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Civic Practice

In his essay “Translations: The Distinction Between Social and Civic Practice and Why I Find It Useful,” Michael Rohd defines civic practice as “activity where an artist employs the assets of his/her craft in response to the needs of non-arts partners as determined through ongoing relationship-based dialogue. The impulse of what to make comes out of the relationship, not an artist-driven proposal.” You’ll find lots of content putting these ideas into action in this section.

The Latest

Side-yard: On the Commons, the Neighborhood, Grief, and Not Making Theatre While Still Making Theatre
Essay
Side-yard: On the Commons, the Neighborhood, Grief, and Not Making Theatre While Still Making Theatre
by Richard Newman
15 March 2022
Clowning for a Cause: Healthcare Clowns Offer Opportunities for Holistic Healing
Essay
Clowning for a Cause: Healthcare Clowns Offer Opportunities for Holistic Healing
by Amelia Parenteau
8 March 2022
The Power of Art
Video
The Power of Art
To Create and to Oppose: People Will Not Listen to Politicians, but They Will Listen to Artists
Friday 4 February 2022
Norway
A parade of men women and children carrying a flag.
Side-yard: On the Commons, the Neighborhood, Grief, and Not Making Theatre While Still Making Theatre
Essay

Side-yard: On the Commons, the Neighborhood, Grief, and Not Making Theatre While Still Making Theatre

15 March 2022

Play House is a collectively stewarded performance space near the border of Detroit and Hamtramck that has become a place of convening and creation for the neighborhood. Richard Newman, a co-manager of the space and co-director of The Hinterlands ensemble, traces connections between creative practice, community, grief, and an outdoor ramp at Play House.

Two clowns in lab coats make a patient laugh.
Clowning for a Cause: Healthcare Clowns Offer Opportunities for Holistic Healing
Essay

Clowning for a Cause: Healthcare Clowns Offer Opportunities for Holistic Healing

8 March 2022

Although healthcare clowns have existed for more than forty years, their work isn’t widely understood. Amelia Parenteau discusses the substantial patient benefits that healthcare clowns provide while diving into their history and current practices.

event poster for safe havens freedom talk the power of art event.
The Power of Art
Video

The Power of Art

To Create and to Oppose: People Will Not Listen to Politicians, but They Will Listen to Artists

Friday 4 February 2022
Norway

Safe Havens Freedom Talks presented a conversation on The Power of Art livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 4 February 2022 at 8:30 a.m. EST (New York, UTC -5) / 14:30 CET (Oslo, UTC +1).

segal theatre center logo
The 2021 Segal Center Awards for Civic Engagement in the Arts
Video

The 2021 Segal Center Awards for Civic Engagement in the Arts

Honoring 10 pioneering projects that have demonstrated exceptional achievement in the field of the arts during Corona 2020/21

Saturday 22 January 2022
United States

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presented The 2021 Segal Center Awards for Civic Engagement in the Arts livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network on Saturday 22 January 2022 at 9 a.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 11 a.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 12 p.m. EST (New York, UTC -5).

The Future is Now
The Future Is Now: Conversations with Selma Banich and Fatin Farhat
Podcast

The Future Is Now: Conversations with Selma Banich and Fatin Farhat

10 November 2021

In these episodes of The Future Is Now, CEC Artslink invites two of their Future Fellows, artist and activist Selma Banich and freelance cultural manager Fatin Farhat, to discuss how they envision the future of arts practice.

photo collage representing the storytelling in crisis event.
Storytelling in Crisis
Video

Storytelling in Crisis

A Community Dialogue Exploring Strategies for Crafting Storytelling Responses that Center Care and Connection, Amplify Resistance, and Support Resiliency.

Tuesday 9 November 2021
United States

How can we tell stories of crisis that can energize and bring hope to our communities, and support structural change? Livestreamed on the common-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network on Tuesday 9 November 2021 at 2 p.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 4 p.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 5 p.m. EST (New York, UTC -5).

The Future is Now
The Future Is Now: Conversations with Amirah Sackett, Malika Umarova, and Marat Raiymkulov
Podcast

The Future Is Now: Conversations with Amirah Sackett, Malika Umarova, and Marat Raiymkulov

9 November 2021

In these episodes of The Future Is Now, CEC Artslink invites three of their Future Fellows—Amirah Sackett, an independent artist and activist, and Malika Umarova and Marat Raiymkulov of Art Group 705—to share their vision for how they see the future of arts practice.

