The Center is currently focused on three prongs of intention, and working each as a separate stream of start-up programmatic activity:
Intention 1 is the advocacy for and capacity building towards departments of civic practice in small to large scale arts institutions around the nation. Departments of education have demonstrated that we (the theatre field but also our disciplinary peers in music, dance, museum and film centers) have the artists, structural models and the organizational capacity to make a difference community by community by re-conceiving how engagement, audience development and artistic practice function in relation to diverse constituencies who are and are not currently stakeholders in the institutions.
Intention 2 is building capacity and visibility for the individual artists and arts collectives doing this work already, or interested in doing it. The Center works to help these individuals and peer teams (who are not necessarily organized in institutional formats) develop advocacy and communication tools to build relationships with non arts partners in their communities by articulating the value of what they are bringing to the table in clear cross sector fluent language.
Intention 3 is building a working bridge between the growing fields of Public Interest Design (graphic, architectural, virtual) and Applied/Community-Based Performance. Both of these spheres are full of social and civic practice projects engaging partners with non arts-centered missions across sectors like health, social service, and municipal government, but these artists, their practices and the vocabularies they use are woefully siloed. There is an opportunity for shared resources and knowledge, but most importantly, there is the opportunity to make new knowledge, and to make that new knowledge’s manifestation benefit our communities and fields of study in powerful ways.