Sponsored by the CrossCurrents and Compton Foundations, the Arts and Activism (A&A) ColLABoration supports six projects between artists and activist organizations. Each project uses arts-integrated organizing to build power within their respective communities. Through storytelling and community engagement they produce narratives that elevate themes of democracy, power, and freedom in the United States. While the projects vary in model, practice, and development, they share similar goals: to achieve impact and to deepen engagement on salient issues by centering the voices of those who are most affected by them.
A&A ColLABoration intentionally selected projects at different stages of development to showcase what successful collaborations between artists and activists. As part of a national learning cohort, the projects contribute to a network where methods and strategies are discussed, documented, and shared.
The projects are:
The League is one of two startups supported by A&A ColLABoration. The League offers media/marketing strategies to musicians and media producers who want to elevate social issues on their platforms. Formed by a collective of creatives, analysts, and campaigners, The League experiments with cultural engagement strategies to reach new audiences through social media and curated events.
Similarly, the School of Good Citizenship is a new venture launched by the artists duo LigaronoReese. Inspired by the success of their previous public art installations Melted Away, the artists will mount four simultaneous public art projects in Charlotte, North Carolina in the week leading up to the Republican Convention. These installations will anchor workshops around democracy that blend creativity and art with civic dialogue.
Skylight Engagement will launch its first convening of filmmakers and activists in the United States, based on successful models of their work in Central and South America. The Borderlands Solidari Labs will gather a new network of artists and activists to examine immigration in the United States along the Southwest border. The group will collaboratively prototype media projects that tell nuanced stories about immigration challenging the prevailing dominant and demeaning narratives.
The Midwest Cultural Lab will deepen its model for connecting artists and activists in Ohio. Using social media platforms, artists in the network will create content that mobilize young voters of color around local and state level issues.
National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) will expand its media marketing campaign for its Families Belong Together: Coloring Without Borders children’s coloring book and accompanying curriculum. The coloring book is a result of NDWA’s partnership with numerous artists who donated their work for the pages of the book. The coloring book distribution will be done in two parts: first, to migrant children at the border to help them process their experiences. Second, to families in the U.S. whose purchases are an act of solidarity and support for NDWA’s work at the border.
Led by their Artist in Residence, Forward Together partners with artists of color and allied organizations to strengthen the effectiveness of movements and campaigns through the use of visual imagery. With A&A ColLABoration funding, Forward Together will expand the Art As Power program, with a specific focus on the fifth annual Transgender Day of Resilience as well as mobilizing artists in rapid response campaigns.