Welcoming The New Cultural Agents

We are thrilled to announce that a new cohort of 18 USDAC Cultural Agents has been appointed. Once again, it was a serious challenge to choose 18 from among nearly 100 applications from amazing artists and activists. We are so grateful to everyone who applied, and so excited to introduce the new Cultural Agents. They hail from Oregon to Kentucky, from Iowa to Wisconsin, from DC to Mississippi. Hip-hop artists, designers, activists, musicians, and much, much more!

Cultural Agents take part in an online learning community leading to an art-infused organizing project, whether a local campaign or an Imagining which can then prepare the ground for a Field Office, an ongoing presence promote, disseminate, and enact USDAC values.  

Their first assignment is to host a Story Circle for the People’s State of the Union, which takes place 23-31 January. The stories shared in Circles will be uploaded to the #PSOTU2016 story portal, where they can be browsed and shared. They’ll also provide inspiration to an amazing group of poets creating a collaborative Poetic Address to the Nation, to be live-streamed from the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia courtesy of Philly CAM and Free Speech TV!

You can do it too. Hosting is easy: we provide a free Toolkit and training and lots of other help. Sign up today to host a Story Circle in your own home or a community event with multiple Circles!

 A Story Circle in the Bronx, NY, January 2015.

A Story Circle in the Bronx, NY, January 2015.

Even a glance at the new Cultural Agents’ bios fills us with excitement about what they will do. Here are just a few phrases that popped out on first reading: “community led efforts around media justice, cultural policy and displacement,” “role-play games as pedagogical tools,” “transformative learning programs which integrate the arts and social justice education,” “service and positive change,” “just and equitable cities,” “confluence of media technology, arts and culture work,” “cross-pollinating the grassroots,” “code-switcher and community-builder,” “radical philology, exuberant lexicography, and democratized cruciverbery,” “the tremendous capacity we have as a collective living organism,” and “a culture shift founded on the power of the arts to fuel social and economic renaissance.”

Please join us in welcoming these Cultural Agents and stay tuned for news of their work.