Blog Posts for social change

Of Distinction: Community-engaged notions of value

Posted by Ananya Chatterjea, Jul 24, 2017 0 comments

Animating Democracy’s new Aesthetic Perspectives framework spawned multiple parallel scenarios in my head. In one, I was continuing my conversation from a few weeks ago with a foundation grant officer, who told me that their organization was “not so interested in social justice”; you simply had to “have artistic excellence.” I had presented my most cogent argument that artistic excellence is often conceptualized in dangerously narrow ways, to the detriment of appreciating arts and social justice work—only to be brushed aside. What would have happened if the framework, offering many different ways of reading “excellence” in socially engaged art, had been at my fingertips then? 

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A Humane Framework for Creative Practice

Posted by Linda Essig, Jul 24, 2017 0 comments

Aesthetic Perspectives is described as “a guide for description rather than a scorecard.” This is an apt explanation; it provides a framework for use by an evaluator rather than a rubric for evaluation itself. As such, there are aspects of Aesthetic Perspectives that are particularly useful or important and a few elements that raise some questions for me.

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Wake Up to a New Day

Posted by Pam Korza, Jul 24, 2017 0 comments

Notions of excellence and equity are linked and increasingly demand that we attend to both the positive and negative ways they intersect in policies, practices, and decisions. Which artists get opportunities, who gains resources, how are arts and cultural practices understood and valued by critics, audiences, and gatekeepers? Our Excellence and Equity Blog Salon explores these questions and provides guidance in the form of Animating Democracy's new framework Aesthetic Perspectives: Attributes of Excellence in Arts for Change.

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Finding One’s Path Through Music

Posted by Sarah Johnson, Jul 20, 2017 0 comments

At Carnegie Hall, we see our Social Impact programming as an integral part of our mission, to celebrate the artistry in all of us and explore the most inventive ways that music can play a role in people’s lives. We believe that music is a human right and an innate capacity, and we know that it’s part of our responsibility as cultural citizens to do as much as we can to acknowledge, nurture, and encourage musical discovery and expression, so that we can hear and learn from people’s perspectives and voices. 

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Reflections on the 2017 Americans for the Arts Annual Convention: Framing is Everything—Social Impact Opportunities in the Arts

Posted by Ms. Mariama Holman, Jun 29, 2017 0 comments

Framing is the narrative one creates about ideas, pictures, symbols—the impressions formed about oneself, others, and the environment they inhabit. Non-profit and for-profit are simply tax delineators, but an entire world of framing has developed within those terms, where some organizations see themselves as charities rather than economic and social value producers. In truth, arts organizations do not come to society requesting a “hand out,” but offer a “hand full”—building more socially equitable, sustainable, and economically prosperous communities. With this “hand full” mentality, arts organizations are value producers, like businesses.

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