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Applications are open for our Art Action Academy in Guinea in December!

West Africa Art Action Academy
December 17 – 21, 2017 Applications Due November 20, 2017 (2pm GMT)

En français

OSIWA (Open Society Initiative for West Africa), C4AA (The Center for Artistic Activism) and Association Culturelle La Muse invite artists to apply to participate in a 5-day Art Action Academy from December 17-21, 2017 in Conakry, Guinea. The workshop is open to artists from West Africa currently working on or interested in learning how they can reverse the dominance of corruption with art forms using their own expertise and artistic expression.

Many artists want to create work that has a social impact. Unfortunately, organizing a successful social-change campaign isn’t often part of skills traditionally acquired by artists. The Art Action Academy (AAA) is a training program aimed at helping socially-engaged artists make their work more impactful and provides them with the necessary tools to better evaluate the effect of their work.

The goal of the AAA is not merely to impart knowledge, but to access, organize and operationalize the creative, cultural and political resources possessed by the artists themselves. In brief, the goal of the AAA is to have participants own the method so that they can continue to develop and grow as successful artists and effective activists.

Using a range of contemporary and historical examples of organizing and activism from around the world, participants will study the various ways cultural creativity has been employed for raising awareness, building organizations, influencing legislatures, and drafting policy. The selected artists will explore ideas from cultural theory to cognitive science to social marketing. Additionally, participants will learn to apply these ideas through a range of practical exercises designed to unlock their imagination from the prison-house of the possible – and then to figure out how to make the impossible possible, through new strategies and tactics. More about the AAA workshop curriculum is included at the end of this message.

We’ll explore how to reverse the dominance of corruption with art forms using the expertise and artistic expression of the participants.

Eligibility: This training is open to artists living and working in Senegal, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Mali, Niger, Benin, Ghana, and Cote d’Ivoire. Artists may include dancers, performers, visual artists, writers, scenarists, rappers and other musicians, film makers, 3D animators, and cartoonists.

To apply, please complete the information on this form by November 20th 2017 at 2pm GMT.

En français

The workshop will begin the afternoon of Dec 17th and end the evening of December 21st. Applicants must be able to commit to the full workshop for 5 days plus travel time. All costs (travel ticket, accommodation and meals) will be covered by OSIWA.

The Arts Action Academy has been held in over 10 countries with over 800 participants. Here are what some of our participants have said about the training:

“This is a tremendous gift to art activists – it meets many needs and fills in gaps we may not realize we have.”

“Thank you both for this workshop. A clear agenda that has been fine-tuned over time. Really excellent content, structure and method.”

“I thank you for your great efforts, passionate training, am leaving this …training room a more empowered, creative African Woman.”

“I’ve been looking for something to reinvigorate/refresh/renew my commitment to activism. You provided it. Thank you.”

“A great opportunity to open my mind and explore ideas. The teaching instills confidence and a sense of empowerment and creativity which everyone should have.”

The AAA workshop will be led by C4AA co-founders Stephen Duncombe and Steve Lambert in collaboration with OSIWA Staff.

About the Organizers & Facilitators

Stephen Duncombe is a Professor of Media and Culture at New York University. He is the author and editor of six books, including Dream: Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy and the Cultural Resistance Reader, and is a life-long activist.

Steve Lambert is a conceptual artist and Associate Professor of New Media at SUNY Purchase. His art has been shown everywhere from marches to museums internationally, has appeared in over fourteen books, and four documentary films.

The Center for Artistic Activism trains artists and activists around the world to use their own creativity and cultural knowledge to make positive change.

The Open Society Initiative for West Africa promotes and supports open societies, inclusive democratic governance based on transparent and accountable institutions, active citizenry and economic advancement. More at http://www.osiwa.org/.

Association Culturelle La Muse is a Guinean civil society organization working towards the promotion of Arts and Culture for Social Justice.

More about the Art Action Academy Workshop

The Art Action Academy (AAA) is designed to help artists who want to be socially engaged to be more effective in bringing about change. The AAA presents new ways of doing art and activism, drawing upon artists perspectives, expertise and understandings. The workshop also helps artists build a community of practice, an extended network of artists in a region and around the world who provide support after the workshop.

