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About the Project

About the Project

The third Community Arts Convening and Research Project is sponsored by and will be held at the Maryland Institute College of Art, March 13-15, 2011. Funded by the Nathan Cummings Foundation, this gathering provides a platform for college and university faculty and students, community-based practitioners, and community scholars, leaders and members to meet and generate new ideas, share resources and models for best practices in the field, reflect new curricula and pedagogy, define and solve problems, identify and conduct new research, develop leadership in the field, and cultivate new partnerships.

Who Participates

College and university faculty and administrators, community arts students, community-based practitioners (artists, activists, organizers), community scholars, leaders and members, and others dedicated to social change (community empowerment/building and the arts) were invited to submit proposals for writing group fellowships. Five groups received fellowships of $5,000-$15,000 each to support the development of ongoing, group dialogues. These dialogues will be featured at the Community Arts Convening in Baltimore in the Spring of 2011 and will lead to publishable texts Fall 2011-Spring 2012.

Writers selected to present will receive feedback from the project's editorial board in the months leading up to and after the event. A deliberate effort will be made to cultivate presentations by a diverse group of community arts theorists, practitioners, and community members, with the goal of initiating publication of the best thinking from all groups of individuals who are shaping community and this field.

Topics for Presentation at the Convening

The convening and related publishing will address compelling issues and questions pertinent to the field of community arts, and the health and well-being of communities, including:

  • Helping to empower the voice of communities by tapping community resources and history
  • Developing models for training, reciprocal learning and participatory research
  • Supporting arts-based community building and advocacy
  • Documenting the evolution of the field and best practices in community arts
  • Building new partnerships and leveraging resources
  • Documenting community-based cultural and aesthetic traditions and forms

Form of Presentations & Published Texts

The project actively seeks a wide array of approaches to presenting these topics, including:

  • Case studies illuminating community projects, programs, events, and initiatives
  • Community-based profiles, narratives, dialogues, and cross-cultural exchanges
  • New research, studies, current issues, and findings from local and national experts across a range of disciplines
  • Pedagogical models, curricula, and lesson plans
  • Critical reviews of preexisting or proposed programs and initiatives
  • Essays and other writings by students of community arts
  • Hybrid combinations of theory, art, poetry, and personal narrative illuminating the experiences of community members participating in community arts
  • Artist dialogues

Project Timeline

Writing Groups present their in-progress work at this year's convening, March 13-15, 2011. Ultimately, the resulting texts and other documentation will be published Fall 2011.