St. Louis Regional Arts Commission

At the Crossroads: A Community Arts and Development Convening March 25 - 27, 2010

Go to http://crossroadsconvening.com/ for complete information and schedule.

Presented by the Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute
at the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission (RAC) Cultural Resource Center
St. Louis, Missouri

Funded, in part, by the Nathan Cummings Foundation. with support from the Whitaker Foundation, National City-Now part of PNC and the Incarnate Word Foundation.

Be a part of the conversation about art and social change

The Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute at the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission (RAC) is hosting At the Crossroads: A Community Arts and Development Convening March 25 - 27, 2010 for about 150 practitioners and their partners in arts based community development programs and collaborations. Participate in a dynamic conference and a pre-conference workshop* designed to examine new paths and crossways for the arts in these changing times. Click here to register now.

Among the participants for "At the Crossroads" are Bill Cleveland, of the Center for the Study of Art and Community in Seattle, WA; Arlene Goldbard, from the San Francisco area and author of New Creative Community; Marty Pottenger, director of The Police Poetry Project, Portland, Maine; and Barbara Schaffer Bacon and Pam Korza, co-directors of Animating Democracy in Washington, D.C., a program sponsored by Americans for the Arts (AFTA). In addition, sessions are scheduled with Ed Carroll, Chair of the Kaunas Biennial; Con Christeson, director of the arts collaborative at Peter & Paul Community Services, Barbara Kerr, author of Smart Boys; Mel Watkin and Chinyere Oteh of the PPRC Photography Project; Janis Timm-Bottos of Kitchen Table Arts and many more.

New strategies and provocative thinking

At the Crossroads: A Community Arts and Development Convening will draw a cross section of leaders to serve as invited speakers, selected presenters and participants focused on new strategies and provocative thinking for the future of community arts development. Commissioned papers, presentations and documentation of discussions will also be collected in an easily accessible post-conference published document to build on the field's knowledge base.

The Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute is an innovative program centered on the belief that art has the power to be an agent for social change. Founded in 1997, the CAT Institute fosters successful, sustainable partnerships among artists, social workers, educators and community activists.

Characterized by its credibility, creativity and longevity as a sustained community arts training program active for over thirteen years, the CAT Institute at the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission is uniquely positioned to bring together a convening of community arts leaders. At the Crossroads: A Community Arts and Development Convening in March 2010 will be the first time such a conference has been organized in this region.

Artists and Community Partners from multiple sectors coming together

In keeping with the national model the CAT Institute presents, practitioners from the arts sectors, community organizing sectors and the human services sectors are invited to participate. Among the participants will be Bill Cleveland of the Center for the Study for Art and Community and Barbara Schaffer Bacon and Pam Korza of Animating Democracy, a program of American for the Arts.

Community Arts and Development Convening goals

Creating a venue that amplifies the ideas and experiences for artists and their community partners working to build caring and capable communities

Building a network and focusing on the work of participants from St. Louis, the Midwest and central U.S. corridor

Presenting papers, presentations, dialogues, and workshops from exemplary practitioners, leaders and great thinkers in the field

Working with an Advisory Committee of national, regional and local leaders to organize and extend the impact of the Convening

Constructing an energetic learning environment where arts and community practitioners connect, collaborate and exchange.
See Convening Schedule
(in progress)

Most of the meetings, discussions and presentations will take place at the Regional Arts Commission (RAC) Cultural Resource Center in a vibrant urban neighborhood near an affordable conference hotel. RAC is located on Delmar Boulevard near the University City "Loop" which was named one of the top 10 "Great Streets" by The American Planning Association.

Register now

Register now to attend at the low rate of $145 per person. Click here for registration information.

Special rates for At the Crossroads: A Community Arts and Development Convening attendees at The Moonrise Hotel, just down the street from the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission Cultural Center. Click here for hotel conference rates and registration information.

*See below for What Difference Are We Making? Assessing Social Impact of Arts for Community Change pre-convening workshop information.

For more information about At the Crossroads, contact convening@stlrac.org

*Join us earlier on Thursday, March 25, 2010 for a special Pre-Convening Workshop from Noon to 5 p.m.

What Difference Are We Making? Assessing Social Impact of Arts for Community Change

"Art transforms lives." "Our program builds community." "We seek social justice." These are common aspirations that drive the work of artists, cultural organizations and their partners. But how do you measure such broad visions of change?

This creative interactive workshop, sponsored by Animating Democracy and Americans for the Arts, features artist Marty Pottenger and evaluator Chris Dwyer of RMC Research. They teamed up on a joint learning and evaluation design adventure around Marty's work with the Arts & Equity Initiative in Portland, ME. Arts & Equity (AEI), directed by Marty, aims to improve municipal government through strategic art projects between artists, city departments, unions, elected officials and the community. As part of Animating Democracy's Arts & Civic Engagement Impact Initiative, Chris and Marty applied an evaluation framework developed by Chris to systematically define outcomes and measurable indicators of change for the Police Poetry Project, which sought to improve low department morale and relations between police and the public.

Fun and substance guaranteed! Learn lessons from the Arts & Equity case study and how to use this framework in your arts for change work. Offer your own evaluation challenges for feedback! This workshop will help you focus on measuring what matters, turn anecdotes into credible qualitative evidence, and determine reasonable data collection methods. You'll also see how the framework, used over time, can help you make the case for the role of the arts in making social change in your community. Animating Democracy co-directors, Barbara Schaffer Bacon and Pam Korza will introduce resources and other findings from the Arts & Civic Engagement Impact Initiative.

Animating Democracy, a program of Americans for the Arts, fosters civic engagement through arts and culture. The Impact Initiative strengthens the capacity of practitioners to assess and describe social change outcomes by equipping them with practical knowledge and useful/usable tools and models.

Register now to attend the pre-convening workshop with an additional special registration fee of $95. Click here for Pre-Convening Workshop Registration information.

Contact convening@stlrac.org for more information.

Go to http://crossroadsconvening.com/ for more information and a complete schedule.

 

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