Arts & Democracy Project Update

December 2010
Greetings from the Arts & Democracy Project! 

This issue of our newsletter highlights Arts and Equitable Development.

Moving from economic crisis to just and sustainable communities requires imaginative thinking and change on virtually every level. The following resources and projects offer examples of such creative and transformational work where equity is a core value.

Arts and Equitable Development:
News and Resources


Arts and Equitable Development is taking place in Brooklyn; Skid Row, Los Angeles; Harlan County, KY; and beyond. This conference call featured presentations by Higher Ground, Los Angeles Poverty Department, Housing is a Human Right, Laundromat Project, and Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC). Check out this great conversation here.



American ProspectFair Housing FiveCreative PlacemakingIntractable Democracy Cover

Culture Before Politics

In this American Prospect article, Jeff Chang and Brian Komar argue that, in freeing creativity, progressives can once again capture and carry forward our national imagination.

The Fair Housing Five and the Haunted House

Greater New Orleans Fair Action Housing Center's new children's book features a group of kids taking creative action against housing discrimination, with full color illustrations by Sharika Mahdi-Neville.

Creative Placemaking  

This white paper by Ann Markusen and Anne Gadwa, written for the Mayor's Institute on City Design, summarizes two decades of creative American placemaking.

Intractable Democracy

From Pratt Institute's Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development, this new anthology reflects on the legacy of community-based planning in New York. Includes the essay, "Taking Over and Talking Back: Theater as a Forum for Gentrification."

Urban Omnibus

This online project of the Architectural League features a discussion with Arts + Community Change and Fourth Arts Block about how a better understanding of naturally occurring cultural districts can inform a more holistic approach to cultural policy




Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America, and What We Can Do About It

Dr. Mindy Fullilove describes the "root shock" suffered when neighborhoods are physically uprooted. Additional articles about root shock can be found here.


Creative Community Builders Handbook: How to Transform Communities Using Local Assets, Arts and Culture

Tom Borrup provides a step-by-step guide to building economic, social, civic and physical community infrastructure through the arts.

Social Impact of the Arts Project

Based at the University of Pennsylvania, SIAP conducts research on the role of arts and culture in American cities with a particular interest in strategies for arts-based revitalization.

Making the Case for Skid Row Culture

Research by John Malpede of the Los Angeles Poverty Department and Maria Jackson of the Urban Institute finds that culture on Skid Row grows from the ground up, often initiated by residents.

Housing is a Human Right Soapbox Series

These stories, recorded in NYC, were initially presented at a Brooklyn laundromat (in partnership with the Laundromat Project).



Charles Landry

Landry's website features writings about how cities can creatively shape their futures by drawing on the culture of a place.


The Fourth Pillar of Sustainability: Culture's Essential Role in Public Planning

Jon Hawkes argues that cultural vitality is essential to a healthy and sustainable society.


Center for Urban Pedagogy: Envisioning Development Toolkit

Teaching tools about land use and urban development in New York City, including an interactive income map and affordable housing resources.

PolicyLink: Equitable Development Toolkit

27 tools to reverse patterns of segregation and disinvestment, prevent displacement, and promote equitable revitalization.

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, Anusha, Caron, Kathie, Jason, Javiera, Lena, and Yolanda
Arts & Democracy Project and Arts + Community Change Initiative

In This Issue
Arts & Equitable Development Resources
Join Our Mailing List

Call for artists


ROOTS Fest 2011: Many Communities, One Voice! Alternate ROOTS 35th anniversary festival in Baltimore June 22-26. Deadline: Dec 31 


Create Change

Laundromat Project invites NYC artists of color to this public artist residency program.

Deadline: March 24

Call for advocates and organizers

Making Policy Public

Opportunity to partner with a graphic designer to create a poster that visualizes a complicated issue. Deadline: Jan 21



Detroit Media Economy Collaborative is hiring for several positions. Help the Coalition cultivate a community media economy in Detroit.


2010 MetLife Innovative Space Awardees 

Artist space development projects that exhibit innovation, affordability for artists, sustainability, and community impact. 

Rick Lowe, awarded the Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change for his work with Project Row Houses. Listen to his acceptance speech where Lowe argues that social change needs to be tied to justice.

Youth participants in the Higher Ground Project in Harlan KY , who presented their work in Washington DC to the Appalachian Regional Commission and colleges and universities from across Appalachia.

The Civilians for their sold-out run of In the Footprint, the Battle Over Atlantic Yards.   The play, constructed from interviews, explored the largest development project in Brooklyn's history.

Newsletter Co-Sponsor

Seeded at the Pratt Center for Community Development, A+CC connects arts, culture, and eq
uitable development in order to strengthen low-income neighborhoods and work towards systemic change.
Who We Are

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