February 2024

Eric Booth, Willa Taylor and Michael Rohd

Civic Imagination - Democracy’s Secret Weapon?

Session Synopsis

Democracies seem to be under threat. Can the arts really make a difference?

Well…maybe…with the combination of Artist Educators, libraries, Amanda Gorman and civic imagination. The Civic Imagination Station Pilot Program seeks to create a national model for bridging access and opportunity divides through creative practice. It expands libraries’ reach into their communities by using arts and culture activity as an entry point, increasing libraries’ visibility as a path to educational persistence, economic mobility, and civic participation.

The American Library Association’s Civic Imagination Station Pilot Program was funded by the Estée Lauder Company’s WRITING CHANGE, a three-year global literacy initiative inspired by Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history. Twelve teams at libraries across the nation consisting of artists and library staff comprised the pilot cohort of the program—Cohort 1 represented a diversity of artistic disciplines, locations, library types, and communities served. Find out what was learned and what’s possible for your communities.

Join Civic Imagination Station Designers/Leaders Willa Taylor and Michael Rohd as they share their learning, stories, practices and the Process Map they created, as well as share an update on Cohort 2, now beginning to identify sites and teams across the US.

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