PLANNING & DESIGNING ARTS-BASED CIVIC ENGAGEMENT PROJECTS
13A R T S & C I V I C E N G A G E M E N T TOO L K I T www.AmericansForTheArts.org/AnimatingDemocracy
With a common grounding, partners and players can move on to design the specific elements of the project, event, or program.
This section will help you design experiences that can meet their civic engagement intents through the unique capacity of art.
Use the worksheets to answer:
How will art and engagement activities be linked or integrated?•
How will you tap the power of the art to foster engagement or dialogue? •
What settings will best support dialogue or engagement? •
How will you attract desired participants or publics to engage in project activities? •
Who is best equipped to facilitate engagement or dialogue activities? •
: d e s i g n the project for success!
Phase 3: DesIgn
Here are some other factors to consider when
designing arts-based civic engagement experi-
ences or projects:
Number of engagements: Are you offering a
one-time engagement, multiple engagements with
the same group, or multiple opportunities for en-
gagement for different groups or publics? Multiple
opportunities with the same group allow you to go
deeper and to build on previous engagements. To
reach a range of publics or audiences, multiple
opportunities over a period of time provide many
occasions for people to participate. To make the
most of one-time engagements such as a dialogue
linked to a performance, see Creating Meaningful
Dialogue at Arts Events for pointers.
Sequence: Consider how activities can be
sequenced and designed to move participants
from personal reﬂection to consideration of
ideas and issues in a broader public context.
For example to:
prompt personal reﬂection,• “Why do I think
the way I do?”, a creative process like story
circles can tap personal stories prompted by the
art and related to the issue being explored.
explore a larger reality, • a full-group dialogue
might be focused on the causes and effects
related to the issue.
encourage people to get involved, take •
action, information about local organizations
working on the issue may be shared or visits
made to these organizations.
Length: Consider the minimum or maximum
length of a session or activity to foster meaningful
engagement or dialogue.
Size: Consider how the size of the group will
affect the quality of engagement. Small groups
encourage participation and often enable a deeper
engagement. Engaging with or as a larger group
helps people experience a wider range of people,
hear more perspectives in a dialogue, and can
foster a sense of being part of a community. Some
combination of small and large group engagement
or dialogue, even within one event, can be
STRUCTURING ARTS-BASED ENGAGEMENT EXPERIENCES