You know when you have a really great collaboration going, when ideas are flowing and things just seem to be happening magically? That’s how it’s been feeling the past few months at the Center for Artistic Activism. The team of artists, activists and nonprofit admin superheroes who make up our staff, partners, and community have been really killing it, even in the face of so much difficult political reality. These folks give me hope, because they’re thinking creatively and strategically in the midst of all of this chaos.
I just returned from South Africa where we trained talented young artists working towards renewable energy. And a few weeks before that, I had the pleasure of meeting our Unstoppable Voters Fellows working towards equitable elections. And our C4AA team has been producing incredible programs like the Learning Labs and Revolutionizing Activism. All of these folks remind me that change happens because of the innovative and passion that individuals bring to the fight. I know that each of you are cultivating change by being your creative and quirky selves. Thank you - activism needs you.
We have a lot of ways for you to get involved and learn more about the most innovative and inspiring advocacy work happening now. I’m excited to share with you more about this super fun stuff coming in the next few months. Read on! And keep in touch.
Artists in South Africa developed creative climate actions during our workshop
What is the future of Climate Justice?
We’re working with Greenpeace International, as they support the innovative young people of the Global South who are revolutionizing the climate movement. Greenpeace has asked us to help train this next generation as they rewrite the rules about what it means to be an activist. Last week we were in Johannesburg South Africa, helping 30 young artists turn their talents in fashion design, visual art, sculpture, and music into advocacy projects that connect their peers with renewable energy solutions. In just 24 hours, this amazing group created a festival and eco fashion show, and presented it to 200 school children. Their resourcefulness and joy reminded us that everything is possible when you bring creativity to this work.
A PEEK INSIDE
If you’re looking to bring more creativity to your work, we want to share a little slice of our training: With these climate change activists, we talked about eye-opening research on Moral Foundations, and how reframing environmental messages around loyalty to a nation instead of caring for the planet completely transforms how some people feel about the issue.
Listen to the last 45 minutes of this amazing podcast for that story. You can use this 5 Moral Foundations exercise to examine how to frame your messaging about an issue you care about.
Are You C4AA’s Next Board Member?
We’re looking for 4 fantastic new people to serve on our Board, alongside a wonderful group of activists, artists, entrepreneurs and academics. Right now, we’re especially looking for individuals with experience in advocacy organization, communications strategy, fundraising or nonprofit law. Our board members champion the importance of creative activism and the value of research and training to help advocacy groups, artists, activists and others learn skills to help them win. If you or someone you know might be a good fit, check out the longer description here, and fill out an application form before October 24th.
4 Ways to Make Artistic Activism Work for You
In the next few months, we’ll be featured at the Smithsonian, activating voters for the US midterm elections, and you might spot us in Wisconsin, Washington DC, India or Ohio. We’re also creating some exciting new content to share with you.
Visit the Smithsonian Exhibit: We’ve helped the Smithsonian develop a new exhibit all about artistic activism. Called The Utopia Project, it will open at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum on November 1st. We can’t reveal too much, but let’s just say it’s a super fun and inspiring way to figure out how your creativity and change-making can evolve into something world-changing.
Get ready for the elections: If you’re wondering how to motivate yourself and others for the midterm U.S. election, we have you covered. Be on the lookout for our next few newsletters, because we have a suite of fantastic stories and resources all about this. And, if you happen to be in Wisconsin or Ohio, let us know. We’re doing a number of Unstoppable Voters events in those states in the coming 2 months.
Take our artistic activism course: This is the last chance this year to apply for our popular Learning Lab, an online hang-out where people like you gather to learn and share. You’ll walk away with steps to marry your creativity with the social change work you care about most.
Get inspired by experts: We designed our Revolutionizing Activism series to bring you some of the creative activists we find most inspiring - those who can tell stories of their successful campaigns in healthcare, racial justice, reproductive justice and more. But also about the tools they used, so that you can use them too. If you would like to learn how to do more activism with less resources, or organize online effectively and creativity, stay in the loop on the next RevAct sessions.
Dressing for the Revolution
Inspired by the young fashion designers we just had the pleasure of working with in South Africa, we want to share one of our favorite recent Actipedia posts.The collective Ndaku Ya La Vie Est Belle, a group of Kinshasa street performers turn their bodies into living sculptures, and use them to political ends. Check it out and explore Actipedia, our crowd-sourced wiki of creative actions from all over the world. And you can add your own favorites!
Again, many thanks to the wonderful Center for Artistic Activism team, and to all of you who donate and support that team in many ways.
Keep in touch!