learning & research

In addition to being an action network, the USDAC is a learning laboratory for cultural democracy. Everything we do is action-research into how to activate creative citizen engagement in the service of social and environmental justice. We invite others to learn with us. 

Standing for cultural democracy

A 10-point policy platform to amplify ideas that can advance social healing and bring us closer to a future that countless Citizen Artists have told us they wish to inhabit: cultural democracy grounded in equity and engagement; full cultural citizenship, belonging without barrier; and deep respect for the right to culture—expression, participation, recognition—underpinning any just and caring society.


We've begun a series of video-based gatherings and learning calls for Citizen Artists to dig into thematic material, learn about opportunities, and create connections across the USDAC Network. Recordings are made available afterward.


usdac lab

We collaborate 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.


report on first two years

An Act of Collective Imagination: The USDAC’s First Two Years of Action Research is the first publication to summarize the USDAC’s work to date, along with the lessons we’ve learned about translating community members’ visions into powerful ideas and action. 



"HI-LI" stands for High-Impact Low-Infrastructure.  Explore our catalogue of HI-LI models for building creative community. Every project listed is participatory, replicable, and volunteer-friendly.


usdac services

Our team offers an array of workshops on how to use the values and approaches that shape the USDAC to power your organization or community


We also invite you to explore a model cultural policy for your community and our glossary of frequently used terms.