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Connecting Californians


"Connecting Californians" is a research project completed in 2000, exploring story as a powerful means of building community. It is based on a ten-month public conversation at the intersection of the arts, the humanities, grassroots narrative and community organizing. This report presents the findings of that inquiry, some questions for the future and a potential program design.

Research Report: "Connecting Californians: Finding the Art of Community Change"

Appendix A
Case Studies: Three Local Projects
Brief studies of public performances springing from the history, aesthetics and issues in three California communities.

Appendix B
Scan of the Field: Evidence of Public Performance Based on Local Life
"Connecting Californians" conducted a search in each of California's 58 counties to find a recent project that engaged residents in a public performance of story about local history and life. Maps were created to represent the various projects.

Appendix C
Convenings: Two Focus Groups

Artists, organizers, educators and funders came together to discuss the role of story in building community. They shared their experiences working at the intersection of the arts, the humanities and organizing. (Note: These are large PDF files that can be downloaded and viewed with Acrobat Reader.)

Appendix D
National and California Interviews: General, University, and Foundation

Over the course of ten months, the research team interviewed more than 100 practitioners, educators and policy makers with experience in the arts, humanities and civic culture.

Appendix E
Telling and Listening in Public: Three Research Essays

Writer and critic Linda Frye Burnham interviewed practitioners and thinkers in the field grappling with issues at the intersection of community organizing, art and the humanities, producing three monographs.

Appendix F
Literature Review: Annotated Bibliographies

Inquiries about this project should be directed to Erica Kohl

The Connecting Californians inquiry was designed as a public conversation. You may quote from the report, including from the transcripts of the focus groups. Attribution should be as follows: Cocke, Burnham, Kohl, McGarvey, et al. Connecting Californians, Finding the Art of Community Change: An Inquiry into the Role of Story in Strengthening Communities (San Francisco: The James Irvine Foundation, 2001).





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