Art/Work Practice, LLC is a bicoastal consulting firm focusing on racial equity, founded by three working artists and activists.
We help individuals, organizations and companies use arts-integrated practices to shift cultures toward equity, and to build strategies for justice and inclusion within people’s work.
Sometimes that means discussions about the unconsidered effects of wheelchair accessibility in theater restrooms, or the impact of governmental racial exclusion on present-day arts patronage. Sometimes that means exploring visionary fiction and storytelling, and asking the room for a rewrite of Star Wars — but this time, with no Empire. Sometimes it means putting Play-Doh in front of everyone and seeing what happens.
From our combined three decades of work at the intersections of racial equity, public policy, political education, storytelling, and the arts, we've learned that ending oppression takes creativity — and that creativity comes from surprising places.
To discuss how we can help you build real strategies for racial justice, contact us.
Racial Equity. Hands On.
Art/Work Practice upcoming events, with Tammy Johnson (TJ), Channing Kennedy (CK), and Nayantara Sen (NS):
1/11/2018, New York City — Women's Leadership Forum: Leveraging Leadership: Power and Privilege, presented by Women of Color in the Arts and the Association of Performing Arts Professionals; tickets (NS)
2/29/2018, Oakland — Tracing Africa Circle: African Dance Histories & Philosophies Part 1, at East Side Arts Alliance. Free. (TJ)
4/25/2018, Oakland — Q&A with Your Art Will Save Your Life author Beth Pickens, at Wolfman Books. Free and open to public. (TJ)
4/26/2018, Oakland — Tracing Africa Circle: African Dance Histories & Philosophies Part 2, at East Side Arts Alliance. Free. (TJ)
4/29/2018, Berkeley — Free Day of Dance, hosted by Big Moves Bay Area. Info. (TJ)
5/13/2018, Berkeley — Fanfiction for Change! Understanding Real-Life Racial Justice by Rewriting Speculative Fiction, at Berkeley Public Library. Free and open to public. (TJ, CK)
11/8-10/2018, Detroit — Facing Race 2018, presented by Race Forward. (TJ, CK, NS)
FROM OUR CLIENTS
NAKA Dance Theater invited A/WP's Tammy Johnson to work with us as we kickstarted our creative process for The Anastasio Project, a roving, multidisciplinary performance about racial profiling and state brutality created collaboratively with EastSide Arts Alliance in East Oakland. Tammy brought a four-dimensional approach to the table, looking at public policy, social movements, economic and political history, and arts activism over time. She led us in a process where we placed ourselves in historical context, and empowered us to think deeply about our role as agents of change. Tammy has been a valuable advisor, a grounding presence, and a steady source of optimism in dark times.
Founder, NAKA Dance Theater
We've come to rely on A/WP as we delve deeper in cultural strategy. As a coach, Channing is thoughtful, highly responsive, and clearly committed to MIV's and my own success. His light-hearted approach, paired with useful probing questions, makes learning much easier and more enjoyable.
Development & Cultural Strategies Director, MOBILIZE THE IMMIGRANT VOTE
Art/Work Practice's equity and diversity trainings have become a vital part of our organization’s ongoing work to become more culturally relevant and conversant, enabling us to better address the needs of the diverse populations that make up the Bay Area communities we serve.
Director, Artistic Learning, California Shakespeare Theater
BAX worked with A/WP to get deep-tissue coaching support on generating racial equity processes for our Education Department. As a result of Nayantara's consulting support, we effectively reviewed the racial equity impacts of our community performing arts classes. I was able to create an internal advisory team of allies and generate bite-sized, actionable next steps on a pathway to organizational transformation. Nayantara's coaching style was accessible, incisive, honest, strategic — and I felt stronger and more equipped in my own leadership for racial equity.
EDUCATION DIRECTOR, BROOKLYN ARTS EXCHANGE
Art/Work Practice helped our organization to understand the dynamics of oppression in the workplace, and gave us concrete tools to identify and change those dynamics.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS AND FINANCE, SUMOFUS.ORG
Tammy's clear communication and pragmatism, combined with a steady and warm demeanor created an environment where the Luna management team and staff were able to work fluidly together to achieve our cultural humility goals. As one of Luna's directors, I evolved both professionally and personally - developing my leadership skills in relationships external to our organization, and internally as well. From this very elegant and enlivening process, we were able to strengthen our relationships as a Luna team, widen our experience with race and equity issues, and grow in our understanding of the systems within our culture that challenge us as we remain true to our mission of bringing dance to all children.
Director of Community Engagement, Luna Dance Institute
Creative Transformation: Arts, Culture, and Public Housing Communities
This 2016 report, written by Art/Work Practice co-principal Nayantara Sen and published by Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts NY (NOCD-NY), addresses the question: how can arts and culture address historical trauma and inequities in public housing while serving marginalized communities in New York? Through multiple case studies and interviews with artists, arts advocates, community leaders, and public housing residents, Sen synthesizes and builds upon the findings of NOCD-NY's 2015 gathering, laying out concrete recommendations and best practices in clear terms. A go-to document for anyone wanting to learn aboutcommunity-integrated arts and culture and the transformation of urban institutions for equity and justice.
Creative Workshops for Staff, Interns, Fellows, and more
Curricula and Reports Authoring
Panel Moderation & Presentation
Narrative Consulting, Storytelling, and Script Doctoring
Arts-Integrated Strategies for Change