Imagining America: Cultural Organizing Institute

4th Annual Imagining America Cultural Organizing Institute
Milwaukee, WI
June 10-12, 2016

The 2016 IA Organizing Institute invites applications from teams of artists, scholars, and other community leaders interested in learning and utilizing broad-based and cultural organizing to achieve transformational goals on their campuses and in their communities.

During this year’s 2.5-day institute, participants will learn and experience foundational organizing theories and practices and use them as a lens while learning about and examining two organizing efforts in Milwaukee — one focused on increasing local citizen engagement with the electoral process, and the other focused on improving the under-resourced K-16 public education system. Participant teams will then be led through a process intended to help translate what they’ve learned back to their own institutional, organizational, and community contexts. Teams will share their ideas with the group, receive feedback, and begin to articulate a strategy for moving forward with their work.

The 2016 Imagining America Organizing Institute is open to teams of at least 3 people from IA member institutions, other higher education institutions, or community organizations. Community-campus partnership teams are strongly encouraged.

Learning and Action Objectives

  • Learn different organizing models, philosophies, traditions, and literatures
  • Learn and rehearse specific broad-based and cultural organizing practices
  • Learn and experience collaborative art making processes that deepen understanding of a topic of common concern
  • Reflect on and strategize about using cultural organizing in participants’ campus, community, and cross-sectoral efforts

Cost and Time Commitment
The low cost of the 2016 Cultural Organizing Institute is meant to encourage and welcome teams that include community partners.

  • IA Consortium Member Team (At least 2 of 3 team members are based in higher-ed. At least 1 member is at an IA member institution.) | $450.00, $100 each additional team member
  • Non-IA, Higher-Ed. Team (At least 2 of 3 team members are based within higher-ed.) | $525.00, $100 each additional team member
  • Each Additional Team Member | $100 each additional team member
  • Community Organization Team (At least 2 of 3 team members are unaffiliated with a higher ed. institution) | $225.00

Note: Teams with 2 or more members affiliated with higher education are considered Higher Education teams.

Travel expenses and hotel accommodations are not included in this fee, and must be paid separately by each participant. The institute will begin at 5:30pm on Friday, June 10; convene from 9am – 6pm on Saturday; and end on Sunday at 3pm. Breakfast and lunch will be provided on Saturday and Sunday.

We invite a wide a range of stakeholders working in or connected to higher education, from all sectors and disciplines. We especially hope to work with community-based and student artists, humanists, and designers with an interest in exploring higher education’s role in democracy.

How to Apply
Attendance will be limited to a maximum of 35 people. If you are interested in participating please complete the online application no later than Friday, May 1, 2016 (One application and letter per team). The planning team will review and respond to all applications. All questions should be directed to IA Associate Director and Director of Cultural Organizing, Dr. Kevin Bott, at or (315) 443-8590.