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Emmanuel Jal: The Music of a War Child (TED talk)

For five years, young Emmanuel Jal fought as a child soldier in the Sudan. Rescued by an aid worker, he's become an international hip-hop star and an activist for kids in war zones. In words and lyrics, he tells the story of his amazing life.

Artists on Art Changing the World

Anabel Roque Rodriguez

Thoughts on Art as Labor

Olafur Eliasson

Why Art Has the Power to Change the World

"Here I was into astronomy, and here into anthropology, and there I go into geology. It was much more fun to be able to research and write about whatever I wanted to."


--Octavia Butler

Nancy Popp

Dismantling Art School

A Piece of Work

WNYC podcast at MOMA with Abbi Jacobnson


"Misery is a communicable disease" -- Martha Graham

These Artists Show Us How It's Done

Jessica Lawless, Random Notes Series

Artists make change by taking risks and laying bare the personal, relying on emotion and spirit as much as the intellect. Raw and from the heart is always more powerful than confining notions of professionalism. We all have compelling stories that let us connect to other people and find solidarity instead of shame or fear.

No Justice No Service, Black Magic Arts Collective

Adjunct Artists, Poets, and Performers on art and movement building in higher education

CEW 2017 has a focus on art as a tool for organizing. We recognize creativity is central to innovative and interactive movement building. Artists, and others who are pushed to the margins of a society where worth is only measured in wealth, have a vantage point that can lead the way to new possibilities and futures.


This year we call on everyone to be artists.

Everyone has creative capacity.

Everyone has visions and dreams for something other than the status quo.

Nothing to Lose

Kate Champion and Kellie Jean Drinkwater create a controversial dance performance with dancers who are all fat. Kellie Jean Drinkwater also gives a TED talk on this performance and her art that changes ideas about fat bodies in public space.

Brouhaha: Trans Women of Color Comedy Show

This powerful group of trans women of color artists and activists test out using humor to tell their stories.

Guillermo Gomez-Peña

A recording of the incomparable performance artist spoken word piece “Notes from Technotopia: On the Cruelty of Indifference,” an example of artistic imaginings of an equitable world.

Boldness is what makes strong art, and strong movements. Change never has occurred by hiding in the shadows. That's why coming out is important to queer and trans communities, immigrant students of the dreamer generation, survivors

Poster Syndicate of San Francisco

This collective started during the San Francisco Art Institutes union organizing campaign, a way for students to support their faculty. They became a regular fixture in the broader activist community and are now an independent group designing posters

and holding public print-ins.

Just Seeds

A loose collection of creative individuals with unique viewpoints and working methods, Just Seeds believes in the transformative power of personal expression in concert with collective action. They produce collective portfolios, contribute graphics to grassroots struggles for justice, work collaboratively, build large sculptural installations in galleries, and wheatpaste on the streets—all while offering each other daily support as allies and friends.

Embracing change takes courage and committing to speak truth to power has to happen in our own time and our own way. Today may not be the day you are ready to take that risk when your financial well-being is at stake.

of abusive relationships, sexual assault in and out of the military, childhood abuse in families and in the church, and whistle blowers, and on and on and on. 

That's why, along with the focus on using art to create unity in our movement this year, the theme is mAsk4CampusEquity. If you are not ready to be public in your dissent against the neoliberal university, work with the themes of masking, anonymity, and invisibility as the inspiration for your individual creative contribution to this year's CEW.

No Justice No Service event, photo by Andrew Rodriguez

"Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist" -- Pablo Picasso

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