Political Activity

While poking around the web today, I came across the Americans for the Arts’ Animating Democracy Initiative. It appears the project ended in March 2003, but the website still serves as a resource for research on “exemplary arts-based civic dialogue projects”

The initiative was a joint project of the Amercians for the Arts supported by the Ford Foundation based, in part, on the premise that:

“In the workings of democracy, civic dialogue plays an essential role, giving voice to multiple perspectives and enabling people to develop more multifaceted, humane, and realistic views of issues and each other. Yet there is growing concern that opportunities for civic dialogue in this country have diminished in recent years. In the renewal of civic dialogue, the arts can play a pivotal role in many ways.”

They worked with 32 organizations in their Animating Democracy Initiative Lab, giving them support to develop a number of projects. Those projects can be found listed here.

The website also provides links to case studies and profiles that Americans for the Arts weren’t necessarily involved in and reference materials in the resource section.

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker (artshacker.com) website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (http://www.creatingconnection.org/about/)

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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