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City Lore

City Lore is a nonprofit membership organization, founded in 1986 to produce programs and publications that convey the richness of New York City’s cultural heritage. City Lore’s staff includes folklorists, historians, anthropologists, and ethnomusicologists, all of whom specialize in the creation of programs and materials for public education and enjoyment. In addition to staff projects, affiliated individuals and organizations work through City Lore to produce independent films, exhibits, and other media projects.

Sample Arts-Based Dialogue Project

The Poetry Dialogues were a series of intergenerational community dialogues that employed new and traditional poetry genres–rap, slam poetry, African jali (griot) praise poetry, Muslim prayer calling, and Filipino balagtasan, in which poets debate issues and challenge one another’s positions.

City Lore brought a team of elder master poets and young poets from African American, Muslim, and Filipino communities in New York City. Each team discussed issues in their own communities, and planned and implemented a joint community presentation that included opportunities for dialogue for artists and audience members.

City Lore’s Diversity Statement

As cultural activists we are committed to the principles of cultural equity and democracy. We believe that cultural diversity is a positive social value to be protected and encouraged; that authentic democracy requires active participation in cultural life, not just passive consumption of cultural products; and that our cultural heritage is a resource for improving our quality of life.

Resource Link: www.citylore.org

Steve Zeitlin, Executive Director
72 East First Street, #1, New York NY 10003

In partnership with the Animating Democracy Initiative of Americans for the Arts (www.americansforthearts.org/animatingdemocracy/), NCDD’s Leah Lamb researched arts-based civic dialogue programs in order to help dialogue & deliberation practitioners strengthen their work by linking it to the arts. NCDD hopes these resources will inspire you, and encourages you to connect with the artists, many of whom are interested in working with D&D practitioners.

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