What do artists have to say?

Funders and researchers can offer a bird’s eye view of a sector, but nothing replaces first person storytelling. The #artmakingchange team invited leading figures in socially engaged art to respond to Helicon’s recent report, naming what resonates and what questions remain. Explore the Voices section to learn more about who makes and supports socially engaged art… and how they approach their practice.

Then, Now and What Next : This Writer's Road to Art in Community
essay

Then, Now and What Next: This Writer’s Road to Art in Community

The socially engaged artist brings with them a creative mind trained to see possibilities and options, to see a “Something” before it exists.

Magda Martinez
essay

Create. Dream. Imagine Freedom: The Role of the Socially Engaged Artist

When our communities are facing the dire threats of climate change, state violence, white supremacy, anti-blackness, Islamophobia, and caste apartheid, one of the primary battlegrounds is the imaginary; most people cannot begin to fight for freedom because they cannot even imagine themselves to be free.

Thenmozhi Soundararajan
shout out
Artist Campaign School
September 20, 2017
The Legitimization of Miz Culchure Lady
essay

The Legitimization of Miz Culchure Lady

Paying attention to language is not a small act. Linguistic terms legitimized by our sector become the secret passwords for institutional access and funding… achieving equity in our field requires those supporting socially engaged art to be more rigorous in the definitions related to their philanthropic interests and the funding trends that follow.

Carlton Turner
shout out
Questions of Practice
September 16, 2017
shout out
Reports from the Field
September 20, 2017

“Art is expressed through structure and the time and craft it takes to produce it, just like transforming a berry into jam.”

Setting the Table : by Lisa Hoffman
essay

Setting the Table

We cannot offer visiting artists a chance to join our community if we have denied our neighbors a seat at our table.

Lisa Hoffman
essay

The Minute Hand of Social Engagement

What would happen if every young person saw socially engaged artists in their home communities working for social change? What would happen if the interest in social change from art students, art faculty, art schools, and philanthropists in the United States turned toward place-based organizing by supporting long-term initiatives like community land trusts?

Caroline Woolard
shout out
Art X Culture X Social Justice Network
August 21, 2017

“The work that is feeding my artistic soul right now isn’t actually work centered around producing an object or giving an object…”

shout out
Third Wave Fund
September 20, 2017

“Stories are sites where power is built and where it’s contested. Stories shape how we undrstand why we do what we do”