U.S. Department of Arts and Culture Now Recruiting Founding Cultural Agents

Nation’s newest people-powered department seeks dedicated individuals to play critical role in defining next steps of “act of collective imagination.”

March 3rd, 2014

The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC) announced yesterday that it is recruiting its first cohort of Cultural Agents. This move signals an exciting new phase in the growth of the fledgling department. Drawn from a dozen different communities across the country, the twelve new Cultural Agents will embark on a process of training and community-building, culminating in the co-creation of “Imaginings.” These arts infused events will invite local participants to imagine and enact the world they wish to inhabit in 2034.

Launched on October 5th, 2013, in the midst of the government shutdown, the USDAC has no federal line item, office in Washington D.C., or official governmental status. “Right now, we’re doing a lot with a little.” remarked Deputy Secretary Norman Beckett at a recent press conference. “The first step was conjuring ourselves into existence. Now we’re inviting in others to help us barn-raise the USDAC. These will not be covert agents, mind you. They will be visible forces for connection and change within their communities.”

After six weeks of basic training, Cultural Agents will prepare to host local Imaginings, bringing together artists, organizers, and others to envision their communities and the country in the year 2034, when art’s transformative power has been fully integrated into all aspects of public life. Part performance, part conversation, part celebration, these events will unfold around the Fourth of July, 2014, “an apt time to get in touch with our nation’s democratic roots and to reimagine where we want to go as a country,” according to Beckett.

The USDAC is seeking individuals who have experience with facilitation and organizing, who are plugged into the cultural life of diverse communities, and who are passionate about art, creativity, and social change. Asked why there are only 12 positions available for Cultural Agents at this stage, the Deputy Secretary explained that the USDAC sees this first initiative “as a testing ground to develop the tools and infrastructure that will enable anyone to step up as a Cultural Agent someday soon. Indeed, barn-raising the new Department will truly require the participation of all creative citizens."

Aspiring Cultural Agents have until March 24th to apply. A link to the applications and more information can be found here: www.usdac.us/call-for-cultural-agents

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