Mission + History
Culture Push is an arts organization that creates programs to nurture artists and other creative people who are approaching common problems through hands-on civic participation and imaginative problem-solving.
The mission of Culture Push is to create a lively exchange of ideas between many different communities; artists and non-artists, professional practitioners and laypeople, across generations, neighborhoods, and cultures. Culture Push supports the process of creating new modes of thinking and doing and serves a diverse community of creative people. The programs of Culture Push focus on collaboration and group learning through active, participatory experiences. Culture Push programs appear in many different locations, taking many different forms, and public presentations are low-cost or free, to give access to the widest audience.
The current focus of Culture Push is the Fellowship for Utopian Practice. The Fellowship is a process-based program aimed at artists and other creative people who are seeking to test new ideas through civic engagement. Culture Push offers the Fellows concrete financial and institutional support, including feedback and mentoring, a stipend, and fiscal sponsorship for fundraising efforts. During the Fellowship year, Fellows collaborate with different communities and the Culture Push staff to find viable working methods for realizing ambitious hybrid projects. While Culture Push emphasizes the visual and performing arts, the Fellowship program is open to people working in any discipline aiming to expand their practice beyond its traditional borders.
Culture Push is interested in where art will go and can go in this particular cultural moment. On one hand, specialized fields divide us; on the other hand, open resources make it possible to exchange knowledge and information with lightning speed. Through supporting the experiments of adventurous practitioners Culture Push seeks to both use and go beyond specialization so that people of all backgrounds gain access to exciting ideas and new practices.
Other Culture Push programs have included participatory symposia and residencies that bring together people from different fields to exchange practices through active participation; Studio Marathons, all day creative socializing with a theme; IdeaNEWS, a record of the Culture Push year; and Fashion Re/Action, a workshop series that was the prototype for the Fellowship.
Culture Push was founded in 2008 by Clarinda Mac Low, Aki Sasamoto, and Arturo Vidich. Their individual visions feed into a larger vision; a fluid culture where the lines between art, politics, daily life, and social experiment can blur, and challenging the lines between disciplines leads to challenging the form of society. The founders share strong backgrounds in the performing and visual arts, and an investigative spirit, and they span two generations. All the founders received their undergraduate degrees from Wesleyan University (1987, 2003 and 2004).