I’ve been selected to be a Cultural Agent for the first cohort of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture!
From the USDAC website:
IT’S TIME TO DEEPEN OUR INVESTMENT IN ART, CULTURE, AND CREATIVITY.
In this era of broken systems—from healthcare to energy to education to the way our entire economy is structured—citizens must be able to conceive of and help create positive alternatives. To cultivate effective co-creators of new systems based in equality, non-discrimination, and sustainability, we must provide universal access to empowering creative experiences that build empathy and social imagination. With renewed commitment, we must encourage imaginative thinking and creative risks.
For too long, we’ve believed that everything that counts can be counted, ignoring the vital role that arts and culture play in advancing equity, innovation, and democracy. Active creative participation is a gateway to ongoing civic engagement and the capacity to collaborate is a key element of any resilient community, yet we’ve failed to fully invite our citizens to step up as artists and agents of change.
The US Department of Arts and Culture aims to help change that story.
The US Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC) is the nation’s newest people-powered department, founded on the truth that art and culture are our most powerful and under-tapped resources for social change. Radically inclusive, useful and sustainable, and vibrantly playful, the USDAC aims to spark a grassroots, creative change movement, engaging millions in performing and creating a world rooted in empathy, equity, and social imagination.
Together, we create the world we wish to inhabit.
WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT:
Culture is a human right. As expressed in the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “Everyone has the right to freely participate in the cultural life of the community.” It is our sacred duty to remove impediments to the exercise of this right and to ensure that the means to exercise this right are available to all. In a cultural democracy, we are obliged to monitor the impact of public and private actions with these duties in mind.
Culture is created by everyone. The art, customs, creative expressions, and social fabric of every community and heritage contribute to the vibrancy and dynamism of our common culture. Our cultural institutions and policies should reflect this, rather than privileging favorites.
Cultural diversity is a social good and the wellspring of free expression. Its support and protection require equitable distribution of public resources, particularly to correct past injustices and balance an excess of commercialization.
Culture is the sum-total of public, private, individual, and collective action. We seek balance so that no sector dominates or controls cultural expression or access to cultural resources. We advocate an arts ecology in which all sectors work together to support cultural development for the benefit of all.
The work of artists is a powerful resource for community development, education, healthcare, protection of our commonwealth, and other democratic public purposes. Indeed, artists’ skills of observation, improvisation, innovation, resourcefulness, and creativity enhance all human activity. We advocate complete integration of arts-based learning in public and private education at all levels. We advocate public service employment for artists and other creative workers as a way to accomplish social good, address unemployment, and strengthen social fabric. We support artists who place their gifts at the service of community, equity, and social change.
For more information visit: http://usdac.us/