Art+Action is coalition for civic participation across art, creative, community, business, technology, philanthropy, and government sectors. We believe art has the capacity to move people to action, deepen public discussions around civic agency, and serve as a vehicle to civic participation.
In 2019, Amy Kisch was commissioned by San Francisco’s Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs (OCEIA) to develop an arts-driven campaign to mobilize communities around the 2020 Census. Understanding that the Census determines the distribution of federal money and political power across the U.S., Kisch, together with Amy Schoening and Brittany Ficken, formed Art+Action. Harnessing the power of over 40 artists—including Emory Douglas, Hung Liu, Lava Thomas, Stephanie Syjuco, Clare Rojas, George McCalman, Masako Miki, Joel Daniel Philips, Angela Hennessy, Innosanto Nagara, Miguel Arzabe, Anna Sergeeva, Leah Nichols, Andrew Li + Antionio Benajmin of Creativity Explored, For Freedoms, Sanctuary City Project, The Butterfly Effect, Ana Teresa Fernández, and Arleene Correa Valencia—a curatorial committee comprised of Candace Huey of re.riddle; curator Ashara Ekundayo; Micki Meng, Founder of Art & and Friends Indeed Gallery; Dorothy Santos, writer, curator, and artist; Christo Oropeza, Founder of Incline Gallery; Rozz Nash, Founder of The People’s Conservatory; Brittany Ficken, Art+Action Executive Producer + Project Director; Martin Strickland, YBCA’s Associate Director of Public Life; Sarah Cathers, YBCA’s Director of Public Life; Meklit Hadero, YBCA’s Chief of Program; and Isabel Yrigoyen, YBCA’s Curator of Performing Arts; 90 trusted community partners—including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) Art+Action's headquarters and a Lead Partner—and a host of creative collaborators, Art+Action launched COME TO YOUR CENSUS, a large-scale multilingual public media and programming campaign to galvanize communities, particularly those that are vulnerable and hardest to count, to claim their fair share of resources and political representation by participating in the 2020 Census.
Click HERE to download our plan. Although the movement started locally, the goal is to set off a national spark.
Public Media Campaign
Our COME TO YOUR CENSUS arts-driven public media campaign is a creative call to action that speaks to, and motivates, all San Franciscans to claim what’s theirs. Harnessing the power of both internationally-renowned and as-yet-unknown and youth artists who represent a myriad of San Francisco’s communities and neighborhoods, the campaign connects people to the Census on a human level, as an urgent act that benefits each of us, our families, communities, and San Francisco as a whole. With a public presence on kiosks, transit shelters, billboards, and banners in different neighborhoods across the city—and presented in the four official languages of San Francisco: English, Chinese, Spanish, and Tagalog—the campaign offers information about the impact of the 2020 Census on all our lives for the next ten years. Our online open-source toolkit offers elements of the campaign to be downloaded for print or utilized on social media—to support regional and national communities to galvanize their neighborhoods to take action.
WHAT ART+ACTION IS DOING ABOUT THE 2020 CENSUS
City-Wide Arts Takeover
Throughout 2020, our city-wide arts takeover—produced in collaboration with Art+Action’s Coalition Partners—activates local and international artists across disciplines to remove the barriers to Census participation in their communities by making the intangible tangible and speaking directly to the hearts and minds of all residents. Art+Action is providing these artists as many resources, and as much access and exposure as possible, so their work can be highly-visible and community-specific—while inviting all our communities to co-create with them.
Bring the Census to the People
Our Bring-the-Census-to-the-People initiative is our most future-forward tactic in ensuring that everyone has online access to participate. 2020 will be the first year in census history when everyone will be asked to complete the form online. Through collaboration with Art+Action’s Coalition Partners, we will establish Census Hubs throughout our city—offering laptops, tablets, and wifi access (and where possible, staffed with multilingual volunteers), so that throughout San Francisco, we engage populations who are hardest to reach, and hard to count.
Open-to-All Digital + Physical Headquarters
Online at www.ComeToYourCensus.us, and at our Headquartersat Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), Art+Action invites local and national communities to learn, be inspired, contribute, act, convene, add their voice, promote, engage, volunteer, download from our Census Toolkit and yes, actually complete the 2020 Census. We’ll offer opportunities to participate in public programming, town halls, exhibitions, performances, and open calls for art so that both online and in person, our HQ is your HQ.
Reach out at hello(at)artandaction.us to learn more about being a part of the Art+Action Coalition as a Partner, Member, or Volunteer.