Category: News

CAA, YesLab, and Beautiful Trouble work on Action Switchboard

On Feb. 8-9, 2014, the Yes Lab, the Center for Artistic Activism, and Beautiful Trouble conducted a workshop with fifty participants, including members of eight social justice NGOs and a number of NYU students.

The eight projects that resulted were posted on the Action Switchboard and will be helped forward by facilitators.

Please sign up at to be notified when the Action Switchboard
is launched for the public, or to organize a workshop for your organization or school.

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In-Depth Interview with CAA Directors

Get inside the heads of CAA’s co-directors Stephen Duncombe and Steve Lambert through their interview with we “We Make Money Not Art” where they tackled the following questions:

  • Is there any way an artist or curator can engage with meaningful artistic activism inside an art gallery or a museum?
  • Could you tell us about the training workshops for grassroots activists? What can activists expect from them?
  • Do you have a couple of examples of workshops that lead to particularly fruitful actions?
  • “How do you know if it works?” What are the criteria that help you establish whether a work has had any social or political impact?
  • Do artists and activists have the same definition of what constitutes a successful action?
  • What are the skills necessary for political action that no art academy ever teaches you?
  • Now say i’m an artist and i’m interested in political action but i cannot afford to travel to the U.S. to attend one of your workshops, where should i start? Do you have any book, video or other tool to recommend?
  • Are there any relevant yet overlooked issues you think activists and artists should approach today?
  • Do you have a plan to come to Europe? And more generally what is next for the Center for Artistic Activism?

Read their answers to these questions here. 

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Lecture on Creative Activism from Co-Founder Stephen Duncombe

CAA Co-Founder Stephen Duncombe’s lecture on Creative Activism from an event in Copenhagen, Denmark has been immortalized on Youtube; check it out below!

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Next Weekend–Creative Activist Training in NYC

ONE WEEKEND ONLY! Beautiful Trouble, The Yes Lab (via The Yes Men), and Center For Artistic Activism are coming together for a one of a kind melding of the minds to provide an epic weekend of trainings in creative activism! If you’re part of an activist group looking to up your game, this is your chance! Don’t miss out!

February 8-9th in NYC! Click here for more details. 

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Photos from Arts Action Academy at PSU’s Social Practice Arts program

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Help our friends The YES MEN double their Funds for an AMAZING Project

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The Yes Men have ONE MORE WEEK to reach their $75,000 fundraising goal so that The Kindle Project will match it DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR. They are raising money for their new project, the Action Switchboard.  Click here to Donate and receive exclusive perks or continue below to read more. (more…)

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Photos from Changin’ Sctotland

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Inside The Box: People don’t actually like creativity

Great article on Slate:

In the United States we are raised to appreciate the accomplishments of inventors and thinkers—creative people whose ideas have transformed our world. We celebrate the famously imaginative, the greatest artists and innovators from Van Gogh to Steve Jobs. Viewing the world creatively is supposed to be an asset, even a virtue. Online job boards burst with ads recruiting “idea people” and “out of the box” thinkers. We are taught that our own creativity will be celebrated as well, and that if we have good ideas, we will succeed.

It’s all a lie. This is the thing about creativity that is rarely acknowledged: Most people don’t actually like it. Studies confirm what many creative people have suspected all along: People are biased against creative thinking, despite all of their insistence otherwise.

Read the rest on the Slate site.

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A Visit from Jay-Z? Imagining a Win with Pakistani Visual Artists

Midway through a workshop on creative activism the morning of November 22, a group of Pakistani visual artists visiting NYU got some surprising news: Jay-Z had heard they were in the States, and had requested that they perform with him in a music video, as backup singers……..

We recently hosted a group of Pakistani Visual Artists through the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad’s Art for Social Change two-week exchange. To continuing reading all about our invigorating session on creative activism,  click here.

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Gerry Hassan: Time for some fun with our politics — The Scotsman

Article in the Sunday Scotsman about the School for Creative Activism working overseas with Changin’ Scotland.  22 November 2013

Radicals, leave dogma at the door – embrace a sense of playfulness and dare to dream of a better Scotland, writes Gerry Hassan

To many of the tribes and partisans who inhabit our public life, all that matters is the contest and defeating their opponents. Democracy and politics in this mindset are in fine working order, beyond the difficulty of trying to get your own way. (more…)

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