2017 GIA Conference
Detroit, MI   October 28–31
Legacy and Leadership

Desegregating the American Dream

Storytelling and Social Change

Sunday, October 29, 10:00am – 11:30am

Organized by Elizabeth Méndez Berry, Director, Voice, Creativity and Culture, The Nathan Cummings Foundation.

Moderated by adrienne maree brown. Presented by Elmaz Abinader, Program Director, VONA; dream hampton, sole proprietor, dh; and Yosimar Reyes, Artist in Residence, Define American.

The picket fence is in peril. Society is living in a moment of polarization and paranoia — of attacks on the truth (“alternative facts”) and, equally chilling, attacks on the American imagination (artists and the National Endowment for the Arts). The Beltway is buzzing with storytelling strategies. But when political insiders consider narrative, they rarely include actual storytellers. In this session, attendees will hear from a group of storytellers whose work shifts narratives, from those who have worked closely with campaigns, to those who have shifted perceptions in less obvious but equally important ways. The thesis: if we want a new world or a new country, someone has to imagine it first. This panel will also offer suggestions for how arts funders can advocate for artists’ pivotal role in changing the national discourse.