The arts, especially participatory, community-engaged approaches, are increasingly recognized as core elements in diverse change agendas.
In 2013, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) provided a $2.5 million grant to support the ASC! Project: a five-year, national research initiative on art for social change, the first study of its kind in Canada. Hosted by Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University (SFU), the initiative developed out of the work of Judith Marcuse Projects (JMP) and that of colleagues working in community-engaged arts across Canada and abroad, as well as the International Centre of Art for Social Change (ICASC), a partnership created by JMP and SFU in 2008.
The ASC! Project brings together artists, scholars, students and change makers from diverse public and private sectors to better understand how these practices are evolving in Canada, as well as to provide information, opportunities for exchange, and resources for both practitioners and those interested in learning more about the field.