Directory

Welcome to the ICASC directory of national and international art for social change organizations, networks, educational programs and opportunities.

This is a curated list focusing on art for social change – by no means a comprehensive community arts listing.
If you are looking for more complete Canadian community arts listings, we highly recommend ArtBridges’ directory at http://artbridges.ca/community/community_map.

This is a living resource. We will be updating and revising it as new information becomes available. You can filter this list by selecting from the various options below.

Description Type Discipline Country
Tiny Toones

The vision of Tiny Toones is for all youth in Cambodia and beyond to live healthy lives free of HIV and drugs, realize their full potential through educational and creative opportunities; to pursue their dreams and become positive leaders of tomorrow. The mission of Tiny Toones Cambodia is to provide a safe, positive environment for at‐risk youth to channel their energy and creativity into the arts and education, empowering them to build self‐confidence in their daily lives, aim for better employment possibilities, and feel supported pursuing their dreams.

Organization Multidisciplinary Cambodia
Tohu

Located at the centre of the Cité des arts du cirque, TOHU is a place for dissemination, creation, experimentation and convergence of culture, environment and community involvement. Since its 2004 inception, it has become an example of sustainable development through culture. TOHU continues to make Montréal an international leader in circus arts. It plays a major role in the incredible growth of Quebec circus, which it places at the top of the bill, thanks to its dedicated venue and festival.

Organization Theatre Canada
Touchstone Theatre

Founded in 1981, Touchstone Theatre is a professional not-for-profit theatre dedicated to the creation of original work. At its center is a resident ensemble of theatre artists rooted in the local community of Bethlehem, the Greater Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania and the international community of ensemble theatres.

Organization Theatre United States
Tununiq Arsarniit Theatre Group

Originally founded in 1987, today’s Tununiq Arsarniit Theatre Group has recently developed an original play called Qallupilluk, featuring legends, myths and the wisdom of elders. The group develops its plays and performances by consensus, involving elders as actors and writers and always weaving Inuit language and culture in every issue it tackles.

Organization Theatre Canada
UNITY Charity

UNITY Charity engages and empowers youth to become role models and future leaders in their communities. UNITY uses hip hop as a powerful tool and vehicle to give young people a voice and build life skills and confidence.

Organization Multidisciplinary Canada
University of Alberta

University of Alberta offers an M.A. in Community Engagement, a Community-Based Research and Evaluation (CBRE) Certificate, and a Community Service Learning (CSL) Certificate

In 2015, Professor Jan Selman, Professor Jane Heather and Dr. Diane Conrad have offered a course, "Facilitating Performing Arts for Social Justice" in Kenya as part of their Community Service-Learning study abroad course. 

Training and Education Theatre Multidisciplinary Canada
University of Lethbridge

University of Lethbridge offers a Master in Fine Arts (MFA) - Dramatic Arts. In this program, students may choose from 3 areas of study: 

  • Queer Theatre & Performance
  • Theatre & Youth
  • Theatre & Social Change
Training and Education Theatre Multidisciplinary Canada
University of Toronto

University of Toronto's New College offers a Community Engaged Learning (CEL) Program, which "promotes and supports community–engaged and experiential learning informed by social justice values within New College courses".

New College also offers New One: Learning Without Borders, which is "a first year foundation program that provides a small class learning experience for intellectually curious and socially-engaged students". New One has eight half credit courses, two in each of 4 topics where students can choose one of the 4 half-courses offered in each term. Topics are, "Food Matters", "Travelling Words: Language and Diversity", "Digital Technology in Society", and "Art and Community". 


The University of Toronto also has faculty members involved in Art for Social Change such as Seika Boye and Cindy Block from the Center for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, or Katherine Boydell from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

Training and Education Multidisciplinary Canada
University of Victoria

University of Victoria's Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Theatre offers a specialization in Applied Theatre.

"What is Applied Theatre?

Applied Theatre is the use of theatre and drama skills for the purposes of teaching, bringing about social change and building a sense of community.

