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