ACW 2017 Program

We invite you to join us to explore the present and future of art for social change(ASC)/community-engaged art in Canada and abroad! After nearly five years of research about ASC in Canada, our team has designed this gathering in response to what we heard from artists, participants, scholars, organizations, funders and others involved with this fast-growing and vibrant sector. This gathering is not your usual conference; most of our time will be devoted to facilitated dialogue, knowledge-sharing and networking, as well as providing opportunities for cross-sector conversations and action-oriented planning.

Whether you are deeply involved or newly interested in arts-infused change work, we hope that ACW 2017 will provide you with useful knowledge, skills and perspectives in a wide range of topics – from emerging practices, including facilitation and new forms of partnerships, to current arts-infused research and funding opportunities/policies. Video showings, display of your materials and space for informal conversations round out the program.

See below for short descriptions of a few of the 22 sessions and click here or on the image below for the interim program.


Evaluation of ASC/Community-Engaged Projects

Evaluation, Partnerships, Methods

This session will begin with a demonstration of the new, online interactive evaluation tool developed by Dr. Annalee Yassi and her team at UBC as part of the ASC! Project. This toolkit is for anyone interested in evaluating an art for social change project, whether an artist, a member of a community organization, a funder, or a researcher. It aims to clearly explain the concepts, theories and practical challenges involved in evaluation, while assuming minimal previous knowledge of the topics presented. The presentation will be followed by a dialogue about emerging issues (especially with new frameworks increasingly requested by funders) and will advocate for alternative multi-method sensible approaches to evaluation, consistent with the overall aims of the project.

Facilitator(s): Dr. Annalee Yassi with Patricia Gray

Reconciliation and Hope: Indigenous Approaches to Changemaking

Teaching & Learning, Partnerships, Knowledge Sharing, Advocacy, Methods

What does the word “reconciliation” mean for both Indigenous and Settler communities today? First Nations artists and their colleagues who all work in community settings explore the landscape of movement towards reconciliation and justice in its many forms, contexts and possibilities. The conversation will be opened up for dialogue with everyone in the room. We anticipate a lively and deeply relevant exchange!

Where’s the Money?
Part One: Mapping the Landscape (Plenary Session)

Advocacy, Methods

This plenary is part one of a two-part session.

Canada’s fast-changing public and private sector funding landscape for community-engaged arts/ASC is challenging both senior and newer artist/practitioners to “reposition” their work in ways that may or may not be appropriate or useful. What funding programs currently exist across the country and where else might we find strategic opportunities, including through partnerships? What are the relative levels of funding across the country?

What strategies can we develop and implement to support our work? What role can/should crowd funding play? How do we educate funders to better understand the often-unique and diverse goals and approaches of our practice, especially in light of major recent policy changes and the rise of “experiential consumerism” in the arts? Is there a role for building coalitions? The first of two conversations; Sunday’s session complements this session by providing a broader view of communicating about ASC work to funders and other audiences.