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North Carolina Arts Agencies & Animating Democracy Launch New Initiative

On November 12, Barbara Schaffer Bacon and Pam Korza of Animating Democracy (www.AmericansForTheArts.org/AnimatingDemocracy) offered an Arts & Civic Engagement workshop for 60 representatives of arts and community organizations in Greensboro, High Point, and Winston-Salem, NC. The day-long forum launched the Piedmont Triad Initiative for Community Arts, a two-year initiative jointly sponsored by Salem College, the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, the High Point Area Arts Council, and the United Arts Council of Greater Greensboro. The Initiative for Community Arts aims to “create communities that consistently and effectively utilize the arts to improve the lives of their citizens.” The project has received support from the Winston-Salem Foundation.

In addition to the day-long workshop, Schaffer Bacon and Korza met with 45 community leaders including city and county managers, councilors, and commissioners; community development leaders; school board members; and foundation and corporate funders about the potential for community-based arts to address social and civic concerns in the Triad region. The next phase of the Piedmont Triad Initiative for Community Arts’ work will be to encourage and promote projects in the three participating cities that directly support community concerns. Animating Democracy will help to lead a concluding forum that explores lessons learned and plans for the future.

Amy Lang
Amy Lang is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions at the University of British Columbia. She wrote her dissertation on British Columbia’s groundbreaking Citizens’ Assembly process, and is currently doing follow-up research on the Ontario Citizens’ Assembly.

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