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Call for Chapters: Art & Civic Engagement

Tuesday, September 8, 2015   (0 Comments)
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Call for Chapters: Handbook of Research on the Facilitation of Civic Engagement through Community Art


Communities may be viewed as systems comprised of individual members and sectors that have a variety of distinct characteristics and interrelationships (Thompson,1990). Community engagement is a blend of social science and art; involving a variety of ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. The outcomes can involve individual, group or community level (Fawcett, 1995). Achieving engagement can take place through numerous avenues, including those created by the public sector, by the nonprofit sector, and through the classroom.

Today's arts organizations realize they "must interact with and understand its community in order to know at which community development table it should sit" (National Endowment for the Arts, 2015a, p. 7). Despite this realization, most Master of Fine Arts (MFA) programs are studio-centered (Grant, 2011). Graduate students work in a single medium and develop body of work. A popular alternative is community art, in which students engage to create work with a larger public outreach. Instead of spending time in the studios, students are engaging with local businesses, the community, and cultural and government partners. For example, the Maryland Institute College of Art’s MFA in community art invites its students to incorporate issues involving social justice and community building into their artwork. At Portland State University, coursework includes sociology, anthropology, social work, journalism and environmentalism. As more universities include community and civic engagement in their curricula, there is a need for a contemporary text to support these ideas.

But the effects are not limited to those studying or working in the arts. In fact, the primary federal funding organization for the arts, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), provides grants for nonprofit and government partnerships that support "arts engagement, cultural planning, and design projects (that) represent the distinct character and quality of their engagements" (NEA, 2015b; para. 1). Through this funding, the NEA has supported projects like Over.Under.Pass, which used public art to connect neighboring communities along a greenway in Greensboro, N.C. Now the greenway is one of the busiest trails in the city and is re-energized the economic development of the downtown area (NEA, 2015b). Government agencies and nonprofit organizations also see the value of art in engaging the community.



This book looks to explore the numerous ways that the arts can encourage civic engagement, from the classroom to the street corner. It will identify the challenges and successes of such programs, providing solutions and best practices. The editors seek chapters that address the different aspects of art that facilitate civic engagement, from secondary schools to graduate education to nonprofit organizations that engage with their communities through art both in the United States and globally.

This comprehensive and timely publication aims to be an essential reference source, building on the existing literature on the arts and civic engagement while providing for further research in this dynamic field. It is hoped that this text will provide the resources necessary for educators, artists, and public service leaders alike to successfully include art in their civic engagement endeavors.


Target Audience

Practitioners, artists, academicians, researchers, and advanced-level students will find this text useful in learning about how to effectively use art to engage the community.

Recommended Topics

Contributors are welcome to submit chapters on the following topics or others related to the arts and community engagement in the United States or abroad:

Theory and Definition

·        History of civic engagement and the arts

·        The role of arts in engaging the public

·        Measuring impact of community arts projects on civic engagement

·        Global examples of civic engagement and the arts

·        Intercultural civic engagement through the arts

·        Highlighting social justice and citizen participation with community art

·        Healing a community through the arts after a disaster

Education-Based Programs

·        Promoting civic engagement partnerships involving higher education and K-12 school administrators and educators

·        Service-learning that bridges the arts and civic engagement

·        Examples of K-16 curricula including volunteerism, community development, and the arts

The Role of Government

·        Funding sources and financial support of community art and civic engagement programs

·        The role of government in funding art-based civic engagement projects

The Role of Nonprofit Organizations

·        The role of volunteerism in creating art for civic engagement

·        The roles arts administration plays in sustaining community and/or public art

·        The position museums play with the endorsing community art and civic engagement

The View of the Artist

·        Stories of Success: spotlighting successful examples of civic engagement through the arts

·        Lessons learned from community arts projects

The View of the Community

·        Public perception and reaction to community art

·        Public art, visual arts and community development


Submission Procedure

Researchers, artists, and practitioners are invited to submit on or before September 15, 2015, a chapter proposal of 1,000 to 2,000 words clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Authors will be notified by September 30, 2015, about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters of 12,000-14,000 words are expected to be submitted by December 15, 2015, and all interested authors must consult the guidelines for manuscript submissions at prior to submission. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.

Note: There are no submission or acceptance fees for manuscripts submitted to this book publication,Handbook of Research on the Facilitation of Civic Engagement through Community Art.

All proposals should be submitted through the E-Editorial DiscoveryTM online submission manager.

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