The Grassroots Leadership & the Arts for Social Change Corner
The Freedom Theatre
30 May 2019
Jen Marlowe and Shaina Low cover an explosive topic that is usually discussed in an impassioned way — the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This isn’t an ordinary portrayal of the decades-long struggle in the region. Instead, it is a noteworthy glimpse into the innerworkings of The Freedom Theatre in Jenin and what it means to lead and create dangerously in occupied territory. The article is introduced by column editor Susan Erenrich.
28 March 2019
Amy Horowitz, co-founder of Roadwork and the Sisterfire festival, discusses the powers and perils of coalition as she takes us "there and back again" from the founding of Roadwork to its 40th anniversary celebration as part of the 2018 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Throughout the article she deftly moves between academic, music industry, and social justice arts networks. As you read this month's corner be sure to listen to the accompanying radio show by editor Susan Erenrich.
Artist as Activist & Leader
18 February 2019
In this month's corner, ILA member Anu Mitra compares and contrasts the fine art of two cultural activists — Swoon (née Caledonia Dance Curry) and Tomás Saraceno. She sheds light on how they “engage, provoke, incite, and agitate," and how, in the end, they "build jobs in communities, invoke respect among diverse groups of people, and nurture harmony in the natural order of things.”
Allies & Accompaniment
3 December 2018
Editor Susan Erenrich discusses the life of Carolyn Hester, ally of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, in this month's corner. Hester, a folk singer, "accompanied the freedom struggle in vital ways." After a short intro by Erenrich, Hester shares some early childhood reflections that shaped her passion for the Movement. Be sure to stream Erenrich's radio show, celebrating Hester's 80th birthday, while you read.
6 November 2018
In this Grassroots Leadership & the Arts for Social Change Corner, globally known Chilean artist Francisco Letelier discusses the role visual arts play in cultural activism pertaining to ethical leadership, human rights, and social justice. Letelier adeptly brings in contemporary examples from Chile and the U.S. to examine public expression, museums, memory, and more.
Interview With Holly Near
19 October 2018
Enjoy this three-part conversation with singer-songwriter and cultural activist Holly Near. Near has been a strong voice for integrity, justice, and peace for almost fifty years and is a chapter author in ILA’s Building Leadership Bridges book, Grassroots Leadership and the Arts for Social Change. The conversation is interspersed with songs that she recorded throughout her career.
Peoples’ Voice Cafe
13 September 2018
In this month's column, Stephen Suffet takes readers behind the scenes at the Peoples' Voice Cafe, a unique “volunteer run, collectively governed” organization that "provides a platform for the artistic expression of a wide variety of humanitarian matters and concerns." Suffet discusses recent transitions such as the creation of a board of directors and their impact on the cafe's practice of horizontal leadership.
Developing Leadership Through Theatre in Afghanistan
9 August 2018
Emmy-award winning writer and cultural activist Kayhan Irani takes the reader into her work developing grassroots leaders in Afghanistan using Theatre of the Oppressed methods and practices, while weathering the larger structural forces: war, political upheaval, and economic strife. The article contains an interlude from Irani's project assistant and trainee Saleh Sepas, an Afghan theatre-maker and grassroots human rights activist turned refugee and refugee advocate.
Diversity, Inclusion & Representation in the Arts
26 July 2018
Read this month's Grassroots Leadership & the Arts for Social Change Corner featuring Ariel Shelton, a Program Manager for the Performing Arts for Everyone and Community Engagement team at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. The column delves into Shelton's past experience as an artist of color and the leadership role she now plays within the arts administration community
Zilphia Horton: The Singing Heart of the Highlander Folk School
12 July 2018
In this month's Grassroots Leadership & the Arts for Social Change column, learn about "Zilphia Horton: The Singing Heart of the Highlander Folk School." Author and artist Candie Carawan shares interviews with key members of the school and highlights the role Zilphia played in the U.S. Civil Rights anthem, "We Shall Overcome." After reading the article, be sure to enjoy the hour-long podcast of music in tribute to Zilphia!
Teaching About Social Justice Within the Arts Leadership Context
26 April 2018
In this month's Grassroots Leadership & the Arts for Social Change Corner, David Edelman shares his experience successfully integrating ILA's Building Leadership Bridges book of the same name into his graduate performing arts management leadership class. Read his engaging (and funny) first person account of this endeavor and then enjoy the chapter he contributed to the book, "Acting Up & Fighting Back: How New York's Artistic Community Responded to AIDS."
The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party: A Bottom-Up Leadership Model
30 March 2018
Grassroots Leadership & the Arts for Social Change corner editor Susie Erenrich sets the stage for Mike Miller's article, "The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party Fifty + Years Later: Lessons for Today." Miller reflects on his work in Mississippi in 1963 digs into the leadership lessons applicable to community organizing and electoral politics today. Read the article and listen to the accompanying music from that era.
Early Horizontal Leadership Pioneers: Joe Hill, the IWW, & Fellow Workers
1 March 2018
This month's corner offers a rich multimedia experience of "Early Horizontal Leadership Pioneers." Read a short introduction; download, "They Were All Leaders: The IWW & Songs for Revolution," a chapter from Grassroots Leadership & the Arts for Social Change; and stream an episode of Wasn't That a Time, "Remembering Joe Hill, The IWW & Fellow Workers With Magpie," to hear and experience the songs that accompanied this social change movement.
The Grassroots Leadership & the Arts for Social Change Corner
25 January 2018
The ILA is pleased to announce a new column for 2018, The Grassroots Leadership & the Arts for Social Change Corner, edited by Susan Erenrich. In this multimedia column, readers will vicariously experience the work of brave leader-artists, reflect on their commitments and achievements, and continue to dream a better world full of possibility all within the framework of grassroots, collective, collaborative, horizontal leadership.