Cultural Impact Study in Seattle

Project Lead: Diana Falchuk

Location: Seattle, WA

Partner Organizations: City of Seattle Racial Equity Lab

Description: This project will embed a Cultural Impact Study within the City of Seattle’s Racial Equity Toolkit (RET) and provide guidance on using creative, culture-based formats in the RET process. The RET is an iterative tool that analyzes how a proposed policy, program, initiative or budgetary decision can achieve racial equity outcomes.  Each City department is required to use the RET a minimum of four times per year, so the CIS will become a requirement for all City departments, across a range of content areas, as part of their Toolkits.

The Sanctuary City Project

Project Lead: Marangeli Mejia Rabell

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Partner Organizations: Philadelphia Latino Film Festival

Description: This project will be a collection of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) produced by local young artists focused on a) promoting a positive image of living in a city that has identified itself as a Sanctuary City for immigrants and b) promoting and advocating for the idea of a Policy on Belonging (and possibly other platform points), as featured in the USDAC’s Policy and Action platform. In addition to promoting the Policy on Belonging, these PSA’s will serve as a means of starting dialogue with city agencies about employing artists to produce PSA’s that foster cultural citizenship and belonging.


Project Lead: Matthew Slaats

Location: Charlotesville, VA

Partner Organizations: Pause Lab, City of Charlotessville, NEA, Thomas Jefferson Planning District

Description: Inspired by the international participatory budgeting project, BeCville pairs artists and community members together to use the arts as a means for making neighborhood investments. The project, in partnership with public housing, local schools, and the local planning district, aims to develop new modes of deep community engagement that rests on the creativity of local neighborhoods and allows them to define a vision for their city. 

Migrant Stories and Rights, Inside Out

Project Lead: Heidi Vogel

Location: Harrisonburg, VA

Partner Organizations: Inside Out Playback Theater, Legal Aid Justice Center

Description: Inside Out Playback Theatre, in partnership with the Legal Aid Justice Center, will host storytelling and know-your-rights events in communities of migrant workers on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and use this body of work to create a toolkit for how participatory theater groups/techniques can partner with other legal defense agencies working with vulnerable populations.

Stories of Community: An Arts-based approach to neighborhood planning

Project Lead: Lisa Jo Epstein

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Partner Organizations: Just Act, Germantown United CDC

This project will use arts-based neighborhood engagement processes to amplify residents’ voices in informing commercial corridor planning, demonstrating the way that arts engagement can be an asset to planners and developers and building a model to eventually share with the City of Philadelphia Planning Commission.

Belonging Bandwagon: a Performance Art-Driven Dialogue for Cultural Change

Project Lead: Cristina Cabeza-Kinney

Location: Crestone, CO

Partner Organizations: Company of Players, Crestone Town Board of Trustees and Planning Commission, Awakening The Phoenix

This project will dispatch performative characters across the community for a series of playful, participatory dialogues and actions that build momentum and support for a Policy on Belonging, Cultural Impact Study, and Community Cultural Center in the town of Crestone, Colorado.