Additional Outcomes of the Conference
The conference inspired a number of additional meetings, events and projects that the Organizing Team did not originally plan for. We were thrilled about each of these developments.
- Partner Activities Before and After the Conference
- A Strong, Unplanned, Unforgettable Art Component
- A Canadian Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation
- A Book Project Led by Scott Hammond
- The First DC-Based Dynamic Facilitation Training
Partner Activities Before and After the Conference
Three very exciting opportunities for dialogue and deliberation practitioners and scholars were held in conjunction with the 2002 conference. All of these programs were held at the Radisson Hotel in Alexandria, Virginia, where the conference was held.
IAP2 Certificate Program in Public Participation (October 1-3)
During the three days prior to the conference (Tuesday through Thursday, October 1-3), the Perspectives Group offered Modules 1-3 of the IAP2 (International Association for Public Participation) Certificate Program in Public Participation.
This training provides beginner through advanced intermediate practitioners with a broad-based learning experience covering all of the foundations of public participation. Each course is designed to provide the fundamentals of public participation that practitioners from around the world can use to implement customized and effective programs. Upon completion of all five modules, students will receive a certificate from IAP2.
Animating Democracy Initiative Meeting (October 3)
This Liz Lerman Dance Exchange photo was taken during "Words of Engagement: An Intergroup Dialogue Program" at the University of Maryland, College Park (the Office of Human Relations Programs).
On Thursday, October 3, the Animating Democracy Initiative (ADI), a program of Americans for the Arts, brought together 20 artists, artistic directors and dialogue specialists involved in arts-based civic dialogue projects supported by the Animating Democracy Lab. Eight dialogue professionals who were unaffiliated with Animating Democracy, but who are interested in or are applying the arts or humanities in their civic dialogue work, also attended the meeting. This was a focused opportunity for participants to explore ADI's work, and other self-identified topics and issues, before attending the conference.
The Animating Democracy Initiative, launched in the fall of 1999, is a four-year initiative of Americans for the Arts, supported by The Ford Foundation. ADI's purpose is to foster artistic activity that encourages civic dialogue on important contemporary issues and to promote the concept of arts-based civic dialogue. The core of the Initiative is the Animating Democracy Lab. In the Lab, ADI supports 32 artistic and cultural projects that experiment with different approaches to arts-based civic dialogue. The projects reflect a range of cultural organizations, from theatre companies to orchestras, which clearly see a role for civic dialogue within their institutional goals. For more info about ADI, go to www.AmericansForTheArts.org/AnimatingDemocracy.
All-Day Jewish-Palestinian Dialogue Meeting (October 7)
On Monday, October 7, Len and Libby Traubman of the highly-respected San Mateo (California) Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue brought together over 25 leaders in Jewish-Palestinian dialogue. Practitioners in this important realm of dialogic practice had the rare opportunity to meet face-to-face with people doing similar work in other communities. Participants reviewed principles of dialogue and outreach, considered shared challenges to sustained dialogue and spent time thinking together about deepening and widening the dialogue circle, both in the U.S. and overseas. To learn more about the Traubmans' work, go to http://traubman.igc.org/global.htm.
A Strong, Unplanned, Unforgettable Art Component
Due in large part to our collaboration with the Animating Democracy Initiative, NCDD 2002 ended up having a very strong art component which left a strong impression on most participants. Animating Democracy's day-long meeting held the day before the conference brought a sizable number of talented artists whose work inspires dialogue and deliberation. Some of these artists had applied to present at the conference. In addition, we were approached by two young, talented artists who provide graphic notation services at conferences and who were especially interested in this conference. And we wisely decided to have artist William Cochran present a slideshow about his unforgettable Community Bridge project during our opening night reception.
Art-Based Break-Out Sessions
Five of our most popular break-out sessions were related to the arts. This was the first time many of the dialogue and deliberation practitioners and scholars present had been exposed to some of the possibilities for combining art with D&D, and these sessions were extremely popular and highly praised by those who attended.
The sessions were titled:
- Art & Civic Dialogue: An Exchange Among Arts and Dialogue Practitioners (Presenters: Andrea Assaf, Barbara Schaeffer Bacon and Pam Korza, the Animating Democracy Initiative of Americans for the Arts)
- Dance Exchange on Dialogue & Making Dance (Presenters: John Borstel and Liz Lerman, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange)
- The United States: A People's Dialogue - An arts-based civic dialogue on the nature of citizenship since 9/11 (Presenters: Marty Pottenger, Animating Democracy and Patricia Romney Ph.D., Romney Associates, Inc.)
- Using Informal Writing to Foster Democratic Dialogue: From Small-Group Gatherings to Online Forums (Presenters: Irene Papoulis, Intercollegiate E-Democracy Project and Beverly Wall, Trinity College)
- Using Film to Build Dialogue to Action: How to bring in and sustain effective stakeholders and build new collaborations. (Presenter: Elaine Shen, Television Race Initiative/Active Voice)
One participant made this comment about the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange session: ?I was brain dead with exhaustion from the adrenalin put out at my own workshop and the listening focus of the prior workshop. This woke me up and got my attention?. You didn't realize until the very end how far you had gone both in deepening your connection with yourself and working in interesting ways with others.?
