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AASF: Art and Democracy

Moderated by Provisions Library, UNIDEE, UOIEA, and The Black School discuss what is art’s role in shaping education for social change and engaged citizenry?

Provisions Library
Fairfax, Virginia, USA
Provisions partners with organizations, individuals, and institutions to develop and amplify contemporary narratives across cultures, support grassroots modes of action, and provide open access to knowledge and understanding of social change in its artistic and creative dimensions. The library, public programming, and research opportunities host artistic, intellectual, and activist endeavors that explore the educational and social promise of contemporary culture.

Local, national, and international projects include exhibitions, public art, residencies, screenings, workshops, lectures, and publications. Participants include artists, activists, academics, students, professionals from a variety of disciplines, and everyday people.

UNIDEE-University of Ideas
Biella, Italy
UNIDEE-University of Ideas, inheriting a long experience of residency for international artists (1999-2013), offers the experimentation of an educational model that combines theory with practice within the unique context of Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella (Italy).

The programme is based on weekly residential modules under the guidance of a mentor with the participation of a guest – who are acknowledged experts in the relationship between the arts and the public sphere–, with the objective of examining the topics in their complexity, and trying to maintain a balance of the thought forms (theories) and free or unforeseeable situations (creative processes). Each year proposes a close examination of three macro-topics: temporality, responsibility, participation (2015), and research, gift, alteration (2016).

The originality of the UNIDEE programme lies in its collaborations with Universities and Academies of the Fine Arts, so as to identify reciprocal shortcomings and intervene in the more immediate critical necessities to elaborate together another path compared to that indicated by the traditional educational system.

Through residential dynamics, UNIDEE is designed to form “artivators”, people who intend to use art as a methodology, practice and language, becoming agents for the activation of responsible actions and processes in the territories in which they live and carry out their professional activities.

Union of Initiatives for Educational Assembly (UOIEA)
Sites vary
The UNION OF INITIATIVES for EDUCATIONAL ASSEMBLY invokes the frameworks and aesthetics of early child pedagogy as model and method for artistic engagement.

The UOIEA is a rubric and archive established in 2008 by Anna Craycroft for her collective projects of research, exhibitions, and education that have considered art as always already a practice of teaching and learning.

The public presentations of the UOIEA to date have been based on methods from early child pedagogy, but the UOIEA is designed for all ages, exploring how we put our worlds together and take ourselves apart.


The Alternative Art School Fair Radio


The Alternative Art School Fair at Pioneer Works presents an introduction to alternative art schools from around the US and the world, November 19-20, 2016.

Art Unfiltered


Art conversations with working curators, artists, and musicians on topical issues.