Civic Practice Lab
With the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Fund, Lookingglass has engaged Michael Rohd to serve as an artist-in-residence from June 2013-June 2016 and lead the formation of a Civic Practice Lab (CPL.)
Rohd defines Civic Practice as ‘activity where a theater artist employs the assets of his/her craft in response to the needs of non-arts partners as determined through ongoing, relationship-based dialogue.’
Our plan for the Lab’s first year is to build new partnerships or deepen existing ones and lay the groundwork for six pilot projects by June 2014. For these six projects, we are looking at six sectors: municipal, education, health, business, social service, and a sixth to be determined. The Lab will bring a Lookingglass affiliated artist—either an ensemble member or a teaching artist—into close co-design and practice with the non-arts community partner, and projects will start to happen by Year Two. We will document and evaluate the projects, but we’re also looking into how this kind of practice can be sustainable for Lookingglass when this grant ends. Ideally, at the end of the three years, the Civic Practice Lab has developed new models, built organizational and individual capacity, and can be looked at as a template for a small department within an institution.
Our hypothesis is that placing the creative assets of theater artists and organizations in service to the needs of non-arts partners awakens appetite for the skills and creativity theater artists can bring to non-arts settings, builds healthier communities, offers significant opportunities for artists to invest in his/her community, and expands the pool of stakeholders who can clearly and passionately articulate the value the organization brings our City.
Through the CPL, Lookingglass will gather useful, actionable information for our theatre and for the theatre field.
“I believe Civic Practice is a significant new frame for how the arts and non-arts sectors collaborate in our communities. This partnership with Lookingglass is a chance for me to expand the national work I’ve been developing at the Center for Performance and Civic Practice and at Sojourn Theatre into a specific, institutional strategy with the hope that our learnings become field learnings.”
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