After launching the Animating Democracy program in 1999, co-directors Barbara Schaffer Bacon and Pam Korza have decided to retire in 2022 as program leaders for this groundbreaking initiative.
In 2023, Americans for the Arts will define the next chapter of animated democracy by assessing what this organization can uniquely offer and exploring potential partnerships. We will continue to promote the tools and resources of a vibrant democracy. Barbara supports the transition by responding to requests for information and services, and Pam is leaving to explore her interests and opportunities.
Barbara and Pam have the following message.
We are fortunate and deeply gratified to have led Animating Democracy over the past 23 years, in collaboration with many others, to strengthen the role of art and culture in civic and social change. doing.
It has been a privilege to collaborate with many arts and culture practitioners and leaders, as well as evaluators, researchers, funders, and other experts who believe that the arts and culture can serve as an invitation, a space, and a catalyst for promoting democratic values, equity, and community well-being.
The discipline has benefited from Americans for the Arts trust in this work and ongoing dedication to the Animating Democracy initiative, which has given it the funds and infrastructure it needs to develop and deepen. We take a step back and recognise and commend others who are bringing energy and ideas that are making a difference as the field landscape has expanded and appropriately diversified with a spectrum of fascinating organisations undertaking arts-for-change work.
As an initiative of Americans for the Arts, Animating Democracy spread awareness of arts-for-change activity across the country, increased understanding of good practise, and produced helpful tools. The Ford Foundation generously funded the highly respected program’s beginning, and in its initial stages, it gave grants to cultural organisations all around the nation for initiatives promoting civic involvement and discourse through the arts.
The programme also performed national research, created ground-breaking field materials and publications, gave capacity development training, influenced policy, and raised money for the work of Arts for Change. His work has influenced, uplifted, supported, and enhanced artists, the arts, and culture. We consider artists, the arts, and culture crucial and useful in helping communities overcome problems and preserving healthy democracies.
It has been an honour for us to continuously assist Animating Democracy’s important field-building initiatives throughout the years. Our work continues to be informed by the initiative’s integrated approach to designing programmes and field activities, collaborating with partners and advisory groups, and supporting and growing BIPOC artists and leaders who work directly in the field.
Nolen V., president and chief executive officer of Americans for the Arts, stated: “I know I can speak for all of Arts for Americans’ employees and collaborators. Despite my reluctance to let them go, I am eager for their journey to continue.”
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