About us

CSA&C has over thirty years experience building arts partnerships in educational, community and social institutions. We have provided expert guidance for developing artistic, educational, funding, community development and political collaborations with over 250 partners from the arts and other community sectors.

CSA&C's clients include artists and arts organizations, educational, health, human service, and criminal justice agencies, state and local government, and the business and philanthropic communities.  View a list of our partners here. Share stories about specific projects here.

 

The Center helps communities respond assertively and creatively to systemic issues across community sectors. To do this we work with clients applying arts-based tools and strategies to address critical community issues. We also provide professional development for arts-based community development partners and help educational and community institutions strengthen their relationships with the broader community using the arts.

 

CSA&C activities are training, research & evaluation, planning, and facilitation.

 

Specific Services Include:  Artist and Educator Training, Community Arts Partnership Development, Large and Small Group Facilitation & Team Building, Research and Assessment, Curriculum Development, Strategic Planning, and Board/Staff Training.

 

Arts-based Community Development: We describe our work as building bridges and making translations between local arts resources and the needs of the broader “community”.  We call it arts-based community development or ABCD. Others call it community cultural development or just plain community arts. 

 

We define the field of arts-based community development, as:

 

arts-centered activity that contributes to the sustained advancement of human dignity, health or productivity within a community.

 

These include arts-based activities that:

 

  • NURTURE and HEAL people and/or communities

  • EDUCATE and INFORM us about ourselves and the world

  • BUILD and IMPROVE community capacity and/or infrastructure

  • INSPIRE and MOBILIZE individuals or groups to action

 

The ABCD Ecosystem: As you can see in the ecosystem map on the right, we see each of these four areas overlapping and operating interdependently.  We also identify creative placemaking as one of the many areas of creative community development contained in the larger ABCD ecosystem.

 

We believe that building of equitable and sustainable communities and organizations must be undertaken by citizens and institutions with enormous energy and imagination. As such, we contend that the future health of our communities will demand an expanded role by artists and cultural institutions at every level.

 

We also understand that that bringing human creativity and the arts back to the community commons will require a dramatic shift in the prevailing view of how the world works. It will require a new paradigm that views the arts and human creativity as central the development of a healthy world in all aspects. To advance this notion we offer the following three assertions as foundational to the task at hand.

 

  1. Arts-centered learning is necessary for the healthy development of every child.

  2. Robust and pervasive cultural development is necessary for the creation of healthy, productive and sustainable communities.

  3. The development of a worldview that supports an equitable and sustainable future is not possible without the active participation of society’s creators and story makers. 

 


 

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The ABCD Ecosystem: In the map below we see each of the arts-based community development ecosystem's four areas overlapping and operating interdependently.  We also identify creative placemaking as one of the many areas of creative community development contained in the larger ABCD ecosystem.

We believe that building of equitiable and sustainable communities and organizations must be undertaken by citizens and institutions with enormous energy and imagination. As such, we contend that the future health of our communities will demand an expanded role by artists and cultural institutions at every level.

 

We also understand that that bringing human creativity and the arts back to the community commons will require a dramatic shift in the prevailing view of how the world works. It will require a new paradigm that views the arts and human creativity as central the development of a healthy world in all aspects. To advance this notion we offer the following three assertions as foundational to the task at hand.

 

  1. Arts-centered learning is necessary for the healthy development of every child.

  2. Robust and pervasive cultural development is necessary for the creation of healthy, productive and sustainable communities.

  3. The development of a worldview that supports an equitable and sustainable future is not possible without the active participation of society’s creators and story makers. 

       level.

Mapping the ABCD Ecosystem
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