Advocacy: Arts, Social Change, and Impact

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NACF Addresses Social Change, Art, and Impact

In 2014, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) launched a new initiative, the Community Inspiration Program (CIP).  The basic program strategy was to identify and fund unique projects that are led or co-led by Native artists, speak to issues of contemporary relevance and social importance, and work with communities in the process of art-making and social change.  Four projects were selected in the pilot.  But how were we going to evaluate these efforts?  We desired different approaches to address impact and assess the community value of arts and social change work.

Well into the evaluation period of the four pilots and the drafting of a CIP report, the evaluators and NACF learned that the process of evaluation must take a more textured, integrated approach using multiple methods.  We sought evaluation approaches more in line with indigenous ways of knowing, seeing, and interpreting our world.  We desired to help reawaken and support indigenous knowledge and truths based on Native beliefs, actions, and experiences.

As part of NACF’s ongoing work to advocate for awareness, fair evaluation, and support of Native arts and cultures, President/CEO Lulani Arquette participated on three panels at a recent visit to San Francisco; one for a gathering of social justice and arts funders, and two at the 2017 Annual Americans for the Arts (AFTA) Convention on June 16, 2017.

All three sessions, organized by Pam Korza, Co-Director of the Animating Democracy program at Americans for the Arts, covered new approaches, including their Aesthetic Perspectives, to address impact and assess the community value of arts and social change work.  At the AFTA presentation, Arts and Community: What Native Artists Are Bringing to Social Change, Cristobal Martinez, Artist, Postcommodity, shared PC’s experience of Repellent Fence, a CIP pilot project, and John Haworth, Senior Executive Emeritus of the National Museum of the American Indian, NYC, provided some key insights.

We invite you to read the Executive Summary on the CIP process:  Progressing Issues of Social Importance Through the Work of Indigenous Artists: A Social Impact Evaluation of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation’s Pilot Community Inspiration Program

For the full report please submit your request here, and a pdf will be sent to you by our staff.

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