Arts and Civic Dialogue in California


The arts drive trust, and trust drives community satisfaction. Levels of civic engagement predict the quality of community life and residents' happiness better than education or income. In the communities with the highest trust, 52% gave their community a top rating as a place to live; in the communities with the lowest levels of social trust, only 31% felt positively.

Arts activities increase residents’ interest in getting involved in local issues and projects, including discussions of infrastructure. 86% of participants want to be involved in future projects and people living where projects occurred were more than twice as likely to be civically engaged as those whose blocks did not have projects.

Participation in arts activities increases tolerance. 12th graders who participate in the arts are 40% more likely to have friends from different racial groups and 29% less likely to feel that it is ok to make a racist remark.

Community Foundation Silicon Valley. (2001). The Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey. Retrieved 20 January 2018 from

Nicodemus, A., Engh, R., & Mascaro, C. (2016). Adding it Up: 52 Projects by 30+ Artists in 4 Neighborhoods. Metris Arts Consulting. Retrieved 20 January 2018 from

Catterall, J., Dumais, S., & Hampden-Thompson, G. (2012). The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth: Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies. (Research Report #55). National Endowment for the Arts. Retrieved 20 January 2018 from


Los Angeles Poverty Department

Los Angeles, California

The LAPD was founded in 1985 by John Malpede and was the first performance group comprised primarily of homeless people on Skid Row. The program aims to change negative stigmas associated with homeless people and decriminalize poverty through allowing

Art x Science x LA is a range of exhibitions and public programs that explore the intersections between the visual arts and science, from prehistoric times to the present and across different cultures worldwide.

CONS Project Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California

Converse Inc. launched a project in Los Angeles with aims to inspire the next generation of artists. The project combined music, art and sport giving kids the opportunity to participate in workshops in various genres of art.


Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts

Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts promotes and advocates for full inclusion of artists of color and performers with disabilities at all levels of production in film, theater, television, and related media.

Alternate ROOTS

Alternate ROOTS is committed to social and economic justice and protection of the natural world. It supports artists who have a commitment to their communities and those whose cultural work strives for social justice.

The Arts & Social Impact Explorer was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

This fact sheet was developed as part
of the Arts + Social Impact Explorer