Because of these sessions, more D&D practitioners now know that combining the imaginative power of art with the transformative power of dialogue creates dramatic possibilities for communication and connection. Integrating the arts into our work also obtains and holds the interest of some people who might otherwise be uninterested in dialogue and deliberation. The D&D community now knows the importance of examining this question posed by the Animating Democracy Initiative: How can the arts and humanities contribute most potently to civic dialogue and broader civic discourse?
A Special Presentation on The Community Bridge
During our Friday evening reception, artist William Cochran shared with us the inspiring story of the Community Bridge and the divided community that came together to build a lasting bridge.
The Community Bridge is an extraordinary public artwork in Frederick, Maryland, whose meaning and content was created through a two-year artistic interaction with thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds. This large-scale collaboration charged the bridge with such meaning that those who see it and hear its stories often report that it changes the way they look at the world ? it certainly seemed to impact many people's thoughts and ideas throughout the next two days of the conference!
Today, the bridge is a strong engine for economic and cultural development in the city of Frederick, Maryland. It is living proof of the immense power of focused collaboration and dialogue. More about the Community Bridge and William and Teresa Cochran's organization Shared Vision, can be found at www.sharedvision.org. Shared Vision creates monumental public artworks of exceptional quality that engage the public directly in their making. They harness the combined imaginative power of thousands of people to build a potent force for the revitalization of cities and communities.
Graphic Notation by Megan Schopf
Megan Schopf, Founder of Artful Work, is an artist and facilitator who provided the conference with her experience working with groups and individuals creating visuals that support personal/professional development and deepen conversation. Throughout the conference, in both plenary and break-out sessions, Megan created visual learning tools which artistically captured what was being said. Megan has extensive experience in using graphics with people on an individual level, in large groups at conferences and small intimate dialogue groups.
Schopf feels that our stories, thoughts, and questions all reveal to others what is deepest in our hearts and have the potential to change the hearts of others. Capturing those elements visually allows the individual and the community to see; to feel their heart; their humanness. She believes the experience of an expressive form of communication opens perception and expands awareness of not only words, but of needs, emotions and intentions. It captures the undercurrent and communicates with the unconscious, creating memory.
Artistic Notation of Elena Stanger
Elana Stanger, an innovative artist from the Bronx and owner of Diversity Designs (www.diversityarts.com), provided us with graphic notation and diversity art services at the conference. Stanger ? or St. Anger ? created artwork while observing sessions at the conference. Her artwork, which revolves around cartoons in which innocent-looking characters talk to one another about sensitive subjects, is designed to raise questions or awareness in the viewer, leading to greater individual clarity and insight, and intergroup understanding.
Stanger has been doing artwork since 1995, amplifying her background in cultural diversity awareness and understanding on the canvas. Her Masters' Degree is in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University, where she first began to explore the impact of art on social change and conflict transformation.
Stanger's paintings captured important conference themes and key questions, such as ?what is the relationship between dialogue/deliberation and action?? They also represented real conference interactions, allowing people to learn and talk about what happened in sessions they did not even attend. Most importantly, the paintings provided another opportunity for dialogue and reflection.
A dialogue leader and facilitator of intercultural communication herself, Stanger's artistic style particularly lent itself to a conference on dialogue and deliberation, as her paintings generally focus on dialogue and include diverse characters interacting with one another about sensitive issues.
A Canadian Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation
At the conclusion of the 2002 conference, Canadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN) and other Canadian participants set their minds to undertaking a similar initiative in Canada.
A coalition has since been formed to obtain funding for and organize this event, which will be modeled after the National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation. This three-day, interactive learning conference designed to begin building a D&D community in Canada will be a highly participatory event, bringing together dialogue practitioners, academics and researchers in Canada and beyond for a unique learning, networking and planning experience. The Conference will include experiential workshops, opportunities to experience and observe a variety of dialogue models, an exhibition of resources and materials, networking opportunities and a community dialogue-style forum. There will be plenary and small group sessions, daily concurrent sessions, and a variety of presentation and demonstration styles.
A Book Project Led by Scott Hammond
Scott Hammond, Ph.D., from Utah Valley State College has developed a book project as a result of the 2002 Conference. The book will feature chapters contributed by 25 dialogue scholars and practitioners. The book, entitled ?The Metaphors of Dialogue,? examines the spectrum of practices and theories regarding dialogue. Its principle focus is to account for the wide range of dialogic practices and bridge the gap between theory and practice. Dr. Hammond and his coauthors examine dialogue as bridge building, identity construction, peace making, visioning, and other popular conceptions and uses of dialogue.
The First DC-Based Dynamic Facilitation Training
Since he is based in Washington state, Jim Rough's highly-touted Dynamic Facilitation trainings have always been held on the West Coast. NCDD members Reena Bernards and Jim Houck were so impressed with the Dynamic Facilitation session led by DeAnna Martin and Rosa Zubizarreta at the 2002 conference, however, that they decided to work with Jim to bring one of his trainings to the D.C. area for the first time. NCDD served as a collaborative partner to help make the dialogue and deliberation community aware of this June training.