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Grassroots Leadership and the Arts for Social Change

by Susan J. Erenrich and Jon F. Wergin, Editors (Emerald Group Publishing, April 2017)

Description: Throughout history artists have led grassroots movements of protest, resistance, and liberation. They created dangerously, sometimes becoming martyrs for the cause. Their efforts kindled a fire, aroused the imagination and rallied the troops culminating in real transformational change. Their art served as a form of dissent during times of war, social upheaval, and political unrest. Less dramatically perhaps, artists have also participated in demonstrations, benefit concerts, and have become philanthropists in support of their favorite causes. These artists have been overlooked or given too little attention in the literature on leadership, even though the consequences of their courageous crusades, quite often, resulted in censorship, “blacklisting,” imprisonment, and worse. This volume explores the intersection of grassroots leadership and the arts for social change by accentuating the many victories artists have won for humanity. History has shown that these imaginative movers and shakers are a force with which to be reckoned with. Through this volume, we hope readers will vicariously experience the work of these brave figures, reflect on their commitments and achievements, and continue to dream a better world full of possibility. Scroll down to View the Complete Table of Contents.

Susan (Susie) J. Erenrich is a social movement history documentarian. She uses the arts for social change to tell stories about transformational leadership, resilience, and societal shifts as a result of mobilization efforts by ordinary citizens. Susie holds a Ph.D. in Leadership and Change from Antioch University and is the founder/Executive Director of the Cultural Center for Social Change. She has more than three decades of experience in nonprofit/arts administration, civic engagement, community service, and community organizing and has taught at universities, public schools, and community- based programs for at-risk, low-income populations.  Currently a professor at American University, she is also the editor of Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: An Anthology of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement.

Jon F. Wergin is professor of educational studies in Antioch University’s Ph.D. in Leadership and Change. He joined Antioch after a 30-year career at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he won awards for both teaching (1996) and scholarship (1998). He was the founding director of the Forum on Faculty Roles and Rewards within the American Association for Higher Education, and continued an active association with AAHE until 2004, focusing his scholarship on evaluation and change in academic departments. His monograph The Collaborative Department (1994) was the first published by AAHE under the auspices of the Forum while he has published numerous journal articles on such topics as professional education, assessment, and the restructuring of faculty work, including two articles in Change magazine on accreditation and student learning (2005).

Praise for Grassroots Leadership and the Arts for Social Change

Table of Contents

Foreword Francisco Letelier
Foreword: September Juan Gabriel Valdes
Introduction One  
Introduction Two  
Section I: Grassroots Leadership and Cultural Activists Part 1: Performance Art  
The Cellist of Sarajevo: Courage and Defiance Through Music as Inspirations for Social Change Randal Joy Thompson and Edin Ibrahimefendic
Fela Kuti: The Man, His Music, The Activist Greg Chidi Obi
Vaclav Havel, the Playwright-Dissident: Theater as a Seismograph for Social Change Joshua M. Hayden
Armand Gatti's L'Inconnu N°5: Theater as a Catalyst for Resistance Suzanne Epstein
Section II: Grassroots Leadership and Cultural Activists Part 2: Visual Art and Film  
Boniface Mwangi: Photo-Journalist/Social Activist Nita Hungu and Marta D. Bennett
Benevolent Subversion: Graffiti, Street Art, and the Emergence of the Anonymous Leader James Jarc and Tricia Garwood
Innovating Social Change through Grassroots Leadership Practices in the Arts Anu M. Mitra
Peter Young: The Filmmaker as Agent Provocateur Margot Edwards and Ralph Bathurst
Section III: Grassroots Leadership, Participatory Democracy, and the Role of the Arts in Social Movements in the United States  
They Were All Leaders: The IWW and Songs for Revolution Greg Artzner and Terry Leonino
Women's Music: The Mothership Holly Near
Acting Up and Fighting Back: How New York's Artistic Community Responded to AIDS David Edelman
Section IV: Theatre of the Oppressed as a Form of Grassroots Leadership  
Truth Comes in Many Colors: Theatre of the Oppressed for Conflict Transformation and Trauma Healing in Kenya Mecca Antonia Burns, Bonface Njeresa Beti and Maxwel Eliakim Okuto
Theater Research Methodology of a Split Society: Ukrainian Reality Natalia Kostenko and Kateryna Tiahlo
From Needs-Based to Asset-Based Community Development: The ABCD Method as an Effective Strategy for Engaging with Grassroots Leaders in South Africa Kennedy C. Chinyowa, Mziwoxolo Sirayi and Selloane Mokuku
Section V: People Power, Community Building, and the Arts for Social Change  
Finding a Line From Fight Club to the Kennedy Center: How We Learned to Cross Invisible Bridges Garth A. Ross
Crafting Community and Change Through Books and Pads: The Tikondwe Teachers Project in Domasi, Malawi Kevin Bottomley, Justin Snyder, Alinane Misomale, Denise Archuleta, David H. Davenport, Marsha Dwyer, Destenie Nock, Lucy Kapenuka, Chifundo Ziyaya, Ann Potts and Liz Barber
The Shape of Water … Palestine, Badke and Lets Make Noise for Gaza: Three Journeys of Intercultural Choreographic Practice in Palestine Nicholas Rowe, Noora Baker and Ata Khatab
In Case of Emergency, Break Convention: Popular Education, Cultural Leadership and Public Museums Darlene E. Clover
About the Authors