Announcing the 2023 Arts in Action Funded Projects
USC Arts in Action is excited to announce its projects for 2023! Each project leverages the power of the arts to address issues such as equitable education, environmental racism, health and wellness, restorative justice, and spatial injustice, and provides opportunities for USC students to engage with community partners and activists outside the university to generate solutions.
Architecture + Advocacy: Change Your Neighborhood. Change the World.
The School of Architecture, Leimert Park–based LA Commons, and the Amazing Grace Conservatory will team up to address spatial injustice in South L.A. The student-led efforts will include an ambassador program to build connections with residents, civic design workshops for K–12 students and their families, and research by the Amazing Grace team on the history of the Sugar Hill and West Adams districts.
Building Community Around a Shared Cancer Journey: A Narrative Medicine Approach
USC Keck students in the Master of Science in Narrative Medicine Program will present a series of online and in-person narrative medicine writing workshops for patients and families served by Cancer Support Community Los Angeles to foster the physical and mental health, long-term resilience, and survivorship of those impacted by cancer.
Comedy and Cancer
The comedy troupe that grew out of 2022’s Comedy and Cancer project, a collaboration of the School of Dramatic Arts’ Comedy Program and USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Adolescent and Young Adult Program, will carry on their work by giving performances and workshops to empower and help patients, hospital staff, caregivers, and alumni cope with illness through laughter.
Dance and Ability: Dancing with Down Syndrome
The Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, the Keck School of Medicine of USC, and Free 2 Be Me Dance are joining forces to create a multidisciplinary program teaching USC students to lead dance therapy training exercises for people with Down Syndrome, culminating in an end-of-semester performance.
Here, My Voice
Student teachers from the Thornton School of Music and Kaufman School of Dance will collaborate with the Hearing Loss Association of America to create and give personalized voice lessons to members of the hard-of-hearing community, fostering the (re)discovery of their voices as a tool of self-expression.
Celebrating its fifth year, USC Kaufman students receive mentorship to provide high-quality, equitable dance education to students at the neighboring 32nd Street Elementary School, and use hip hop as a tool to enhance well-being and foster social-emotional learning and healing in the classroom.
In partnership with the Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR) and Nova Community Arts, a five-day hike by USC students and community members will span the entire 51-mile length of the Los Angeles River, noting the impacts of climate change, honoring climate and social justice advocates, and documenting conditions through mapping, photography, video, and narrative ethnography.
Sacrifice Zone: Los Angeles (SZ: LA)
This ongoing theatre and film project led by faculty from the School of Dramatic Arts and School of Cinematic Arts brings together USC students and communities from Southeast L.A. and the I-710 corridor to amplify and expand upon the work of People Not Pozos, a grassroots effort by Esperanza Community Housing to protest ongoing exposure to harmful pollutants in “sacrifice zones.”
Public events involving these projects will be announced in the upcoming months. To explore them and other Arts in Action projects in greater depth, please visit our projects page.