June 2018 Newsletter
June 17, 2018. Task force members and IA staff spent a fantastic, productive weekend together for a strategic planning retreat.
Save the Date:
IA National Gathering,
Oct. 19-21, 2018 in Chicago. Read more.
 In This Issue 

From the Headquarters
Membership & Community
 Welcome New Members!
• Obama Foundation, UIC host citywide community conversation
Regional News
 Millions in federal grants for community college students left on the table
 Building a youth power, action, and leadership collective
 River Crossing Request for Qualifications
News from the Field
 Announcing Bringing Theory to Practice's New Director David Scobey
• Universities are hotbeds of scholarship on mass incarceration. But are they doing enough to fix the problem?
 Call for Participants: Winter School on Brokering Intercultural Exchange within Societies
 Call for Entries: LensCulture Art Photography Awards
Job Announcement(s)
 WMMT/Ohio Valley ReSource Reporter/Producer (Whitesburg, KY)
From the Headquarters
(Guest Post)

Imagining America-Appalshop Collaboration “Performing Our Future” Enters New Phase
By Ben Fink, Appalshop

In July, Imagining America Faculty Director Erica Kohl-Arenas will travel to Uniontown, Alabama to join with artists, organizers, educators, and other leaders from the Black Belt of Alabama, the coalfields of east Kentucky, the Southern Tier of upstate New York, West Baltimore, and inner-city and rural Wisconsin. For two days, representatives from these five communities will learn from each other, explore commonalities and tensions in their struggles, and work toward strengthening existing practices and building new models of grassroots arts and culture, broad-based organizing, and asset-based development.

This meeting is the beginning of a new phase in the ongoing Performing Our Future project, facilitated by Imagining America and the Appalachian media and humanities center Appalshop. It aims to answer the question: How can arts and culture drive equitable development in communities that have experienced and continue to experience systemic oppression and cultural and economic exploitation? For the past three years, Performing Our Future’s work has been centered on Appalshop’s home county, where a play-making project led by Appalshop’s Roadside Theater and a consultancy led by Lafayette College’s Economic Empowerment and Global Learning Project grew into a network representing over 20 community-led organizations and thousands of county residents, which has opened up new businesses, new sectors, and new pathways for the people of Letcher County, Kentucky to discover latent assets and turn them into community wealth. Institutes and forums co-hosted by Imagining America gave scholars and practitioners from around the country the chance to learn from and contribute to the knowledge being built in Letcher County. Max Stephenson, Director of the Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance, attended one recent event and observed the work’s potential “to repair the fabric of possibility that binds Eastern Kentucky’s residents one to another during a time when both external and internal forces have torn and continue to tear those citizens apart.”

The next phase of Performing Our Future seeks to foster a collaborative network among poor and working class communities across the country whose residents are working together to create a future where (as we’ve come to say in east Kentucky) we own what we make: organizing a national coalition that builds and shares knowledge and advances a common agenda around grassroots-led, culture-driven development.

Imagining America looks forward to building a national research agenda for Performing Our Future with an expanded team of research partners.

For more information on Performing Our Future, or to get involved, contact lead organizer Ben Fink: benfink@appalshop.org.

Membership and Community News
New Imagining America Members
 Bunker Hill Community College
 Central Michigan University
 East Carolina University
 Eastern Michigan University
 Morgan State University
 Stockton University
 Whitman College

Welcome to Imagining America!
Obama Foundation, UIC host citywide community conversation
Moving words from our Imagining America board chair, Lisa Yun Lee, at the Obama Foundation: “What does it mean to be free on this anniversary in a city where almost 8,000 human beings are locked in cages at the Cook County Jail, and what does it mean to be free on this anniversary in a nation where families are being torn apart at the border?” 
Davis, CA and Regional Surroundings
Regional News
Millions in Federal Grants for Community College Students Left on the Table
New report From UC Davis School of Education finds nearly 70,000 eligible low-income students do not receive the Pell Grant.
Building a Youth Power, Action, and Leadership Collective
Imagining America and UC Davis Center for Regional Change presented with N.O.P.A.L. (Neighborhoods Owning Power, Action and Leadership) at the 2018 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting (CLDE18). Since 2014, four non-profit organizations in the Central California and Center for Regional Change have come together to create a healthy collaborative-based strategic plan to address the need to build youth power, civic engagement and cultural resiliency in their communities. 
River Crossing​​​​​​​ Request for Qualifications
Through the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, Sacramento and West Sacramento are seeking applicants for a temporary public art / placemaking opportunity as a component of our duel cities NEA Our Town Grant project "River Crossing." Project Budget: $150,000. RFQ Deadline: August 13, 2018
News from the Field
Announcing Bringing Theory to Practice's New Director David Scobey
After 15 years of dedicated service, Donald W. Harward, director and cofounder of BTtoPractice, is stepping down at the end of this month. Following a successful search, David Scobey, longtime Imagining America friend and leader, will join BTtoP as the new project director on July 1.
Universities are hotbeds of scholarship on mass incarceration. But are they doing enough to fix the problem?
In the aftermath of Harvard’s controversial decision to reject an ex-inmate for a graduate program, Elizabeth Hinton is pushing the university to confront that question.
Call for Participants: Winter School on Brokering Intercultural Exchange within Societies
The network "Brokering Intercultural Exchange" will undertake its first Winter School for Master and Ph.D. students in arts and cultural management between November 28 - 30, 2018 in Berlin. It will raise new insights regarding the relationship of the profession of arts and cultural management to the wider socio-political issues of cultural rights, particularly cultural inequality, inclusion and exclusion within the context of globalization and migration.
LensCulture Art Photography Awards
Call for Entries: These awards want to define what thought-provoking art photography can be in 2018. Exhibition in New York City at Aperture Gallery. Deadline: July 3, 2018 
Job Announcement(s)
WMMT/Ohio Valley ReSource Reporter/Producer (Whitesburg, KY)
WMMT, the non-commercial, community radio station of Appalshop in Whitesburg, Kentucky, seeks a News Reporter/Producer to take part in the tri-state Ohio Valley ReSource regional journalism collaborative. On air since 1985, WMMT’s mission is to be a 24-hour voice of mountain people’s music, culture, and social issues, to provide broadcast space for creative expression and community involvement in radio making, and to be an active participant in discussion of public policy that will benefit coalfield communities and the Appalachian region as a whole. Link.
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Imagining America (IA) advances public scholarship, community building, civically engaged learning and campus change through the bold power of the arts, humanities, and design.
As a national consortium of colleges, universities, and cultural institutions, we build partnerships among public scholars, artists, students, designers and cultural organizers who are addressing the most pressing issues of our time.
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