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New Case Study on Arts-Based Civic Dialogue Experiences

A case study on Perseverance Theatre has been posted on the Animating Democracy website. A statewide tour of the Theatre’s adaptation of “Moby Dick” in Barrow, Fairbanks, and Anchorage engaged a diverse citizenry in dialogue about contentious issues of subsistence rights and the urban-rural divide in Alaska. The case study is adapted from reflective analysis by Perseverance’s executive director Jeffrey Herrmann, former artistic director Peter DuBois, and dialogue coordinator Susan McInnis. They recount their commitment to bolstering a nonofficial level of public engagement after experiences with the “gatekeepers” of civic discourse. They describe a shift from envisioning civic dialogue in terms of large public gatherings that address policy to valuing more intimate gatherings in which personal story is a potent motivation and a stepping stone to civic deliberation.

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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