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Agitation and Inspiration: The Power of Art and Cultural Organizing

Session Type(s): Panel

Training Tag(s): Arts & Culture, Organizing & Movement Building

Starts: Thursday, Jun. 7 9:00 AM

Ends: Thursday, Jun. 7 10:15 AM

Room: 552

Culture is the realm of ideas, images and stories; it is where people make sense of the world and where they find meaning and forge community. History shows that when the culture changes, politics follows. Culture can reach audiences beyond the bounds of what community organizing and policy-based organizing can do. While the media is laced with myths, stereotypes and misrepresentation of grassroots movements, cultural interventions can play a key role in pushing forward stories that help shift the public debate. A growing movement of artists around the country are using cultural tools to fight economic inequality, corporations, banks and anti-migrant hate. In this session, artist-activists, writers, cultural leaders and creative institutions will discuss models for connecting artists to movements for social change.

Watch live streaming video from fstvnewswire at

Agitation and Inspiration: The Power of Art and Cultural Organizing

Miss this panel? No problem! Here’s what happened.

Storified by Netroots Nation · Thu, Jun 07 2012 11:03:47

Panelists spoke about the the role of art in organizing, and how it should be respected.
@Favianna challenging idea that orgs bring artists in at end to parrot messaging – #fstvnewswire live on
@Favianna saying that cultural artist help create the climate/messaging #NN12 – #fstvnewswire live on
#nn12 artist need to be compensated for their work, especially by nonprofit orgs! @eastLA_nancy @favianna @LALabor @DTLAL @GAYDOWNTOWN #p2UNITE HERE Local 11
Art and culture is a critical tool for social justice, non profits need to support artists! @favianna in rm 552 #nn12Jenifer Ancona
Fantasma, the first undocumented superhero was introduced.
#fantasma the first undocumented superhero! #nn12 @favianna @betsytric @imagine2050 The new superheroes!UNITE HERE Local 11
#NN12 undocumented and unafraid @nativismwatch @Imagine2050 @favianna
They touched on using art to fight racism.
Chloee Cooper speaking about racism and anti-immigration and how can you creatively fight it. #nn12 @imagine2050 @betsytric @faviannaUNITE HERE Local 11
What an inspiring panel on art and activism. Fellow @webofchange alum @favianna pulled together some real change makers! #nn12Apollo Gonzales
#NN12 amazing audience at inspiration and agitation panel! @nativismwatch @Imagine2050 @favianna


Favianna Rodriguez


Favianna Rodriguez is a printmaker new media artist based in Oakland, California. Using high-contrast colors and vivid figures, her composites reflect literal and imaginative migration, global community, and interdependence. Whether her subjects are immigrant youth in the U.S. or her own abstract self portraits, Rodriguez brings new audiences into the art world by refocusing the cultural lens. In 2009, Rodriguez co-founded, a national online organizing network dedicated to the political empowerment of Latino communities.

Other sessions: The Worst Immigration Law in the United States, Liberate Your Ass: Why Sexual Freedom is Key to Fighting the Right

my website


Cloee Cooper


Cloee Cooper organizes with the Center for New Community to expose and resist nativism. Since 2010, she has worked with countless amazing people to find creative ways to both expose the roots of racism endemic to the anti-immigrant movement, and highlight the ways in which people subvert divisive bills and organize resistance. She worked with talented film-makers and organizers to produce the documentary films “A Look Inside SB1070”, “Bernard’s Story”, and “Undivided”.

Other sessions: Screening Showcase #1

my website

Gan Golan


Gan Golan is a NY Times bestselling author, artist and agitator. His books include the smash hit ‘Goodnight Bush’ and the critically-acclaimed ‘The Adventures of Unemployed Man’. His next book ‘Don’t Let the Republican Drive The Bus’ comes out in Fall. As an artist, he has designed Rock Music posters for Erykah Badu, Queen Latifah, Willie Nelson, Nick Cave and Henry Rollins. His Ben Harper poster is considered one of the greatest music posters of all time. Recently he founded two totally fake sports teams ‘The Corporate Tax Dodgers’ and ‘The 99ers’ and was featured on Democracy Now! He is currently the co-director of ArtIsMyOccupation, an arts organization which transfers resources to artists creating work on the front lines of the struggle for Economic Justice. He has recently moved from California to NY after getting his dream job on Wall Street: occupying it.

my website

Betsy Richards

Betsy Richards

Betsy Theobald Richards is the Creative Fellow at The Opportunity Agenda, a progressive policy and communications organization in New York City. She serves as the thought leader for the organization’s work at the intersection of arts & social justice. Formerly she was a Program Officer at the Ford Foundation where she focused on Indigenous and place-based cultural communities. For the past twenty-five years, Betsy, who is also a theater artist and producer, has focused on advancing Native American and other under-served voices in the arts. She is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and a graduate of the Yale School of Drama.

my website

Julio Salgado

Julio Salgado

Julio Salgado is the co-founder of His activist artwork has become a staple of the DREAM Act movement. His status as an undocumented, queer artivist has fueled the contents of his illustrations, which depict key individuals and moments of the DREAM Act movement. Undocumented students and allies across the country have used Salgado’s artwork to call attention to the youth-led movement. His work has been praised by OC Weekly’s Gustavo Arellano, KPCC-FM 89.3’s Multi-American blog and the influential journal ColorLines. Salgado graduated from California State Universitiy, Long Beach with a degree in journalism.

my website

Netroots Nation 2014