & Democracy Project builds the momentum of a cultural movement that draws on a rich history of arts activism, social justice organizing, and grassroots engagement. Arts & Democracy is a sponsored project of State Voices.

State Voices logo

Thanks to our funders: 


Nathan Cummings Foundation and 
Open Society Foundations