A Library of Change the Story Episodes
Arts-based community development comes in many flavors: dancers, and painters working with children and youth; poets and potters collaborating with incarcerated artists: cultural organizers in service to communities addressing racial injustice, all this and much, much more.
Many of our listeners have told us they would like to dig deeper into art and change stories that focus on specific issues, constituencies, or disciplines. Others have shared that they are using the podcast as a learning resource and would appreciate categories and cross-references for our stories.
In response we have curated episode collections in 11 arenas:
Given the interdependent nature of the field you will find that many of the collections above overlap. And, as we add more episodes they will also proliferate and grow. Enjoy, and let us know what you think.
Change the Story / Change the World is a chronicle of art and community transformation across the globe. In each episode, host, Bill Cleveland introduces listeners to creative change agents working to re-imagine and recreate the social, political, and cultural narratives that define their communities.
This is a collection of CS/CW podcast episodes about art programs for incarcerated people. These stories explore how music, murals, book making, theater, poetry and more are all making a difference in the lives of the imprisoned. Prison is a place where truth, beauty, trust, tenderness, vulnerability, color, sensitivity, choice — all the intangible qualities humans need to thrive are virtually nonexistent. But in prisons across the country teaching artists are making makes these things available to their students through the often-arduous journey of learning an artform. In the process, they become creators with a chance to own bit more of their unique story — an act of personal agency that is a precious thing, on the inside.
Children, Youth, and Learning
We believe arts-centered learning is necessary for the healthy development of every child. These stories are about artists and programs who are making this a reality.
By the age of four, every child has used the creative process to learn the language, symbol, and social structures that they will depend on for the rest of their lives. Teaching artists focus, on what is, and what can be, not on what is missing. This critical distinction sets the stage for young people to discover new ways of learning, communicating, working, and behaving. Creative practice and learning provide young people with a powerful personal voice that allows them to both assert their uniqueness, and link to others.
Cultural Organizing for Change
Can art and culture change hearts and minds, inspire action, and help produce truly caring, capable and equitible communities? AND, if so, how does that work. The answer, of course is "different ways, on different days, in different places." From coal country, to rural Georgia, to Pittsburgh, and Singapore, this collection of Change the Story episodes explores the why's and how's of many different approaches to culturally-based community organizing.
Training: Growing Creative Community Leaders
What does it take to function effectively as a creative change agent? Are there useful strategies, practices, and protocols that can guide community artists and their partners from other community sectors. What are the moral and ethical dimensions of arts-based community change work? And, can effective creative change practice be learned? These are just a few of the questions touched on through the stories in this collection.
Theater: Performing Change
In our conversation with theater director Bob Leonard he described act of making theater this way, "When you join me in imagining a story, that is, frankly speaking, the healthiest civic action that's possible" Notwithstanding their significant differences, that characterization rings true for all of the episodes in this collection. Theater, like music appears not be be a choice among humans. One way or another, as children, as social creatures, in our daily discourse and labors, we are a dramatic species. When it comes to creative community change theater makers of all types have always been at the forefront of the struggle. These stories from places like Appalachia, Ferguson, Minneapolis, Atlanta, and other locations are all illuminated by the idea that theater is a relatively safe space to join in giving voice to, joyous, illuminating, and yes, even potentially dangerous things.
Music of Transformation
There is no culture without music-- even where it is banned. Some say music evolved before language, and that it was possibly the first human strategy for focusing the attention of the tribe on the collective consciousness and cooperation it would take to survive. Throughout history, scratch the surface of a successful movement for change and you will find music. Its no surprise then that in our conversations with creative chang makers we have encountered a lot of music--- in the prisons, on the streets, by the shore of a rippling stream. Have a listen.
Racial Reckoning & Reconciliation
The power of the imagination and story helps us make collective sense and meaning of our world. It’s important to recognize, though, that amplifying the fear of difference, provoking conflict, and consolidating power has been a persistent aspect of the human struggle for cooperation and community. Today, digitally fueled versions of this destructive dance are rippling out across the planet with greater frequency, effectiveness, and speed. For those seeking to reduce the proliferation of racial injustice and conflict, imagination and story are our most dangerously neglected natural resources. If we are to change the meta narratives that provoke humans to hate and destroy each other we need to better understand how they come to be and how they work for both good and ill.
From its beginnings artists have been at the center the environmental/climate justice movement. In an advocacy landscape often dominated by spreadsheets and powerpoints creative change agents have brought home the message in ways that transcend the fear mongering and move the crowd to awareness and action. These are some of their stories.
Art of the Rural
Art of the Rural is the name of an organization founded by Matthew Fluharty that we profiled in CS/CW episodes 57 and 58. Their aim is to present rural arts and folkways while also considering contemporary responses to rural culture. We have borrowed their name for this collection because the artists and programs represented here personify the extraordinarily wide range of conditions, environments, strategies, and stories that are unique to cultural life in rural America. These stories reveal rural culture as a unique laboratory for learning about the transformative power of the arts in community life.
Change Making Media
For good and for ill media, defines reality for millions across the globe. These are stories of artists who are putting the enormous power of media to use giving voice to the stifled and ignored, spreading new ideas, and provoking action and change.
Arts and Healing
The Arts are a Proven Strategy for Healing, Prevention and Empowerment. The results of artists work with youth at risk, people with physical and mental challenges, the incarcerated, patients, seniors, and others have shown that the arts can make a significant positive impact in the lives of these, often forgotten, citizens. Artists working and succeeding in these "other places" have generated a new technology for physical healing, social problem solving, communicating, building self-esteem and much more. A significant body of research in the field shows the practice of the arts is, in itself, a healing, transformational, therapeutic activity that, in some cases, may be more effective than traditional approaches.