The AAA curriculum includes exercises to help you see how activism is typically done, and how to do it better by using art and culture to reach people at a level of personal experience, story, emotion and fundamental values. The workshop takes a deep dive into the history of effective artistic activism around the world, drawing out lessons that can be applied locally but also revealing how tactics must be culturally specific in order to resonate. Workshop participants bring their own examples of artistic activist tactics that have worked in their regions and cultures. Together we examine why these are effective and how to draw from them for new and innovative campaign ideas with objectives and goals aimed at fundamental change. The workshop facilitators talk about how to use cognitive and behavioral science to change people’s minds and behaviors, and exercises help participants examine how you might use this science, as well as morality and storytelling, to change culturally-specific narratives. Working like anthropologists, together the group will examine those culturally-specific narratives, use outcome-based design thinking techniques to invent new ones, and collaborate to create an action that puts the workshop’s lessons to the test.

Again, to apply, please complete the information on this form by November 20th 2017 at 2pm GMT.

Applicants will be notified by November 24th, 2017. Due to the high numbers of applications, we may not be able to respond to every inquiry. If you have questions, please email: madiallo@osiwa.org.

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As part of our C4AA Accelerator Program, Steve Lambert is working in Seattle for the next few months, helping the YES to SCS coalition – check out their new site, yestoscs.org! Together we’re implement creative strategies and actions to help save lives in the opioid crisis by creating the Untied States first safe consumption space. Lambert created the signs you see in this image, as well as this video, which are part of a multifaceted creative action campaign he and the coalition will unveil in the coming months. It’s going to be epic. We’ll keep you posted!

Our Accelerator Program is a new initiative we started to help groups jumpstart their social change campaigns through intensive C4AA mentoring and project implementation. Ask us if you’re interested in this for your group or coalition.

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Steve Lambert talked about the origins of the C4AA and tried to recruit the audience to be artistic activists at the 2017 EYEO Fest.

You can watch a video of the whole talk including a summary of some of the work Lambert and the C4AA did with ASIJIKI at the 2016 AIDS Conference. (You met Ishtar and Marlise from ASIJIKI in one of our past webinars.)

Did you know they figured out how to meet Elton John? You can find out how in the video.

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Many artists want to create work that has a social impact. Unfortunately, organizing a successful social-change campaign is not often part of an artist’s education. The Art Action Academy (AAA), now in its second year at Queens Museum, helps socially-engaged artists make their work more impactful and better evaluate the effect of their work. This free workshop is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and implemented by the Center for Artistic Activism, in partnership with the Queens Museum as part of its Open A.I.R Artist Services Program.

If you are hungry to learn more about about engaging audiences through creative work that has social impact, or if you work with a community organization and want to incorporate more creativity into your work, this is the workshop for you.

Using a range of contemporary examples of organizing and activism from around the world, participants will study the ways cultural creativity has been employed for social change. We will explore ideas from cultural theory to cognitive science to mass communications. We will learn to apply these ideas through a mix of classroom style presentations and practical exercises designed to unlock our imaginations from the prison-house of the possible – and then to figure out how to make the impossible into reality, through new strategies and tactics. The workshop will culminate in a collaborative creative action.

The goal of the AAA is not merely to impart knowledge, but to access, organize and operationalize the creative, cultural and political resources possessed by artists and activists themselves. In brief, the goal of the AAA is to have participants own their method to further develop as successful artists and effective activists.

We invite artists (and creative practitioners of all kinds) to apply for this free, six-day, three-weekend Art Action Academy.

Participants must commit to attending the Art Action Academy on Sat Oct 7th, Sun Oct 8th, Sat Oct 21st, Sun Oct 22, Sat Oct 28 and Sun Oct 29 from 10am-4pm each day.

To apply, please fill out this application before the deadline: August 28, 2017 at 6pm.

The Arts Action Academy is a program of the Center for Artistic Activism and will be led by the C4AA co-founders, Stephen Duncombe and Steve Lambert.

Stephen Duncombe is a life-long activist and professor of Media and Culture at New York University. He is the author and editor of six books, including Dream: Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy and the Cultural Resistance Reader.

Steve Lambert is a conceptual artist and professor of New Media at SUNY Purchase. His art has been shown everywhere from marches to museums both nationally and internationally, has appeared in over fourteen books, and four documentary films.

The Open A.I.R. Artist Services Program at the Queens Museum draws on the institution’s resources, staff expertise, and networks to provide workshops and lectures that help artists grow their practice, advance their career, and develop sustainable lives as artists.

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