Artistic Activism: Connecting Social Activism and Artistic Practice

Thursday, March 30, 2017 -
9:00am to 12:30pm EDT
Open Society Foundations; 224 West 57th Street, Room 1ABC; NYC
Members of PNY & Partner Orgs: 
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Over the years, social issue campaigners and activists have employed a variety of marketing and communications efforts to attract public interest to their causes to varying degrees of success. More recently, activists have turned to the arts for inspiration and as a way to engage audiences through deep and emotional connections to bring about change. At the same time, more artists are imbuing their work with social and political messaging to advance the issues about which they feel most passionate.

There is a wide variety of language used to describe the field of artistic activism, much of it depending on the author. For artists or artist-led initiatives, terms like “socially engaged art” or“social practice” are commonly used, while activist-led efforts tend to use “artistic activism” or “creative activism.”

Whatever the preferred term may be, there is a growing body of work in the field, and growing interest among grantmakers in the intersection of arts and activism. This session will provide an opportunity to develop common definitions, best practices and methods of assessing impact. 

  • The union of affective and effective tools to bring about change
  • How grantees are finding ways to use artistic practice for social activism
  • New techniques and approaches in supporting grantees working on creative/artistic activism
  • How to measure the impact of creative/artistic activism


Introduction from Co-Directors of Center for Artistic Activism

Panel 1 – Marrying arts with campaigns for social change

Panel 2 – The impact and evaluation of artistic activism

Designed for

All interested funders, policymakers, academics, and researchers.


9:00 – 9:30 AM Check-in & Breakfast

9:30 AM – 12:30 PM Program

Registration is required by March 29.

Members: To register yourself and/or a colleague at your organization, please log in and click the Register Now link above.

Guests of Organizers: Please email with your name, title, organizational affiliation, business mailing address, and phone number. Please indicate by which organizer you were invited. (no fee)

Non-Member Funders: Please email ($150 fee)

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