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The National Context for This Project

The Nathan Cummings Foundation (NCF) has provided funding to support the Community Arts Convening and Research Project, making possible this national convening, as well as the research, and publication of resulting research and writing concerning the work of the universities with degree-granting programs in arts and community building, community practitioners of all kinds, and communities and members from across the country.

NCF's Art and Culture Program has a long history of supporting universities that are teaching their students how to use art as a tool for community building. Each year, the number of universities creating these programs has grown, and in the spirit of community-based work, these universities have shared curriculum and have partnered on grants, and five of them published a casebook. In 2006, NCF grantees convened in New Orleans and developed a strategy for strengthening the community arts program at Xavier University in New Orleans-recommendations that are being implemented this year. Additionally, universities from across the county convened at California College of the Arts (CCA) in November of 2006; Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Spring 2008; California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) Spring 2009.

This coming year's March 13-15, 2011 convening at MICA will enable faculty, students, and community members to generate new ideas, solve problems, share practices, and identify new research questions.