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Libraries & Museums

Here are the 12 resources from Libraries & Museums.

Creating Meaningful Dialogue at Arts Events: Getting beyond Q & A, testimonial, art critique, or soapbox oratory! new Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Excerpted from Civic Dialogue, Arts & Culture: Findings from Animating Democracy by Pam Korza, Barbara Schaffer Bacon, and Andrea Assaf. Washington, D.C.: Americans for the Arts, 2005.

This great 2-page handout was created for a workshop at NCDD's 2006 conference called "Inquiring Minds Want to Know: What Do the Arts Have to Do With Dialogue?" Presenters Leah Lamb, Ellen Schneider, and Pam Korza list challenges, offer strategies for effectively engaging audiences in civic dialogue at arts events, provide examples of how dialogue professionals can learn to incorporate art to support their dialogue goals, and more.

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Critical Perspectives: Writings on Art and Civic Dialogue new

Americans for the Arts' Animating Democracy Initiative, 2005.

This 176-page collection of essays explores art, civic dialogue, and reflective critical writing. Twelve essays focus on three compelling projects that employed the unique capacities of theater, visual art, and historic preservation to stimulate people to talk about issues that matter in their communities: Dell’Arte theater’s Dentalium Project, about the impact of a Native American casino on the small town of Blue Lake, California; MACLA’s Ties That Bind, about intermarriage between Asian and Latino Americans in the Silicon Valley; and The Slave Galleries Restoration Project, a project of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in collaboration with the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, about issues of marginalization on the Lower East Side.

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Deliberate Discussion List

The deliberate discussion list was established to connect librarians interested in using deliberative forums in their community with each other. Discussion list participants are library school educators and students; academic, school and public librarians; ALA staff; state library association staff; and members of the National Issues Forums network interested in making connections with the library community.

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Democracy's Challenge: Reclaiming the Public's Role

National Issues Forums Institute, 2006.

Fed up with politics and a widening partisan divide, many Americans are turning away from public life. We are, most of us, spectators rather than participants in a political process that seems to have little to do with citizens. What has gone wrong, and what should we do about it? The National Issues Forums Institute is encouraging citizens to consider this important question by fostering deliberative forums across the country about Democracy's Challenge using this issue book.

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History as Catalyst for Civic Dialogue: Case Studies from Animating Democracy new

Americans for the Arts' Animating Democracy Initiative, 2005.

This 102-page book highlights three compelling projects that mined forgotten or suppressed histories of slavery and lynching in the United States in order to stimulate meaningful dialogue about persistent issues of race and marginalization.

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International Coalition of Historic Site Museums of Conscience

This coalition is a growing world-wide network of organizations and individuals dedicated to teaching and learning how historic sites and museums can inspire social consciousness and action. The museums that are considered "sites of conscience" engage in programs that stimulate dialogue on pressing social issues and promote humanitarian and democratic values.

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Libraries Foster Civic Engagement Blog

American Library Association members Nancy Kranich, Taylor Willingham, and Michele Reid established an ALA Membership Initiative Group for librarians interested in Fostering Civic Engagement. This group, formed in 2004, includes librarians from all types of libraries who are eager to learn about and share their experiences with facilitating deliberative public forums and fostering civic engagement in their communities.

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Mirroring Evil: Nazi Imagery/Recent Art

Mirroring Evil: Nazi Imagery/Recent Art was a contemporary art exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New York City in 2002 which was accompanied by extensive education programs, forums for discussion, and a major publication. The exhibit addressed the complicity and complacency toward evil in today's society seen through the eyes of artists using Nazi imagery as gripping analogies to current social issues. These emerging and mid-career artists are two and three generations removed from the events of WWII and the Holocaust.

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Museums and Civic Dialogue: Case Studies from Animating Democracy new

Americans for the Arts' Animating Democracy Initiative, 2005.

This 88-page book features exhibition projects that demonstrate how three museums have functioned as provocative and effective forums for civic dialogue. Focusing on historic images as well as contemporary and conceptual works of art, the projects highlight new and adapted approaches to curatorial practice, interpretation, and education prompted by civic intention. In-depth case studies also offer insights regarding institutional challenges and changes in practice that necessarily occurred.

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September Project

The September Project is a grassroots effort that encourages libraries around the world to organize activities of discussion, dialogue, and reflection on or around September 11 each year. Since 2004, more than 1,100 libraries in 34 countries have hosted free and public September Project events (as of 1/07).

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Texas Forums Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Texas Forums, a program of the LBJ Library and Museum, was launched in 2002 and is a network of individuals and organizations working together to revitalize the civic spirit of Texas and improve civic discourse. Using the National Issues Forum (NIF) model for community conversations, Texas Forums has trained over 100 people in Central Texas on how to engage others in their community in thoughtful conversations about important public issues.

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The Wadsworth Antheneum and the Manhold River Project

The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut, America's oldest public art museum, recently exhibited artist Bradley McCallum’s innovative installation “The Manhold River Project: A Gun Legacy.” With the goal of engaging diverse audiences in the process of translating a pressing social problem into a meaningful set of cultural metaphors, the exhibit featured 228 custom-designed manhole covers weighing 32,216 pounds - the exact equivalent to the weight of the 11,194 guns confiscated by Connecticut State Police since 1992.

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