Creating Community Change Through Art

November 20, 2019

This fall, our partners are figuring out new and exciting ways to promote public participation in social justice movements and causes. 


SG Sarmiento (CC ‘17) reports that in October his organization, the National Day Laborers Organizing Network (NDLON), partnered with VietRISE  to host a cultural festival in the heart of Little Saigon in Garden Grove, CA. We Celebrate Sanctuary Here was designed as a response to an orchestrated local campaign against sanctuary cities. Defending immigrants' civil rights, speakers denounced local officials who have sided with hate groups and Trump's deportation agenda.  


Grace Lee’s (CC ‘14) new project, And She Could be Next, was one of eight documentaries featured at the Doc Society's Good Pitch USA. It’s a docuseries about “women of color, as candidates and organizers, transforming American politics by running for office and harnessing the political potential of the new American majority.”

The latest large-scale installation by Swoon (Caledonia Curry, CC ‘14) is on exhibit at the Javits Center in New York City. It’s made up of various forms of print mediums and interactive elements, like jewelry boxes people can open. Also check out this interview that Caledonia did with All-Arts:

Wyatt Closs (CC ‘19) and his Big Bowl of Ideas worked on a very forward thinking project called the Santa Monica Wellbeing Summit that was held on Nov. 16. The event invited residents, city officials, state electeds, and international guests on a day of engagement about what it means to build a city of wellbeing. Wyatt and his team mounted ‘What Matters Most? Life Size Data Survey’, a 44-foot long installation in which participants voiced their opinions in real time during the course of the day.  With artist Wences, Wyatt’s team also mounted a ‘Mobile Mural’ in Los Angeles, which included child care providers and California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Joseph Clift (CC ‘19) partnered with Crystal Echo Hawk (CC ‘17) and IllumiNative to release his first animated short film this month (below). Another Creative Changer, Caty Borum Chattoo (CC ‘17 & ‘19) helped introduce them, thanks to The Opportunity Agenda and the Yes, And Laughter Lab, which Caty co-founded with Mik Moore’s (CC ‘14). Caty writes, “It's all connected in the most amazing way! Thank you for convening us, Opportunity Agenda friends. This is how change happens -- enabling people to meet and share strengths.”


Caron Atlas’ (CC ‘14 & ‘15) organization, Arts & Democracy, will co-facilitate a workshop about Cultural Organizing for Community Change on December 8 in New York. The workshop gathers of organizers, artists, media makers, and policy makers to learn effective ways to deepen their work and engage creativity in organizing for community change.  Presenters include Roohi Choudhry, FUREE, Kayhan Irani, Ricardo Levins Morales, Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD), NOCD-NY, Urban Bush Women, and more. There is a sliding scale fee. Register here.


Lina Srivastava (CC ‘16 & ‘17) spent a month this fall as a Practitioner Resident at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center to deepen her work on Transformational Change Leadership, think about its next stages, and how best to be of service. Lina was also interviewed by Henry Jenkins for his book “Participatory Culture” on participatory politics.