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Cultural Organizing

     In order to increase the impact of our work, Art2Action partners with national arts networks, community cultural organizations, service providers, student associations, and more. We use a cultural organizing framework, and community-based arts process, in partnering and co-creating with communities to further shared goals of creativity, empowerment, equity and justice.

What is Cultural Organizing?

    We use this working definition from the Arts & Democracy Project:


     “Cultural Organizing exists at the intersection of arts, culture and activism.

It is a fluid and dynamic practice that is understood and expressed in a variety

of ways, reflecting the unique cultural, artistic, organizational and community context of its practitioners.  Cultural organizing is about integrating arts and culture into organizing strategies. It is also about organizing from a particular tradition, cultural identity, and community of place or worldview to advance social and economic justice.” 


The Veterans Arts Program in Tampa began in partnership with The Carpetbag Theatre Inc. in 2013. Art2Action worked closely with the Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center (PRRC) of the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital, to offer on-going theatre workshops, and created a monthly Veteran’s Community Open Mic night. The partnership between CBT and Art2Action was initially supported by the Alternate ROOTS “Partners in Action” grant program. In conjunction with CBT’s touring production, Speed Killed My Cousin (by Linda Parris-Bailey) – about an African American woman soldier who returns from Iraq with PTSD, and battles impulses to suicide resulting from Moral Injury – director Andrea Assaf and Linda Parris-Bailey co-facilitated workshops for veterans around the country. In 2017, in partnership with the University of South Florida (USF) and Americans for the Arts, Art2Action hosted the 4th National Summit on Arts & Health in the Military (with support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation), and launched a new series of workshops for veterans at USF.  From the workshops, we created devised theatre works performed by veterans and students, including "CHRYSALIS: Veterans, Breaking Through, and the Process of Becoming More Human." In partnership with the University of Tampa Scarfone//Hartley Gallery, we also created Kaleidoscope: A Military Community Exhibit. For in-depth information about this work, including INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES & RECORDINGS by Veterans, clinicians and artists, please visit Veterans in Tampa.

Civic Engagement

SEIU Artists-in-Residence Pilot Program, with The Arts & Democracy Project.  In 2012, Art2Action’s Artistic Director, Andrea Assaf, served as the National Coordinator for an initiative with Arts & Democracy and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU, the largest union in North America), to create an SEIU Artists-in-Residence program.  Artists-in-residence with five SEIU Locals, across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, worked with union members to create short devised performances expressing their local culture and labor struggles.  These pieces were performed at the May 2012 SEIU Convention, for an audience of over 4,000 union members and labor leaders.  To read more about this project, visit the Cultural Organizing page on the Arts & Democracy website!

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