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Essays for Bridge Conversations

Bridge Conversations

Bridge Conversations: People Who Live and Work in Multiple Worlds

Over the past two years, the Arts & Democracy Project of the Center for Civic Participation has been engaged in an active planning project to learn what is need to support, connect and deepen work that connects art, culture and activism. One of the things we learned is that that some of the most creative strategies live in the intersections of disciplines, sectors, cultures and generations.

We also found that many of the most effective people we met were those who are building bridges and creating hybrid and integrated programs and strategies. This series of essays seeks to learn from a diverse group of these creative people who recognize and further deep connections between environment, education, community development, politics, social service, public health and anthropology, and art and culture. While we started out focusing primarily on people's work, we soon found that the journey to a holistic perspective includes people's personal lives -- how they grow up, how they connect cultures and world views and how they balance their personal life and their work.

With support from the Nathan Cummings Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, CCP has joined with the Community Arts Network to commission 18 conversations between bridge people. Our intention is to create a forward-looking set of essays that emphasize new (and traditional) ways of working and being. We encouraged people to name the challenges of bridging and how they have overcome them. We asked one person in each conversation to document it, and left it to them to determine the format of this documentation. As a result, some of the conversations are presented in essay format, others in the form of the conversation, and still others as a mixture of these two approaches. Some are interviews, and others are dialogues. We have provided bios and pictures of the participants and information about their organizations to provide further context. All the conversations took place between November 2007 and March 2008. Additional editing was provided by Vanessa Whang and Linda Frye Burnham. –Caron Atlas

A Bridge Conversation about Animating a Latin American Idea in the U.S.
Paul Chin and Vanessa Whang talk about crossing lines of culture and politics, race and ethnicity, and the local and global. By Vanessa Whang (April 2008)

A Bridge Conversation about Creating Transformative Spaces
Harriet Barlow and Kathy Engel talk about the Commons and crossing borders. By Kathy Engel (April 2008)

A Bridge Conversation on Anthropology as Social Activism
Alaka Wali and Lena Richardson on drumming circles, sustainable conservation and valuing difference. By Rebecca Lena Richardson (April 2008)

A Bridge Conversation on Connecting Action and Academia in California's Central Valley
Isao Fujimoto and Tim Marema on the power of "edgewalking." By Tim Marema (March 2008)

A Bridge Conversation on Creating with a Sense of Strategic Practice
Maribel Alvarez and Jason Bulluck on paying attention to the “little stuff,” engaging in critical discourse and understanding how power can be shaken up. By Jason Bulluck (April 2008)

A Bridge Conversation on Direct and Indirect Approaches to Community Change
Littleglobe and South West Organizing Project talk about finding a relationship between community-engaged arts and organizing. By Valerie Martinez, Robby Rodriguez, Molly Sturges and Rosina Roibal (June 2008)

A Bridge Conversation on Innovative Approaches to Linking Nonprofit and For-profit Models
Adam Huttler and Ruby Lerner talk about entrepreneurial strategies and changing paradigms for arts-service organizations. By Adam Forest Huttler (April 2008)

A Bridge Conversation on Listening to the Stories Underneath the Work We Do
Paula Allen and Lena Richardson talk about traditional arts and culture as resources for Native community health. By Rebecca Lena Richardson (June 2008)

A Bridge Conversation on New Paradigms of Artful Change
Can art be as powerful a vehicle for change as it can be a bastion for maintaining the status quo? By Dudley Cocke, Peter Pennekamp and Craig McGarvey (March 2008)

A Bridge Conversation on Planning the Revolution over Collards
Tufara Waller Muhammad and Javiera Benavente talk about the long tradition of arts and culture in Southern organizing and the danger of putting the spotlight on individuals. By Javiera Benavente (June 2008)

A Bridge Conversation on Politics and Humanity
Caron Atlas and Mark Ritchie talk about balancing work and life. By Caron Atlas (March 2008)

A Bridge Conversation on Traditional and Organic Bridging
Francisco Guajardo and Edyael Casaperalta on intentionality, consciousness and creating new opportunities. By Edyael Casaperalta (April 2008)

A Bridge Conversation on Who Will Carry the Work Forward
An intergenerational conversation at the State of Nation Arts & Performance Festival and a tribute to Nayo Watkins. By Caron Atlas, Rebecca Lena Richardson and Carlton Turner (June 2008)

A Bridge Conversation on the Creativity of Community Development
Gayle Isa and Jeremy Liu talk about the power of spaces “in between.” By Gayle Isa (March 2008)

A Bridge Conversation on the Creativity of Strategic Communications
Dee Davis and Michelle Miller talk about the aesthetics and mathematics of social change. By Michelle Miller (June 2008)

A Bridge Conversation on the Interweave of Culture and Ecology
Ken Wilson and Caron Atlas talk about cultural context and creative philanthropy. By Caron Atlas (April 2008)

A Bridge Conversation on the Power of Art To Move People
Ismael Ahmed and Anan Ameri discuss the extraordinary model of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services. By Anan Ameri (March 2008)

A Bridge Conversation on the Spiritual Core of Indigenous Social Justice
Tia Oros Peters and Vanessa Whang talk about maintaining your vision and integrity in rooms of power. By Vanessa Whang (March 2008)

A Bridge Conversation on the Tensions and Synergies of Being Strategic and Creative
Brad Lander and Esther Robinson talk about organizing and art, anthropological listening, and whether being holistic is important. By Esther Robinson (June 2008)

 
 


New Essays: BRIDGE CONVERSATIONS
A Bridge Conversation on Direct and Indirect Approaches to Community Change
Littleglobe and South West Organizing Project talk about finding a relationship between community-engaged arts and organizing. By Valerie Martinez, Robby Rodriguez, Molly Sturges and Rosina Roibal (June 2008)
A Bridge Conversation on Who Will Carry the Work Forward
An intergenerational conversation at the State of Nation Arts & Performance Festival and a tribute to Nayo Watkins. By Caron Atlas, Rebecca Lena Richardson and Carlton Turner (June 2008)
A Bridge Conversation on the Tensions and Synergies of Being Strategic and Creative
Brad Lander and Esther Robinson talk about organizing and art, anthropological listening, and whether being holistic is important. By Esther Robinson (June 2008)

 


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