The emerging disciplines of Arts and Social Change
Around the world, artists are working with diverse communities to create positive change through processes of participatory art making. A variety of terms is used to describe this diverse field, each with its own nuanced goals and practices. These include field such as art for social change (ASC), socially engaged art, community-engaged arts, community cultural development, cultural mediation, eco-friendly arts, social innovation arts, participatory arts. In addition, arts education, recreational arts, creative arts therapies, popular education and creative leadership processes can be closely related to these forms.
The Inspiration Interdisciplinary Center for Art and Social Change (IIC-ASC) at Makerere University, Kampala, brings together experts in arts, community development and social action to dream big and advance positive social impact on society’s well-being, while giving special attention to the lives of marginalized and weak people and communities through a progressive, interdisciplinary approach.
By moving beyond traditional approaches, the IIC-ASC utilizes an interdisciplinary model to integrate research, education, and practice, and prepare a future blend of outstanding artists and social leaders. The center’s programs place a strong emphasis on practical experience, through internships and a practicum, on enabling entrepreneurs and social activists to start entrepreneurship in the areas of community development and social change. Its collaborative programs in community engagement will demonstrate the ways in which the arts provide tools that reinforce the values of a just, benevolent, inclusive and democratic society. We believe that our artistic and creative power can be used for good and improvement. We want to do all we can to support systematic inquiry and analysis in the Inspiration Interdisciplinary Center, as well as in the broader communities of the nation and world. The IIC-ASC thus seeks to foster an interdisci plinary and cross-cultural community of faculty and students committed to supporting and advancing research, education and collaborative initiatives related to art and social change, with a focus on the global south. We also emphasize transnational knowledge flows and production. The center’s philosophy focuses on interdisciplinary perspectives, globally engaged scholarship, and a recognition of the necessary connection of diversity and academic excellence.
Our vision, mission and objectives:
The Inspiration Interdisciplinary Center of Art and Social Change vision is to be a platform of education, knowledge and practice that bridge and integrates art as a catalyst for social change. Our mission is to establish a hub of knowledge, education and networking among artists, social activists, scholastic experts and community leaders in order to collectively stand up at the forefront of the most demanding social agendas and to create lasting sustainable social change in their communities. The center will work closely, locally and globally with socially engaged artists, social activists, academic staff of both art and community development departments, social entrepreneurs and relevant institutions and N.P.O.s. Our overall goal is to develop an international center for socially engaged art. Our major objective include:
- Establishing a hub of knowledge, education and networking among artists and social activists engaged in art and community development.
- Combining the areas of art and transformational leadership into interdisciplinary training programs.
- Organizing and hosting annual international conferences to bring together experts, trainees and activists for workshops, readings, updates on methodologies and networking opportunities.
- Developing working models for community art projects that are applicable worldwide