Creative Strategies for Change

In a world where social divides run deep, there must exist organizations that not only build bridges, but also engage communities on all sides in closing the divides. This is CreativeStrategies for Change (CSC). We work with schools, organizations, and communities, to mobilize arts and education for social justice. CSC programs and services include: consulting, leadership and professional development, workshops, residencies, performances, assemblies, and events.

CSC grew out of a series of circles and participatory action research related to race, education, and the arts in Denver, Boulder, and Albuquerque in 2011 and 2012. Communities called for increased education, dialogue, training, and organizing for social justice and racial equity. With the insight and accountability of an expert advisory team, co-founders Rachael K. Sharp and King Salim Ajanku developed an integrated model for creating long-term, community wide impact, integrating the “CSC 3”: Social Justice Frameworks, Arts Engagement, and Restorative Practices. Our current programs reflect the issues that are relevant to us as individuals, and our communities: specifically the “school-to-prison pipeline”, and the criminalization, brutalization, and mass incarceration of people of color. In August 2013, CSC became an official community partner with Denver Public Schools and facilitated enrichment and after school programs with more than 200 students in three schools.

Exceedingly positive feedback in the district has led to regular referrals, with multiple professional development and enrichment programs in five public schools last school year. CSC’s vision, values, and framework have roots in the Denver community; we collaborate with many local organizations, institutions, and individuals and host interactive events, performances, and civic dialogues. The breadth and scale of work necessary to truly achieve inclusiveness, equity, and justice can require additional perspective and expertise, and CSC has strong relationships with community partners whom we consult with regularly.

Our Mission

Creative Strategies for Change’s (CSC) mission is to mobilize arts and education for social justice. We define social justice as both a process and a goal.  Informed social change, with lasting effect requires substantial time and responsiveness. CSC programs work for change on a variety of levels. We believe that institutional, interpersonal, and internal change all require large-scale ideological change, or cultural change for true lasting impact. This is one way the arts come into play. We work with communities, schools, organizations, and institutions, and our approach is community-based.