ABD Productions, Skywatchers
Saturday-Sunday, July 8-16 at 11AM to 3PM
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ART MATTERS: An Introduction to Community Engaged Art

Are you an artist, arts administrator, educator or social service provider engaged in or hoping to work with communities?

Please join us for four rich and interactive days weaving together the history and contemporary practice of community-based arts.

Facilitated by Anne Bluethenthal and Krista DeNio, ART MATTERS will look at specific case studies within Community Engaged Art, and explore an array of readings—historic and current—with the aim of understanding the multifaceted context in which we work.

Successful and durational projects made with/in communities often involve multiple stakeholders, from neighborhood residents to artists, administrators and funders. In this workshop setting you’ll interact with folks in all of these roles to learn from each other and build meaningful connections.Together we will explore what it means to be an artist or organizer and envision new models of art-making activities.

Case studies surveyed include both local and national artists and projects, including:

Community engaged practice begins with the assumption that art has the potential to create positive change in our lives, communities, and the spaces we occupy—and that artists are an integral part of community life. We posit art as a platform for creating dialogue toward equity and social justice.

Questions we work with:

How do we as artists, activists, educators and program administrators bring our skills and practices to an inclusive dialogue creating a pluralistic space?

What are the barriers and assumptions that undermine the success of our work?

What is the relationship between process and outcome? How do we measure success?



Saturday, July 8th
Sunday, July 9th
Saturday, July 15th
Sunday, July 16th

TIME: 11:00AM to 3:00PM

LOCATION: CounterPulse (upstairs studio), 80 Turk Street, SF, CA 94102

COST: Please select the group that most accurately describes your current position:

  • Independent Artist: $100-$200 (Sliding Scale)
  • Organizations: $250-$500 (Depending on budget size)

Organized by ABD Productions and CounterPulse

About the workshop facilitators: 

Anne Bluethenthal’s choreography is respected for its formal sophistication, its eloquence, and its ability to effortlessly bridge the worlds of formal concert dance, political art, and ritual. Through her choreography and community collaborations, Bluethenthal has presented work on subjects such as Israel & Palestine, globalization, the environment, genocide, the gift economy, and gender. She has received awards and recognition from Curve Magazine, the SF Chronicle’s Best of the Year, SF Weekly’s Black Box, the SF Bay Guardian’s Goldie Award for Achievement in Dance, and the Rhinette Award for Best Choreography. Bluethenthal co-founded and co-directs the Center for Art and Social Justice and founded and produced the San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Dance Festival as well as the Dancing the Mystery series, a festival of dance, music and poetry celebrating women’s spiritual traditions. Additionally, Bluethenthal is the Artistic Director for ABD Productions and the Skywatchers project. Bluethenal is on the faculties of the MFA Creative Inquiry Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies and the MA Women’s Spirituality Program at Sofia University. “… Her work is brainy, her own, and full of soul …”(Rita Felciano).

Krista DeNio is an interdisciplinary choreographer, director, performer, writer and educator, and Artistic Director of KD>>Moving Ground [KD>>MG]. She is committed to engaging interdisciplinary collaboration that bridges performance work, education and activism toward a socially just world. Krista is a House Artist at CounterPulse, also a space she calls home. Current projects include EchoTheaterSuitcase project, bringing together military veterans and non-veteran performing artists to co-create original, audience-interactive theater experiences. NETWORK, is KD>>MG’s most current work in development, researching models of sustainability in plant systems, human survival through interdependence and interference with that through mass incarceration. As a lecturer, Krista has worked most recently with U.C. Berkeley’s Theater, Dance and Performance Studies department, and as a visiting professor and collaborator in Empathy Lab, a course developed in collaboration with Anthropology professor Lochlann Jain, at Stanford University. She teaches dance and performance making throughout the Bay Area and country. BA in Dance/Dramatic Art and Interdisciplinary Studies Field Major, Development and Human Rights, U.C. Berkeley; MFA in Theater: Contemporary Performance, Naropa University.

All photos of Skywatchers by Deirdre Visser


July 8, 2017 @ 11:00 am
July 11, 2017 @ 3:00 pm