Art Works

How Organizers and Artists Are Creating a Better World Together

An inside look at the organizers and artists on the front lines of political mobilization and social change

“Ken [Grossinger] is one of the smartest strategists I know.” —AFL-CIO President Emeritus John J. Sweeney

An artist’s mural of George Floyd becomes an emblem of a renewed movement for racial equality. A documentary film injects fuel into a popular mobilization to oust a Central American dictator. Freedom songs course through the American civil rights movement.

When artists and organizers combine forces, new forms of political mobilization follow—which shape lasting social change. And yet few people appreciate how much deliberate strategy often propels this vital social change work. Behind the scenes, artists, organizers, political activists, and philanthropists have worked together to hone powerful strategies for achieving the world we want and the world we need.

In Art Works, noted movement leader Ken Grossinger chronicles these efforts for the first time, distilling lessons and insights from grassroots leaders and luminaries such as Ai Weiwei, Courtland Cox, Jackson Browne, Shepard Fairey, Jane Fonda, Elizabeth Alexander, Bill McKibben, JR, Jose Antonio Vargas, and more.

Drawing from historical and present-day examples—including Black Lives Matter, Standing Rock, the Hip Hop Caucus, the Legacy Museum, and the Art for Justice Fund—Grossinger offers a rich tapestry of tactics and successes that speak directly to the challenges and needs of today’s activists and of these political times.

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