9/11 Village Gathering: Reflections and Conversation
Video

9/11 Village Gathering: Reflections and Conversation

Art2Action Presents Documentation of the New York 9/11 Village Gathering, Filmed and Edited by Kacey Anisa, Framed by a Livestreamed Discussion

Friday 17 September 2021
United States

Art2Action presents a 9/11 Village Gathering: Reflections and Conversation livestreaming on the commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 17 September 2021 at 12 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 2 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 3 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

A person with an image of a military base superimposed on their face.
The People’s Tribunal on Crimes of Aggression: Afghanistan Sessions
Video

The People’s Tribunal on Crimes of Aggression: Afghanistan Sessions

A Durational Artistic Tribunal Built and Run by Impacted Communities

Thursday 9 September to Saturday 11 September 2021
London, United Kingdom

First-person testimonies, expert witnesses and physical evidence will be presented through performance in an effort to artistically shift the focus onto the crimes of the UK state and prove that the war in Afghanistan, a war referred to as ‘The Good War’, was a crime of aggression. Livestreaming on the commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Thursday 9 September to Saturday 11 September 2021.

Three people sitting onstage, one of them holding a globe, and five spirits above them, one in the middle connecting two blocks with a spark in between them.
Public Access Archives: The End of the Theatre Industry
Essay

Public Access Archives: The End of the Theatre Industry

7 September 2021

Taylor Leigh Lamb and Sabine Decatur share emails, letters, social media posts, and more from the future that represent the period of profound change in the theatre industry beginning in 2021.

Actress Tawana Montgomery playing Deborah Scott. Photo credit: Greg Mooney
Organizing History in the Alliance Theatre’s Working: A Musical
Essay

Organizing History in the Alliance Theatre’s Working: A Musical

17 August 2021

Margarita Kompelmakher details the Alliance Theatre’s process of adapting Working into a community-engaged production that both modeled grassroots organizing and told the story of the work of organizers in the city.

event poster for unrehearsed futures episode 18.
Unrehearsed Futures
Video

Unrehearsed Futures

Episode #18: We Have Been Here Before

Thursday 5 August 2021
South Africa

Unrehearsed Futures Episode #18: We Have Been Here Before livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 5 August 2021 at 5 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 10 a.m. BST (London, UTC +1) / 11 a.m. SAST (Cape Town, UTC +2).

Creating a Platform for Black-Palestinian Solidarity
Essay

Creating a Platform for Black-Palestinian Solidarity

6 July 2021

Jen Marlowe shares how her documentary play There Is A Field became a framework for exploring Black-Palestinian solidarity.

event poster with text for unrehearsed futures episode eleven.
Unrehearsed Futures: (Im)possible Futures
Video

Unrehearsed Futures: (Im)possible Futures

Episode 11: Rehearsing Social Justice at the Margins

Thursday 17 June 2021
South Africa

Unrehearsed Futures: (Im)possible Futures livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Thursday 17 June 2021 at 12 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 5 p.m. BST (London, UTC +1) / 6 p.m. SAST (Cape Town, UTC +2) / 9:30 p.m. IST (Mumbai, UTC +5:30) / Friday 18 June at 2 a.m. AEST (Hobart, UTC +10).

L to R: headshots of Adriana Li, Program Coordinator & Instructor, Impact Boston and Dax Valdes, Senior Trainer, Hollaback!.
Responding to Anti-Asian Race-Based Harassment
Video

Responding to Anti-Asian Race-Based Harassment

Healing Over Hate Episode Two: Bystander intervention and safety awareness trainings to combat anti-AAPI harassment and xenophobia

