This week, Americans for the Arts features another in a series of audio conversations with practitioners and professionals presenting at the 2008 Convention in Philadelphia, June 19–22. The Art of Community: Creativity at the Crossroads of Immigrant Cultures and Social Services is a recent study published by the Institute for Cultural Partnership (ICP), based in Harrisburg, PA. Through the conversation, Amy Skillman, ICP’s vice president and director of arts and heritage programs, and Laura Marcus, independent consultant and folklorist explore ways that arts and cultural professionals can partner with social service agencies to assist recent immigrants in the resettlement process towards building local community, while maintaining connections to their countries of origin. With a solid case-based example, some nuts-and-bolts style ideas found in the study (and more to come in the session), and an opportunity for listeners to engage in the dialogue, Amy and Laura offer some advice to organizations looking to partner in this way in their own communities: identify partners you might like to work with and find ways to support your individual and mutual goals. Powerful interaction can happen when the arts and social services come together in this way—so leave your expectations at the door, and be open to what you might be able to learn from another organization’s agenda.

To download a copy of The Art of Community: Creativity at the Crossroads of Immigrant Cultures and Social Services, visit the ICP website at To purchase the printed publication along with the accompanying Newcomer Arts Manual, click on Marketplace and download the order form. Explore additional case studies by visiting ICP’s Newcomer Arts and Culture Directory at:

To learn more about the program and other tracks at the Convention, visit

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  1. [...] Amy Skillman and Laura Marcus have published their study “The Art of Community: Creativity at the Crossroads of Immigrant Cultures and Social Services,” and were interviewed for a feature on the Americans for the Arts Blog! [...]

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