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Arlene Goldbard is a writer, speaker, social activist, and consultant who works for justice, compassion and honor in every sphere, from the interpersonal to the transnational. She is known for her provocative, independent voice and her ability to inspire and activate.
Arlene's essays have appeared in such journals as Art in America, The Independent, Theatre, High Performance and Tikkun. Her books include Crossroads: Reflections on the Politics of Culture; New Creative Community: The Art of Cultural Development; Community, Culture and Globalization; and her novel Clarity.
Arlene has helped dozens of organizations to make plans and solve problems. They include nonprofits such as the Independent Television Service, the National Campaign for Freedom of Expression, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art; foundations such as the Rockefeller Foundation and the Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media; a score of state arts agencies; and many others.
She is President of the Board of Directors of The Shalom Center. She has served as Vice Chair of the Board of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, and Tsofah/President of Congregation Eitz Or in Seattle. She co-founded such activist groups as the San Francisco Artworkers' Coalition, the California Visual Artists Alliance, Bay Area Lawyers for the Arts and Draft Help.
(3 comments) SHARE Friday, January 27, 2017 Machiavelli Nailed It!
The 16th Century writer Niccolo Machiavelli can shed light on the actions of the newest president, especially Chapter 19, entitled, "That One Should Avoid Being Despised And Hated."
SHARE Tuesday, November 22, 2016 Love and Power: Standing for Cultural Democracy
U.S. Department of Arts and Culture Chief Policy Wonk Arlene Goldbard's remarks at the CULTURE/SHIFT 2016 plenary launching "Standing for Cultural Democracy: The USDAC's Policy and Action Platform."
(22 comments) SHARE Sunday, July 31, 2016 Are You Adding to The Empathy Deficit?
Whatever else is going on, voting for Hillary is a simple act of empathy for those who would bear the brunt of a Trump regime. Just do it. How you feel about it is your problem.
SHARE Saturday, July 9, 2016 Serve and Protect Who? A Thought Experiment
Those who've benefited from this system at the expense of Black people and others targeted by the police have a simple choice right now. Separate yourself from white supremacy word and deed. Or wait and see how well it protects you when the violence festering at every level of American society--from street-level policing to Donald Trump's inflammatory rhetoric--explodes.
SHARE Thursday, June 23, 2016 #WeveSeenThisBefore
Donald Trump didn't invent the vicious racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, misogyny, and triumphalist worship of white supremacy that his statements have unleashed. As Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote, "In a free society, some are guilty, but all are responsible." Trump is guilty, and should be made accountable for, his spewings and their impact. And we are responsible to ensure that is done.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, June 16, 2016 Scapegoats Coming Home to Roost
In the aftermath of Orlando, it's clearer than ever: Singling out one facet of identity to blame for whatever the scapegoater detests is always vicious, untrue, and damaging.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, May 23, 2016 The Game of Ones
"The Game of Ones." The Guggenheim's is just one example. Exalting individuals at the expense of communities, neglecting the long history of collective creation, cultural resistance and restoration, self-knowledge and communal knowledge to which so many community artists have dedicated their lives.
SHARE Monday, May 16, 2016 On Burning Out, Burning In
There's been a big discussion about "burnout" among activists lately, meaning many different things: physical maladies of overwork; depression, a sense of futility--or at least a pervading doubt that one's efforts matter. Exhaustion, emotional and intellectual. There's a wise woman in my head who likes to disrupt the magic thinking festival that goes on there. Advice to myself
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, May 2, 2016 Let Them Talk: The Piano Prince
If I asked you to name a prodigiously talented, extravagantly flamboyant, African American, sexually fluid musician with a body like an exclamation point and a taste for the rococo whose premature death left the world a little grayer, of course you'd say "Prince," and you'd be right. Or half-right. Then there's James Booker.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, April 8, 2016 You're Drafted: What Now?
Nothing characterizes the difference between the sixties and our era as much as the Vietnam-era draft, making political decisions intensely personal. The Boys Who Said NO! a film-in-progress and why it matters.
(6 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 10, 2016 On Race, Religion, and Human Complexity
Bernie Sanders gaffe in the debate on Sunday reminds us that it is incumbent on us to do justice to the truth in all its complexity and contradiction. No one can be fairly summed up by the big clumpy identity categories we've come to rely on.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, January 26, 2016 Tell Your Story Now!
Discussion easily turns into argument and friends into foes. But when we share actual stories instead of opinions, things change. Share your story as part of the People's State of the Union 2016.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, December 30, 2015 World So Undivided: John Trudell
An homage to the late John Trudell, knew how to hold the incredible gift of being alive and the surrendering of our power to heal that breaks the world's heart every day.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, December 23, 2015 Clay Feet Abounding: The Presumption of Progressive Virtue
On the FitzGibbon scandal: The first step to addressing abuses of power is always the same: let go of the illusion that people whose politics you find virtuous are going to be more ethical, compassionate, or just in their behavior than people whose politics you find objectionable. People are people, full stop.
SHARE Thursday, November 19, 2015 USDAC Statement on Syrian Refugee Crisis
U.S. Department of Arts and Culture Statement on Syrian Refugee Crisis. Opposing fear & isolation, sending love, creativity & compassion to those needing refuge.