During the month of April, the USDAC set up temporary headquarters at the Bowery Poetry Club in NYC and invited in hundreds of artists and organizations to come mix, meet, mingle, share, and help spark a grassroots movement that harnesses the power of art and culture to cultivate empathy, equity, and social change. Each Café was divided into two sections. First, open space for mixing and tabling. Then, an open mic for both performances and project sharing. Complete with a barter board, interactive video booth, break-out conversation tables, and pop-up performances, the USDAC Café created a vibrant space of encounter and dialogue for artists and cultural workers, catalyzing an array of new collaborations.
We plan to continue the Café as a monthly gathering in NYC beginning in the fall of 2014. Meanwhile, we are preparing a small packet of materials that any Citizen Artist could use to host a USDAC Café in their town or city. If you'd be interested in hosting a USDAC Cafe where you are let us know and we will send materials when they are ready. Write to us at usdac.us[at]gmail.com.
Participating entities included: Trust Art, Opportunity Agenda, Theater of the Oppressed NYC, Participatory Budgeting, NOCD-NY, Arts + Democracy, Floating Library, SWAP/HAUL, lanchonete.org, New York Live Arts, STooPS, Maria Bauman Dance, Everybody Now!, SPARK Movement, Creative Visions Foundation, Beautiful Trouble, Urban Bush Women, The Living Theater, Tisch Center for Art and Public Policy, Brown Rice Family, The Delta, Home Land City, Capacity Arts, Priority Boxes, Tattfoo Tan, Lyrical Democracies, Solar Salon, Red Umbrella, and many others...The USDAC Cafe was co-curated by students in NYU's Imagination and Change course.