PLATINUM2024

Center for Artistic Activism

Imagination powers change. And changes power.

Leeds, NY   |  c4aa.org

Mission

The Center for Artistic Activism (C4AA) is dedicated to advancing the practice of artistic activism by empowering individuals to harness their creativity and cultural influence to drive social change. With over a decade of experience at the crossroads of creativity and justice, C4AA offers training, mentorship, fellowships, research, resources, and curricula to a diverse community of activists, artists, and organizations seeking to make a difference through the power of art and culture.

Ruling year info

2011

Executive Director

Rebecca H Bray

Main address

86 Church Street, 500

Leeds, NY 12451 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

45-3557000

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (A01)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (R01)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (S01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We believe that art and creativity can change the world. We see a future where change towards equality happens because people understand how to mobilize the superpowers of art, like joy, surprise and deep relevance. We know that too often activists fighting for equity and a sustainable future get burned out, and movements stall, because activism and advocacy can be stuck in old models and not sure how to innovate. We see how the powers of art and the creativity of artists and others can fuel and energize us all. And we know the experiences, skills and networks that people need to transform how advocacy is done. The Center for Artistic Activism is transforming the practices of art and activism, using creativity and culture to help activists, artists, organizations, and foundations be more effective and affective in bringing about social change.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Artistic Activism Education

We strive to help staff at advocacy organizations, funders, and individual artists and activists find and use tools and materials to make their work more impactful. We make tools accessible through projects like a museum exhibit, and the Creative Campaigns Toolkit, our practical manual on increasing impact through artistic activism distributed for free to hundreds of advocacy organizations. We also provide public free trainings on artistic activism, and curricula to high school and college educators. Additionally we offer free mentoring through Office Hours, to speak with our artistic activism experts for one on one consultations to artists and activists around the world.

Population(s) Served
Activists
Academics
Artists and performers
Ethnic and racial groups
LGBTQ people

We know that activist and arts organizations, funders and activists and artists themselves want to understand more about the impact of their work, but traditional assessment models can lack the insight, subtlety, flexibility and openness to multiple stakeholders to do this well. We specialize in helping artists and arts organizations understand and assess the intent, audience and impact of socially engaged art through self-assessment and artist-led evaluation. For the past ten years weve worked with artists and activists around the world, developed flexible assessment methodologies and tools, and conducted extensive research.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Activists
Artists and performers
Academics

Through Unstoppable Voters, the Center for Artistic Activism supports creatively risk-taking, strategic, ambitious organizations, people, and projects that address urgent and specific anti-voter attacks. We provide training and community building for individuals and groups who are passionate about protecting the freedom to vote and bringing the needed innovation to that fight. And we provide funding to help manifest that innovation and bring real, measurable impact. To date, weve helped over 115 organizations and over 1,100 individuals make voting accessible, safe, joyful, powerful, and irresistible.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of people on the organization's email list

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of Creative Activism Projects

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Unstoppable Voters

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of people trained

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This Metric reflects the number of Learning Lab participants only and not the overall number of people trained through other programs.

Number of training workshops

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Unstoppable Voters

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

To date for 2022, 15 Workshops.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We aim for the following to be true by 2027: Artistic Activism is all the rage. Advocates and activists know what high-quality activism is, and know they want and need it. We aim to see that advocacy organizations and individual activists use tools and techniques and ways of thinking about advocacy that are more creative, innovative, culturally-specific, and emotionally resonant, and therefore more impactful.

In the next 5 years, we plan to build on the growing excitement that we’re seeing around artistic activism. We plan to partner with dozens of advocacy orgs, foundations and other key players in social and environmental justice in order to train and inspire thousands of people. In the next 10 years, we expect a ripple effect, and we expect to see a new era of advocacy - one that is energized, inspired, full of joy and commitment, with hundreds of thousands of people newly inspired to speak up against injustice and take action to help ensure a just society.

We will do this by building on our assets - our network of amazing practitioners, our years of research and experience, our database of incredible case studies and experiences, and more. We’ll support this new blossoming of artistic activism by solidifying our foundations and diversifying our outreach. We welcome new ways of working and collaborating.

A year ago, at the end of 2021, we saw that groups and individuals were struggling to keep focus and optimism in the face of threats to democracy. We’ve worked to make sure that people fighting to strengthen democracy, combat voter suppression, and protect voting freedoms in the U.S. have access to tools that we’ve seen work around the world to increase skills, creativity and inspiration in movements. And more organizations, from Indivisible to Greenpeace, are looking for ways to train their staff, volunteers, and networks to use the best practices of artistic activism that we’ve been developing for years.

One great indication of that growth is the upcoming Smithsonian Institution exhibit about artistic activism that is based on our work. More on that exhibit below, as well as updates on the past year of Unstoppable Voters, and connected programs and initiatives like the popular online public programming we launched in the past year, our research and curriculum development, vastly expanded partnerships and more.

Since 2020, our Unstoppable Voters program has worked with over 83 organizations and 600 individual artists and activists to support 39 pro-voter creative activism campaigns to reach millions all across the United States. Unstoppable Voters infuses art, joy, and creativity into this meaningful work to support those in the field. We believe this approach is vital to breaking through the noise and negativity to mobilize voters to get out and take action. This year we have focused on:
-Training hundreds of people working on voting rights.
-Building partnerships with dozens of organizations.
-Creating a Fellowship cohort and mentoring them to be advanced practitioners in their organizations.
-Supporting 14 groups to make creative action interventions in states with some of the strongest anti-voter attacks like Georgia, Texas, Florida, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Arizona.

Our open-access webinar series, Revolutionizing Activism, has reached over 1,800 people, and featured 27 guest speakers from over 10 countries, including Senegal, Spain, Venezuela, South Africa, Georgia, France, and more. We’ve also welcomed influential moderators and special guests from organizations like Fair Count, The Center for Media & Social Impact, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Center for Cultural Power, Conflict Kitchen, and more.

Facilitated by an international team of Workshop Leaders, the Center’s Learning Labs support the professional development of a small cohort of activists and artists over the course of six weeks. The weekly sessions are accessible, practical, and relevant to people at all levels of experience. Based on over a decade of trainings and the award-winning Art of Activism book and workbook, the Learning Labs have delivered advanced training to over 50 people since it launched earlier this year.


Financials

Center for Artistic Activism
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Center for Artistic Activism

Board of directors
as of 05/30/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Patricia Jerido

Leadership Matters

Term: 2021 - 2025

Terry Marshall

Intelligent Mischief

Risë Wilson

The Laundromat Project

Jamie Wilkinson

Co-Founder of VHX

Margaret McCarthy

Southern Exposure Gallery

Vivian Peng

Rockefeller Foundation

Danielle Silber

American Civil Liberties Union

Wyatt Close

Spitfire

Meirth Basey

Patients for Affordable Drugs

Brett Davidson

Wingseed; International Resource for Impact and Storytelling

Holly Minch

Lightbox Collaborative

Patricia Jerido

Leadership Matters Consulting

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/17/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/01/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.