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What if you could address your community's most pressing needs, employ local residents to do it, and use federal or philanthropic funding to support it, all at the same time?

Art-Train provides an innovative and proven approach to equitable recovery in your community by working with local artists to tackle critical issues and needs. Whether through the unusually flexible recovery funds or other funding sources, Art-Train strategies are broadly applicable across all recovery challenges and ongoing community and economic development.

With the continued roll out of American Rescue Plan Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, new opportunities from multiple federal agencies, and the infrastructure bill on the horizon, now is the time to be building working relationships between communities and artists for a more creative, equitable future. More detail in this brief to convince deciders.

Art-Train is here to help you develop strategies that will help you reach and engage more people, increase community relevance and connection, and find innovative ways to be more effective. Artists are in every place: from people who weave stories and craft meaning, to those who perform and create art in public places, local artists represent different cultures, experiences and demographics. They bring not only their ability to make, to engage across sectors and people, but also to use critical processes to reconnect, reimagine and rebuild in their own places. 

Art-Train includes training and ongoing technical assistance through an online resource library, virtual bi-weekly group coaching sessions, and an expanding network of practitioners across the nation in communities of all sizes. Trainings run on an ongoing basis.

For more details, continue scrolling past the registration sections.

Art-Train Agency/Organization Training

Training is for staff at government agencies, community non-profits and arts councils of all sizes. Native, Black, Indigenous and People of Color-led and focused community-based organizations (CBO) are invited to take this training (with accompanying access) for free. 

Learn More and Register
Art-Train Individual Artist Training (Free!)

Free training for artists to build their skills in working in community and contribute to equitable community and economic development.

Learn More and Register


Art-Train, housed at Springboard for the Arts, is a partnership with Center for Performance and Civic Practice. It is a virtual technical assistance program for artists, municipal agencies, community non-profits, and arts councils in communities of all sizes across the nation. 

Art-Train will equip you with tools to design and support cross-sector, equity-centered, locally-rooted and culture-based collaborations in communities of all sizes. Art-Train brings together both sides of the creative equation with two parallel tracks: 

- Artist Track: artists get ready to work in collaboration with agencies, non-profits, and arts councils on critical community issues. 

- Agency track: government agencies, non-profits, and arts councils get ready to work with local artists to support creative workforce development, economic growth, and authentically address community needs and concerns such as public health, housing and civic engagement.

Participants attend an initial synchronous virtual training session, and then receive ongoing technical assistance through optional bi-weekly group coaching rooms with Art-Train staff, experts and an expanding network of peers. 

Artists are creative people from all disciplines and experiences, from culture bearers and craft artists to classically trained, from those who receive huge commissions and whose work is collected by museums, to those who sing in community choir, weave stories, or carve spoons. Artists are a natural resource and an asset – they are in every place, on every block, in every apartment building, and every rural community.


- ALL PARTICIPANTS will gain skills to frame and translate their goals into formats that can be supported by multiple funding sources. All will have access to ongoing technical assistance, an online resource library, additional learning from experts and peers, and an expanding network of practitioners across the country. 

- ARTISTS will build on their existing skills to collaborate in and with their communities. They will deepen their own practices around creative problem solving, equitable community engagement, and creating arts-based strategies to address recovery efforts, from public health to local economies.

- AGENCIES and ORGANIZATIONS will learn customizable models and best practices to design and implement local-artist centered programs that address community challenges through ethical, culturally competent and responsive public engagement with more equitable, authentic, culturally-relevant results. 


Art-Train is here to help you access resources and develop strategies that will help you reach and engage more people, increase community relevance and connection and find creative ways to be more effective. Artists bring not only their ability to make, to engage across sectors and people, but also to use critical processes to reconnect, reimagine and rebuild in their own places. 

Through Art-Train, we can connect local needs, local residents, local leaders and local artists to collectively build an equitable economic recovery and a healthier future for our communities, through programming that supports:

- Authentic, community-based solutions to sector challenges: public health, food security, housing, public safety, education, transportation, etc.

- Enhanced community narrative, identity, pride and empowerment.

- Increased social capital and diversified networks that contribute to community recovery and resilience.

- Increased community and economic vitality that supports people and places.


Art-Train is co-led and co-designed by Jun-Li Wang at Springboard for the Arts and Michael Rohd at the Center for Performance and Civic Practice, in collaboration with a circle of thinkers and advisors including:

Anne Basting, Timeslips/MacArthur Fellow
Roberto Bedoya, Oakland Cultural Affairs
Jamie Bennett, United States Artists
Lyz Crane, former ArtPlace America
Deborah Cullinan, Stanford University
Jaime Dempsey, Arizona Community Foundation
Randy Engstrom, former Seattle Office of Arts and Culture
Liz Lerman, Choreographer/MacArthur Fellow
Jason Schupbach, Drexel University
Jill Sonke, Center for the Arts in Medicine, University of Florida
Leila Tamari, former ArtPlace America
Willa Taylor, Goodman Theatre
Carlton Turner, Mississippi Center for Cultural Production
Aisa Villarosa, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Margy Waller, former White House Senior Advisor
Anu Yadav, Artist/Cultural Strategist
Laura Zabel, Springboard for the Arts 


- Artists Respond: Combating Social Isolation (Springboard for the Arts):

- International Downtown Association creative partnerships (Springboard for the Arts):

- Artists on Main (Rethos and Springboard for the Arts)

- Art of Recovery (Santa Monica Cultural Affairs):

- Creative Corps (San Francisco):

- Learning Lab (Metro Arts Nashville):

- Timeslips:

Springboard Staff

Associate Director, Programs

Art-Train is supported in part by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Kresge Foundation. 

Cover photo: La Luchadora screenprinting cart at a creative placemaking event in Bloomington's South Loop. Credit Bruce Silcox.