School for Creative Activism
The School for Creative Activism is a participatory workshop infusing community organizing and civic engagement with culture and creativity.
Hosting The School for Creative Activism
To bring the SCA to your community contact the Center for Artistic Activism directly.
What is The School for Creative Activism?
Working directly with organizers and community actors, the SCA leverages the strengths of grassroots activism and the attention grabbing and complex messaging of art through a curriculum designed to:
- Teach cultural tactics and creative strategies employed effectively by organizers in the past.
- Recognize and draw upon the cultural resources and creative talents residing within individuals, organizations, and communities in the present.
- Collectively run scenarios and plan campaigns that utilize culture and creativity.
- Build a network of organizers and artists using a model of creative organizing more effective in our media-saturated, spectacle-savvy world.
The first rule of activism is to know the terrain and use it to your advantage and the current political topography is one of symbols and signs, images and expressions. This is the avant-garde of activism today. From small community organizations to international NGOs, visionary activists are looking to broaden their base of appeal and the reach of their message by employing culture alongside more traditional organizing practices. Our training will help these organizations use innovative and creative ways to engage politics.
The SCA is not just about ‘better messaging,’ our goal is more effective organizing. Our curriculum updates the activist tool-kit through the reimagination and reconfiguration of tactics, strategy and organization in such a way that creativity and culture factors into every plan and every action.
The SCA is the only training school that offers a broad-based education focused on the organizers themselves; teaching overarching principles, perspectives, and skills of creative activism that they can apply to their own campaigns. Innovation is required: we don’t just provide tactics, we teach a proven methodology for developing creative campaigns. In addition, the SCA is run by a practicing political artist and a recognized cultural theorist, both with extensive teaching experience.
To date the SCA has run training sessions working with local artists and Open Society Foundations organizing partners in New York, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, and Massachusetts, as well as East Africa and Scotland. In the coming year sessions are planned for the United States and Macedonia.
The School of Creative Activism was developed by a generous grant from The Democracy and Power Fund of the Open Society Foundations (formerly Open Society Institute).