EMCArts Invites LOIs for 2019 Community Change Workshop Series

EmcArts is accepting Letters of Interest from artists and community agencies to host its 2019 Community Change Workshop Series.

The program, which comprises the Arts in Complex Community Change workshops and Artists as Change Agents Within Complexity workshops, is designed to help both artists and community organizations make effective use of the arts in grappling with complex community challenges.

To that end, the program provides unique capacity-building support for arts organizations and community-based agencies across the social sector working on complex community change, including opportunities to slow down, reflect, and learn how to achieve real progress in changing the dynamics of complex systems through the arts. The workshop designs are for groups of staff in a single organization (for instance, a local chapter of a national service agency), or teams from up to fifteen different agencies who are looking to work together on significant community challenges.

In the sequence of workshop activities, participants begin by reflecting on the current conditions, opportunities for change, and long-term possibilities around their community-based work. They then identify the complex challenges they face, distinguishing those challenges from ones that are complicated or obvious. Participants explore responses to complex challenges that move away from traditional linear planning and implementation toward emergent practices that can be discovered and developed through small experiments, rapid learning, and repeated prototyping.

1) Arts in Complex Community Change: Six half-day interactive workshops over three to six months for teams from as many as fifteen community agencies and arts organizations looking to strengthen their ability to work adaptively and address complex community challenges through the arts.

2) Artists as Change Agents Within Complexity: Four whole-day sessions over two to four months, with up to ten artists who are interested in developing their artistic practice as a central methodology for systemic change in their local community. The workshops orient artists to five capabilities needed for systems change and explore the use they can make of them in a community context.

The workshops are led by EmcArts facilitators and guest teaching artists, and each uses a variety of artistic and experiential processes to embody learning and engage the whole person, rather than relying on information transfer. With the majority of each series' costs underwritten by a generous grant from the Kresge Foundation, the cost to local partners ranges from $25,000 to $30,000. 

Organizations and leaders who will find the program beneficial include those seeking to strengthen their adaptive capacity for community change, as well as agencies that want to network with others and move beyond the "low-hanging fruit" of short-term arts-based projects in order to engage in deeper systemic change.

Letters of Interest must be received no later than October 15.

See the EmcArts website for complete program guidelines and application procedures.

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Deadline: March 11, 2019