Participatory Art

Michelle Angela Ortiz uses public art to address detention and deportation issues

Michelle Angela Ortiz is a child of immigrants, born and raised in South Philadelphia—a community she describes as one that has benefited tremendously from the immigrant communities that have…


Queer and Undocumented: The Art and Activism of Coming Out, and Coming Out

June is Immigrant Heritage Month as well as Refugee Awareness Month. In solidarity and support, we will run a series of artist profiles and features this month about the experiences of undocumented…


Define American is supporting undocumented artists through a first-of-its-kind fellowship

June is Immigrant Heritage Month as well as Refugee Awareness Month. In solidarity and support, we will run a series of artist profiles and features this month about the experiences of undocumented…


Realize Bradenton realizes it takes a village to raise a city

The City of Bradenton is a riverfront community of 53,000 people in the urban core of Manatee County, Florida. In 2007, Bradenton created a citizen-driven visioning plan called “Downtown by Design,”…


Al-Bustan plants the seeds of Arab culture and community in Philadelphia

Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture started in Philadelphia in 2002 when founder and executive director Hazami Sayed wanted a place for her two young sons to go where they would learn and apply the Arabic…


Jer Thorp creates data-based public art to engage and empower communities

Jer Thorp is an accomplished public speaker—check out some of his selected talks here—and an artist based in New York who has participated in highly visible public art projects, like designing the…


Rachel Breen sews in support of garment industry workers

Minneapolis-based artist Rachel Breen is probably best known for her work with textiles, which she finds funny, since her connection to her sewing machine was purely accidental. "Three days before…


Dana Sikkila takes Project Bike all over the state of Minnesota

Visual artist Dana Sikkila grew up in Litchfield, a farm town in West Central Minnesota with a population of a little over 6,000 people. She describes her family and the area she grew up as being…


Write Denver Toolkit

"Write Denver ushered in a deeper level of community engagement for Lighthouse Writers Workshop. We wish the same for you! Whether you're an individual or part of a larger organization, we hope the…


Growing Up in the Arts Toolkit

“We are excited about the potential to use the toolkit for preparing other communities to host their own “Growing Up in the Arts” activities. We have found a method that facilitates collaboration…


Lightning Rod Toolkit

"Honestly? I hope people will steal Lightning Rod, make it their own and takes lots of pictures and notes and then send them to us," says Lightning Rod co-creator Kat Purcell. Lightning Rod is a…


New toolkits from the 2018 Toolkit Cohort

Creative Exchange is based on the idea that artists are everywhere, that artists are shaping their communities in all sorts of ways, and by sharing stories and tools from those artists, we can build…


Creative People Power

Springboard for the Arts and Helicon Collaborative are excited to launch Creative People Power, a new report and framework for combining creativity-centered and people-centered development to build…


Collective Magpie explores the concepts of race and identity in cultural borderlands

“Collective Magpie = Tae Hwang & MR Barnadas + Participants” So says the equation at the top of the Collective Magpie website, and it is meant to underscore the fact that they function as a…


Ready Go Toolkit

Ready Go is a resource from Springboard for the Arts that connects neighborhoods, non-profits, businesses and individuals to artist-created, mobile tools that are purpose-built to pique curiosity and…


Handbarrow harnesses and shares the power of stories

People have always told stories—to share lessons and wisdom, to try to explain life’s mysteries, to entertain one another around a fire. And stories are the foundation for how cultures see themselves…


Lightning Rod is performance for the present moment

Imagine a group of artists gathering: writers, directors, and performers; many of whom have never met before; some who don’t even call themselves “artists.” They’re handed news headlines from the…


Of art and baseball: Rachel Wacker brings art to the community by working with some unlikely partners

Rachel Wacker hasn't had what might be called a "traditional" experience working in the art world. Based in Saint Paul's Lowertown neighborhood, Wacker has eschewed more "traditional" arts…


Saying “Yes” to 4th Street

In a downtown core experiencing change, the 4th Street Market District partnership leads creative experiments & looks to the future It was a summer Sunday afternoon in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and…


Caroline Woolard defines what it means to be a solidarity economy artist

The work of Springboard for the Arts is rooted in arts-based economic and community development. We believe artists are critical assets in that work, and support them by offering a variety of…


The Chinatown Art Brigade fights for housing rights in one of the most gentrified cities in America

Ten years ago, when urban activists spoke of "gentrification" they might as well have been speaking of the Bogeyman. Often dismissed as so much liberal hand-wringing, gentrification was an urban…


Write Denver publishes the stories of a city’s people

What if, when you walked through your city, you saw words other than “No Parking” and billboard slogans? What if you could look around your neighborhood and read the words of your fellow citizens?…


Springfield Regional Arts Council helps youth grow up in the arts

For eight weeks each summer, the Creamery Arts Center in Springfield, Missouri is home to a whirlwind tour through the arts. Students from kindergarten through eighth grade try ballet one week, opera…


Work of Art: Business Skills for Artists

Developed by Springboard for the Arts, Work of Art: Business Skills for Artists is based on a series of professional development and entrepreneurship workshops that have been taught to more than…


From Derry to Detroit, Éist works to address trauma and healing through art, culture, and media

Éist – pronounced "aysht" – is an Irish Gaelic word that means "to listen." It is also the name of a Detroit-based organization sponsored by Allied Media Projects that works to cultivate and promote…


Wesley Fawcett Creigh asks people what makes them feel like they belong

Wesley Fawcett Creigh grew up in rural Vermont in what she describes as a "very homogenous zone." In high school she got excited about the arts, but she couldn't figure out how to apply that to "real…


Mary Welcome welcomes new neighbors all around the country

Mary Welcome, née Mary Rothlisberger, is a citizen artist based in Palouse, Washington, a tiny rural town with a population of 998. While Welcome's numerous and diverse artistic involvements take her…


Toolkit Cohort Announced!

New toolkits are coming! We're excited to announce a new round of artists and organizations selected from our open call for toolkits, and we'll be working with these artists over the summer to create…


Meet Loriann Hernandez, Riverside's "Art Hustling Roller Skating Ninja"

Loriann Hernandez – also known as "Elle Seven" – describes herself as an "Art Hustling Roller Skating Ninja." While the overlap between street art and skating culture is nothing new, the way…


Graffiti Camp for Girls is breaking up the boys' club of street art

"I was a disgruntled teenager. My mom moved us out to the country while I was still in high school and there was nothing to do. I basically just wanted to get into trouble," says Nina Wright, aka…