We’re a coalition for civic participation across art, creative, community, business, technology, philanthropy, and government sectors. We believe art has the capacity to move people to action, deepen public discussions around civic agency, and serve as a vehicle to civic participation. Ignited by San Francisco’s Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs (OCEIA) and in partnership with trusted institutions and messengers, we’ve launched a multilingual arts-driven campaign to galvanize communities to participate in the 2020 Census to receive their fair share of resources and representation.
Although the movement is starting locally, the goal is to set off a national spark. Reach out and let us know how we can support your community.
The first pillar of COME TO YOUR CENSUS is a public media campaign—presented in the four official languages of San Francisco: English, Chinese, Spanish, and Tagalog. Among the artists featured are: Marcela Pardo Ariza, Miguel Arzabe, Andrew Li and Antonio Benjamin of Creativity Explored, Emory Douglas, Angela Hennessy, Andrew Li of Creativity Explored, Hung Liu, George McCalman, Masako Miki, Innosanto Nagara, Joel Daniel Philips, Clare Rojas, Stephanie Syjuco, Lava Thomas, See Black Women Collective (Angela Hennessy + Tahirah Rasheed), and For Freedoms’ Hank Willis Thomas and Emily Shur (in collaboration with Eric Gottesman and Wyatt Gallery). Art+Action is also holding open calls for youth and community-based artists to lend their creative voices to the campaign.
The city-wide arts takeover, which launched on MLK Jr. Day at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) and at YBCA, and has had subsequent events at the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) main branch, California College of the Arts (CCA), activates local and international artists to remove the barriers to Census participation in their communities by speaking directly to hearts and minds through visual art, music, dance, film, and performance. Held in collaboration with community based organizations and Art+Action’s Coalition Partners, most events are FREE, open to the public, and family-friendly. Since the start of COVID-19, the events have gone online, until it is once again safe to gather in community. Current artists participating in these events include: Sergio de La Torre + Chris Treggiari of Sanctuary City Project, Ana Teresa Fernández + Arleene Correa Valencia, Anna Sergeeva, Graffiti Camp for Girls, Jesus “Txutxo” Perez, Innosanto Nagara, Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo, James Hosking, San Francisco drag queens Donna Personna and Olivia Hart, Angela Hennessy and Tahirah Rasheed of the See Black Women Collective, SF Urban Film Fest, Maria Paz, and The Butterfly Effect: Migration is Beautiful, among others.
Our Bring-the-Census-to-the-People initiative is our most future-forward tactic in ensuring that everyone has online access to participate—given the digital-first nature of the 2020 Census. Art+Action and its Coalition Partners planned to establish pop-up Census hubs throughout the city—offering laptops, tablets, wifi access, and where possible, staffed with multilingual volunteers, so that the hardest to reach and hard to count populations are engaged. Following COVID-19, Art+Action is working with it’s Coalition Partners to determine the safest ways to bring this technology into communities.
Online at ComeToYourCensus.us, local and national communities can learn, be inspired, contribute, act, convene, and add their voice. The public is invited to download materials from Art+Action’s multilingual Census Toolkit and complete the Census through October 31. What was planned as an in-person art & civic experience, Come to Your Census: Who Counts in America? at YBCA, is now online through October 31, and examines the issues around the 2020 Census and its direct impact on each individual living in America.
Art+Action is a small but mighty team comprised of Amy Kisch, Founder + Artistic Director of Social Impact; Amy Schoening, Director of Campaign Messaging + Creative; Brittany Ficken, Executive Producer + Project Director; Robert Saywitz, Design Director; Lindsay George, Project Associate + Website Project Manager; and Louella Acquino, National Expansion Associate Director. We’d be nowhere without the support of our Coalition Partners, Creative Collaborators, donors, and community.
Let’s build the movement. Reach out to learn more about being a part of the Art+Action Coalition as a Partner, Member, or Volunteer.