Resource Guide: Art and Community


Community Arts Network (CAN) is a partnership of nonprofit organizations, Art in the Public Interest, and the Theater Arts consortium at Virginia Tech University. It promotes art as part of education, political life, health recovery, prisoner rehabilitation, environmental protection, and community regeneration. On-line, CAN offers a newsletter, reading room, discussion groups, billboard, and links to organizations that support community art programs.
PB 308
Virginia Tech
Blackburg, VA 24061

Wise Fool Community Arts uses art and theater to build community and promote social and political change. They offer consulting services, entertainers, workshops, presentations, and information on making puppets, masks, costumes, and low-tech musical instruments. They offer tips on stilt-walking, improvisation, story-telling, games, and street theater. Their handbook, Wise Fool Basics, offers detailed instruction on making and using giant puppets.
2633 Etna St.
Berkeley, CA 94704

ecoartspace supports art that raises environmental awareness and inspires visions of a sustainable relationship between humans and the natural world. Ecoartspace curates exhibits in public spaces, develops Art and Environment curricula for schoolchildren, offers consultation and some grants, and serves as an information and consulting resource. The group is developing an art and nature center. Their website includes an artist directory and provides links to environmental organizations and projects. is a nonprofit, on-line museum of environmental art. Environmental art is art that improves our relationship with nature. This website lists artists and shows images of their work. It also lists community events, opportunities for environmental artists, and links to environmental art organizations.
518 Tamalpais Dr.
Corte Madera, CA 94925

The Arts and Healing Network
celebrates the connection between art and healing. This web site lists conferences, lectures and events, classes, workshops, schools, and projects, and serves as an international resource for environmentalists, social activists, artists, art professionals, health care practitioners, and those challenged by illness who are interested in the healing potential of art.

Children’s Landscape is the on-line archive of Norwegian architect Frode Svane’s experiences involving children and youth in city planning, landscape, and school architecture, and designing school grounds, green schools, and “nature” schools. The web site is a good resource for teachers and students who want to improve natural and urban environments and encourage art in public places.

Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is a nonprofit technical assistance, research, and educational organization that helps people turn public spaces into vital community places. PPS advocates community-based decision making and offers videos, articles, on-line discussion, community workshops, evaluations, design training for planners and neighborhood investors, masterplans, and design services. Their website provides ideas for improving our public spaces, including the use of public art.
153 Waverly Pl., 4th floor
New York, NY 10014

The Alliance of Artists’ Communities is a nationwide consortium of artists’ communities (professionally run organizations that provide time, space, and support for artists). Their directory lists organizations sorted both by artistic category and geographic region that provide residencies and fellowships for artists.
255 South Main Street
Providence, RI 02903

Books and Periodicals

Art in Other Places: Artists at Work in America’s Community and Social Institutions, by William Cleveland (University of Massachusetts’ Arts Extension Service, 2000). The book recounts the histories of 22 institutional and community arts programs across the country that have pioneered the community arts field. It describes how the creative processes have been used to address some of society’s most pressing issues. Can be purchased on AES book catalogue website at:

The Citizen Artist: 20 Years of Art in the Public Arena, edited by Linda Frye Burnham and Steven Durland (Gardiner, NY: Critical Press, 1998). An anthology from High Performance Magazine, with essays and articles on performance art, art for activists, and art for building community. [Note: co-editor Linda Frye Burnham’s article on the Hallelujah dance project is on page 19.]

Andy Goldsworthy: A Collaboration with Nature, by Andy Goldsworthy (Harry N. Abrams, 1990). Scottish artist Andy Goldsworthy uses a seemingly infinite array of purely natural materials, from snow and ice to leaves, stone, and twigs in the creation of his one-of-a-kind sculptures. As with most of his works, ultimately, the materials used to create each piece are returned to their natural state, leaving no trace of the artwork’s existence save for the photos in this book. An inspiration for those looking to express their artistic selves in the natural environment.

works + conversations is a journal of the works and thoughts of artists presented primarily via interviews and portfolios. The journal is the voice of the Society for the ReCognition of Art.
PO Box 5008
Berkeley, California 94705

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