Monday 10 May 2021
United States

Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists (CAATA) presented the second episode of its ongoing monthly ConFest Virtual Series, Healing Over Hate on Monday 10 May at 1 p.m. HST (Honolulu, UTC -10), 3 p.m. AKDT (Juneau, UTC -8), 4 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7), 5 p.m. MDT (Denver, UTC -6), 6 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5), 7 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

event details.
Unrehearsed Futures: Carcerality, Ritual and Spectatorship
Video

Unrehearsed Futures: Carcerality, Ritual and Spectatorship

Episode 5: Prisoners Coming Home

Thursday 6 May 2021
South Africa

Presenting Unrehearsed Futures: Carcerality, Ritual and Spectatorship livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Thursday 6 May 2021 at 6 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 11 a.m. BST (London, UTC +1) / 12 p.m. SAST (Cape Town, UTC +2) / 3:30 p.m. IST (Mumbai, UTC +5:30) / 8 p.m. AEST (Hobart, UTC +10).

headshot of Chris Meyers.
SEGAL TALKS with Chris Myers
Video

SEGAL TALKS with Chris Myers

Join us for a conversation about curating, producing and presenting theatre and performance in the Time of Corona

Wednesday 5 May 2021
United States

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presented SEGAL TALKS with Chris Myers livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Wednesday 5 May 2021 at 9 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 11 a.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 12 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

a group marching outside with a banner that reads "NEVER AGAIN IS NOW"
Inventing Worlds
Essay

Inventing Worlds

What Theatremakers Bring to Organizing

1 February 2021

Blair Nodelman discusses why theatremakers are well suited to deeply understanding the political machine and work toward dismantling the status quo, creating a more equitable and community-based iteration of governing.

school of resistance event banner.
School of Resistance—Episode Ten: Speaking the Truth is Not a Crime
Video

School of Resistance—Episode Ten: Speaking the Truth is Not a Crime

Will Free Speech Save Our Democracy? With Ece Temelkuran, Cian Westmoreland, and Renata Ávila

Thursday 19 November 2020
Ghent, Belgium

Will free speech save our democracy? Turkish author and ex-journalist Ece Temelkuran discussed together with the former drone program technician and whistle-blower Cian Westmoreland and the international human rights lawyer Renata Ávila the right of free speech and its responsibility in an age of disinformation.

three people standing outside
Liberating Terror
Essay

Liberating Terror

Clown and Activism

13 November 2020

Sayda Trujillo talks about white supremacy’s prevalence in clown pedagogy and shares how the invincible spirit of the clown has shaped her, “seeping through every tiny crack possible to make itself present to speak, to laugh, to sing, to bounce, to witness, and to encounter.”

a group posing for a photo in front of a white van with "democracy" written on it
Can a Clown Be an Activist?
Essay

Can a Clown Be an Activist?

9 November 2020

Nathaniel Justiniano and Amrita Dhaliwal kick off the clown, bouffon, and activism series, talking about how the clown world has a racism problem and introducing the four contributors who practice their art around the world.

School of Resistance poster.
School of Resistance—Episode Eight: The Paranoia of the Western Mind
Video

School of Resistance—Episode Eight: The Paranoia of the Western Mind

Why is it So Difficult to Recognize a Non-European Universalism? With Achille Mbembe (Cameroon) and Milo Rau (Switzerland)

Saturday 17 October 2020
Graz, Austria

NTGent presented School of Resistance, Episode Eight: The Paranoia of the Western Mind livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Saturday 17 October 2020 at 9 a.m. PDT (Los Angeles, UTC -7) / 12 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 17:00 BST (London, UTC +1) / 18:00 CEST (Berlin, UTC +2).

three people sitting on a stage with a projection behind them
What Is the Role of the Artist Today?
Essay

What Is the Role of the Artist Today?

13 October 2020

Michael Rohd shares an edited version of a recent talk he gave at the Clarke Forum, Dickinson College, on the role of art and artists today.

three people standing/sitting in a parking lot in front of cars with ribbons on sticks
A Time of Interrogation
Essay

A Time of Interrogation

27 July 2020

Teresa Coleman Wash reflects on how the current state of affairs has fueled an urgency to interrogate all systems of oppression and argues that it’s past time to stop holding Eurocentric theatres up as the pinnacle of success.

five people posing for a photo
Not Another Memory Play
Essay

Not Another Memory Play

Remember2019

16 July 2020

Ashley Teague, in partnership with Carlos Sirah, Arielle Julia Brown, Mauricio Tafur Salgado, and Yazmany Arboleda, talk about their eight-year durational, grassroots engagement with the Black community of the Arkansas Delta, Remember2019.