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Arlene Goldbard

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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.

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Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and a Rose, From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, November 5, 2015
Still, Life: Zurbaran and Van Morrison The works of art that reset the moorings of one who is always coming home, never arriving, an outsider who has been privileged to step inside.
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SHARE More Sharing        Friday, October 23, 2015
Imitating Realness: Art and Authenticity It's time to be fed up with a wildly misguided and rapidly emergent impulse in art and commerce, mounting an imitation of realness in which both art and authenticity are left lying on the studio floor. Why "canned parrot meat" is the last straw.
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, May 25, 2015
Imaginings Roll Out! From Brooklyn to Chicago, from Xtigone to Black Lives Matter, people are gathering to dream out loud: what is the vibrant, sustainable, resilient future we want to inhabit? How do we get there?
Activists uniting with community through art and culture., From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, May 18, 2015
Field Office Annals, Part Two: Engagement, Vision, and Play In Washington, DC, and Lawrence, KS, two activist artists talk about connecting local communities to a national movement through art and culture.
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, May 11, 2015
Field Office Annals, Part One: Filling A Need The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, the nation's first people-powered department, is opening Field Offices. Founders of the first two, in Lawrence, KS, and Washington, DC, have a lot to say about why they are needed.
Ethelbert Miller, From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, April 20, 2015
Ethelbert Miller: A Sustaining Presence is Forced Out and Everyone Loses The much lauded and honored poet and literary activist Ethelbert Miller has been laid off after 40 years saving lives and spirits at Howard University. What does this say about higher education today?
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, April 16, 2015
My English Teacher's Son Won the PEN/Faulkner Fiction Award A name opens the door to the palace of memory, and high school comes flooding through.
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, April 10, 2015
Class Suicide and Radical Empathy So many political and spiritual leaders performed the act of class suicide, dying to the privileged class of their birth--often by taking a step with no return--and thus sacrificing privilege and power in favor of full identification with the oppressed. In telling Moses' story, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper illuminates what for is the theme of every seder, radical empathy.
starbucks cup, From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, April 3, 2015
Passing the (Star)bucks Starbucks' attempt to raise the question of race and racism was flawed, to be sure. It was ridiculed on every satire show and in nearly every blog and column. The result? Mission accomplished: you won't be talking about race relations with your barista anytime soon. But whose mission? I think the right won on this one, even if the biggest battle was fought on the left.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, March 12, 2015
Three Words for Love: Selma, Aloha, Ahava The Selma March Jubilee, the Japanese American activists who joined the march, and Jewish civil rights workers killed a year earlier all remind us that a society of justice and love depends on those who step forward despite danger.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, February 10, 2015
A Story of My Heart Thousands of people took part in the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture's People's State of the Union civic ritual in January. What can we learn about the state of our union from the more than 500 stories they posted online?
Ricky Nelson - I Will Follow You  (1963) Rick Nelson was one of the very biggest of the '50s teen idols, so it took awhile for him to attain the same level of critical respectability as other early ..., From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, February 4, 2015
TV Family Values TV's idea of family may be bleached, starched, and pumped up on cheeroids, but sometimes it can even save a life.
People's State of the Union, From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, January 30, 2015
Another Kind of Spiritual Practice We may think of spiritual practice as something apart from ordinary life, but something as prosaic as facilitating a meeting can be a form of spiritual practice. Consider the People's State of the Union.
SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, January 11, 2015
I Just Don't Know We persist in making predictions, even though we're terrible at it: almost always, we're just extending our beliefs into the future. The aftermath of terrorist incidents shows that we aren't much better at analysis: it merely shifts the possibility of error from future to present.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, December 31, 2014
The Year of Whiplash This has been a year of whiplash, with activism at a height I haven't observed since the sixties, but also a year that requires a powerful act of will not to be dispirited by the hardening of the hearts of entrenched power. Speaking to us from 1985, James Baldwin sheds light.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, December 4, 2014
Broken Words "Indifference to evil is more insidious than evil itself," wrote Abraham Joshua Heschel. In recent Grand Jury actions, we see how true that is. All of us are responsible to change it.
Grasshoppers, From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Post-Election Letter to A Friend Last night, a friend wrote me on Facebook, "how can the dreams in your recent books come true after the midterm results?" I counseled him to avoid "grasshopper vision."
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, October 25, 2014
Happy Blog-iversary (and A Half) to Me I've been publishing my blog for ten years plus, but I've just copped to being an optimist. With my history, how is that possible? Because I'm all about change, and unless you believe it can come, what's the point? Check out my latest changemaking role, Chief Policy Wonk of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture!
Cornel West 2008, From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, October 17, 2014
Ferguson: Generations and Expectations In Ferguson, we are seeing a moment of great beauty and meaning, in which those who desire justice and love rise to summon it forth. Some indict an older generation for failing to produce a plan, but really what is needed are guiding principles that value creativity in the service of freedom, equity, and justice.
From 2014-8-17 h, From Images
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, August 28, 2014
Call to Creative Action The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture has issued the USDAC Call: Creativity for Justice and Equity, calling all artists and creative activists to join in the movement to demilitarize the police and bring justice to victims of publicly funded racism. Endorsers include Gloria Steinem, Peter Coyote, Makani Themba, and dozens of others.

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