Blog Posts for social change

Advocating for the Every Day Advocate

Posted by Amy K. Ruggaber, Aug 29, 2017 0 comments

I often have students or fellow artists ask me how I got into advocacy, and I’m happy to share my experiences and strategies with them. This year, I launched a whole new advocacy campaign: I reached out to my friends, family, peers, and more and shared with them my everyday advocacy efforts that were more traditionally focused on legislators and policy makers. My hope was that by de-mystifying the advocacy process, more people would get involved. I wanted to inspire a whole new group of Every Day Advocates.

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Why In-District Advocacy Matters: An Insider’s Perspective

Posted by Lauren Cohen, Aug 11, 2017 0 comments

Working for a Representative from my home state of Tennessee was immensely rewarding, particularly because my office placed high priority on constituent services. If constituents took the time to schedule a meeting to discuss their concerns, chances were high that the Representative would do what he could to co-sponsor the bill in question, write a letter of inquiry, or make a speech on the House floor. However, Capitol Hill isn’t the only place to connect with your legislator. Meetings right where constituents live and work—at home in the district—can have just as much impact.

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The Role Museums Play in Social Activism

Posted by Kate McLeod, Aug 02, 2017 0 comments

The choice of museums to take a stand is unique to each institution, and it’s complicated, layered, and specific to the geographical location and political climate of the region. In the meantime, artists will continue to create works that question our existence and boundaries; be responsive to the emotional, social, political, and religious world around them; and ask the important questions that move us all forward as aware global citizens. Museums and cultural institutions that support contemporary artists will continue to support them, whether through curatorial or educational programming.

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Loving the Question of Beauty

Posted by Pam Korza, Jul 28, 2017 0 comments

Why is beauty, a word often included in definitions of aesthetics, missing from the list of 11 attributes of excellence in the Aesthetic Perspectives framework? It is a question that prompted many conversations during the making of the framework as we wrestled with exclusive connotations of “taste” and what is “beautiful.” I posit that the sum total of the 11 aesthetic attributes complexifies beauty and provides a framework for reconsidering what is beauty in Arts for Change. 

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Social Transformation Under the Sheltering Sky of Aesthetics

Posted by Dr. Lisa Yun Lee, Jul 28, 2017 0 comments

The integrity and transparency with which we conduct ourselves at the National Public Housing Museum is extremely important to everyone involved. This is work where the process is as vital as the result itself. And we intend to evaluate the so-called “excellence” of our efforts in how much justice we help to create in the world. The Aesthetic Perspectives framework emerges at a key moment for our work, as both a blessing and offering. It opens up a utopian and expansive new terrain for how to reflect on work that is meant to be socially engaged and transformative.

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The Case for Complexity

Posted by Mike Blockstein, Jul 28, 2017 0 comments

Change requires doing things differently, in new, creative, and risk-taking ways. Public Matters wants to see the arts recognized as a critical element of civic life and of a healthy community. Doing so requires pushing beyond standardized conceptions of who or what an artist is and does. The Aesthetic Framework can play a role in this conversation by expanding the appreciation of what this work entails and what it can achieve. Openly embracing risk-taking is essential, within the arts and in partnerships with historically risk-averse disciplines and agencies seeking better outcomes.

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