USDAC Lab is the U.S. Department of Art and Culture’s home for collaborations with public and private entities to research, design, implement, and disseminate projects that enact our aims and values. We seek opportunities to share our creative cultural development expertise, deep knowledge of civic engagement, and transformative storytelling with partners in experimentation.

 The USDAC-NYC Field Office sets up shop at the Brooklyn Museum

The USDAC-NYC Field Office sets up shop at the Brooklyn Museum

HOW IT WORKS: USDAC Lab projects start either of two ways: (1) potential partners will bring Lab project ideas to us; and (2) the USDAC issues requests for partnership. Generally, USDAC focuses on design, in-process consultation, documentation and analysis; and partners handle on-the-ground project implementation. We together design each project selected for Lab development and raise needed funds. USDAC prepares, publishes, and disseminates findings at the conclusion of each project, working in collaboration with partners.

WHAT THE USDAC BRINGS: Respected cultural development thinkers and practitioners; a wealth of experience in participatory action research; creative writing talent to bring cultural development to vivid life for both general and expert audiences; and a nationwide action and communications network.

WHAT YOU BRING: A community, agency, or organization committed to creative innovation and cultural democracy values; desire and capacity to bring art’s transformative power to social and civic challenges; and willingness to share your learning to benefit others and enhance its visibility and impact.

USDAC LAB EXAMPLE: The Culture of Health Project—The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is supporting three arts organizations working with visual art, music, and performance to demonstrate the efficacy of arts-based education and engagement in cultivating a Culture of Health. The three organizations are The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, The San Francisco Mime Troupe; and Youth Radio in Oakland, CA. The USDAC has been funded to coordinate these three organizations and support best practices in engaging communities through the arts. A final report exploring the potential of arts-based interventions in building a common vision of a Culture of health will be published in 2017. 

Want to explore a collaboration? Contact us:!

Policy and Action Prototypes - Our newly launched  Standing for Cultural Democracy platform, features ten powerful points—policies and actions to advance equity and belonging through culture.  Now we must all push for many of these at the local level by starting conversations, building people-power, and partnering with allies in public agencies.  Learn more here >