Hull House Museum integrated the intentional practice of “slowing down” in order to facilitate a shift in assumptions about what success and inclusion looks like for museums. They launched The Porch Project which animated the public space of their 1300 square foot wrap-around porch. Through the The Porch Project, they re-examined internal priorities around curatorial control and community engagement, and hosted public dialogues about how race, class and gender shape access to leisure and public space.
Alternate ROOTS revamped their organizational membership policies and structures to remove institutional barriers to civic participation and build a stronger, more democratic and equitable pathway to member engagement. They used community organizing frameworks to experiment with new ways to expand their national reach and footprint, while also honoring the contributions of their elders and maintaining a sense of history, legacy and continuity.
The Theater Offensive examined how a hyper local organization could take on the work of national field building without destroying values that are most precious to them, and explored possibilities for integrating priorities for place-based engagement and youth leadership into the national Pride Youth Theatre Alliance (PYTA) network, which was anchored out of their offices in Boston.
- Could our Labs support and strengthen adaptive change efforts of organizations that hold both artistic practice and social equity at the heart of their work?
- Are there innovation and adaptive change frameworks, strategies, strengths and limitations that are different for these intersectional groups – as compared to arts-only organizations?
- Are our Innovation Labs for arts organizations useful in the context of social justice movements, where long-term change occurs through many actors and at many levels, including through networks and community-based coalitions?
What to Read Next…
Lessons from the Field: Latino New South
Case Study on Latino New South, an initiative of the Levine Museum of the New South, the Atlanta History Center, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute that is creating relevant ways to engage the burgeoning Latino community.
A deep dive program for museums, performing arts organizations, and arts development agencies experimenting with new practices.
GIA Reader Article - Community Innovation Labs
Our article in GIA Reader Vol 26. No 3. provides a thought-provoking overview of the origins, inspirations and context behind our new program — Community Innovation Labs.