Where is Applied Theatre used?

  • Teachers use Applied Theatre in the classrooms to teach drama and a variety of other core subject areas using dramatic skills.
  • Applied Theatre is used in the education and training of health practitioners, lawyers, and many other areas to role-play career-related situations (whether a reenactment of a trial or medical symptoms) to identify and practice interpersonal relations.
  • Seniors centers work with Applied Theatre practitioners to devise educational and entertaining performances to address issues in gerontology, bring personal stories to life and build community.
  • Museums hire Applied Theatre practitioners as interpreters to enact historic moments in exhibition settings.
  • In communities, Applied Theatre performances can be used as an intervention or public awareness tool to address social issues – like addiction, recycling or racism – as a way of engaging a specific audience in a dialogue about these issues."

For more information on Program Requirements and other details visit the Department of Theatre's website here

Training and Education Theatre Multidisciplinary Canada
University of Washington, Tacoma

Beverly Naidus teaches art for social change and healing. Her courses are offered at the University of Washington, Tacoma, Divison of Cultural, Art and Communication Arts. Here are some examples of courses offered:

T ARTS 266 The Artist as Visionary and Dreamer (5) VLPA
Explores art that investigates dreams including dream journals and work with collage, painting, drawing, and photography. Focuses on reading of the artist as visionary and utopian thinker as well as contemporary dream theory as a tool for social change and healing. Concludes with a collaborative, community-based project.

T ARTS 395 Community-Based Arts Practice (5) VLPA
Investigates community-based art through experiential learning and exposure to contemporary art theory and history. Students create a community-based art project and work with local artists who are developing projects in the community.

T ARTS 402 Eco-Art: Art Created in Response to the Environmental Crisis (5) VLPA
Investigates how art can address the environmental crisis. Experiment with contemporary art practices, creating work that reflects concerns about the environment. Discussions focus on the ways contemporary artists define eco-art, the history of the art that looks at nature, the landscape, and current ecological theory.

T ARTS 410 Community and the Public Arts (5) VLPA
Explores community-based art in our region and culture, with direct experience in research, communication, negotiation, persuasion, improvisation, and collaboration. Students engage in fund-raising, grant-writing, public speaking, problem-solving, documentation, and networking. Guest speakers introduce local social, cultural, environmental histories, and relationships between studio- and community-based art practices.

Training and Education Multidisciplinary United States
University of Windsor

University of Windsor, School of Dramatic Art, offers an Undergraduate program in Drama in Education and Community. Here, students may choose to focus on Drama in Education or Theatre for Social Action. Students applying to the Drama in Education and Community programme must apply in writing and successfully participate in a workshop and interview. Students can also get hands on experience through a work placement opportunity as part of the program

Training and Education Theatre Multidisciplinary Canada
Urban Bush Women

Urban Bush Women (UBW) seeks to bring the untold and under-told histories and stories of disenfranchised people to light through dance. We do this from a woman-centered perspective and as members of the African Diaspora community in order to create a more equitable balance of power in the dance world and beyond.

Organization Dance United States
Vancouver Adapted Music Society (VAMS)

The Vancouver Adapted Music Society supports and promotes musicians with physical disabilities in the Metro Vancouver area. They operate Western Canada's only fully-accessible recording studio, have a choir, and run programs for people with a wide range of musical abilities.

Organization Music Canada
Vancouver Moving Theatre

Vancouver Moving Theatre is an award-winning Downtown Eastside-based, community-engaged professional theatre company founded by Terry Hunter & Savannah Walling.

Organization Theatre Canada
Vancouver Playback Theatre

Vancouver Playback Theatre has provided numerous public and private performances and conducted highly creative team-building and conflict resolution workshops for a wide range of clients. Our audiences and clients span the health, education, and not-for-profit sectors, including social service agencies, colleges, high schools, humanitarian organizations, youth at risk, and adults with disabilities.

Organization Theatre Canada