EM’s List

EM’s list exists to recognize arts organizations and arts programs that promote substantive engagement between the arts and the community. Its goals are to:

  • Encourage arts programs that effectively engage their communities
  • Reward and promote arts organizations that are committed to substantive engagement
  • Highlight the effectiveness of community engagement programs
  • Raise awareness of the benefits of community engagement to arts organizations and to communities

Anyone who would like to nominate a program or organization for this list should contact Stephanie Moore, editor and curator of the list. (See Criteria below.) EM’s list is a periodic feature of Engaging Matters. The frequency of postings depends upon the level of interest, the number of nominations, and Stephanie’s ability to keep up with it all.

The List


EM’s List Criteria

Candidates are arts organizations that produce projects and/or programs:

  • Designed to
    • address community issues or
    • establish the arts organization as a valued “good neighbor”
    • That actively involve populations historically under-served by the arts

Preference is given to:

  • Programs involving collaboration between an arts organization and an organization that does not have an arts-related mission
  • Organizations that reflect adherence to principles of good practice for community engagement:
    • Readiness through self-reflection
    • Collaboration rooted in a mutuality of respect and benefit
    • Work that comes out of relationship-building (the relationship was developed first)
    • Arts experiences tied to community feedback and growing relationships (i.e., the arts serve as the centerpiece of a broader, ongoing effort)
    • Organizations that have an arts-centered (as opposed to a service or advocacy) mission
    • Organizations that have “mainstreamed” engagement (i.e., all functions–including programming–grow out of engagement rather than engagement being an add-on activity


Stephanie Moore is a freelance arts and culture researcher based in Los Angeles, CA. Her continued research on cultural mapping and community development stems from her longstanding interest in folk and traditional arts. Her research Cultural Mapping: Building and Fostering Strong Communities earned her a Master’s degree in Arts Management and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Oregon in 2011. Stephanie has worked as a research assistant on multiple cultural planning and collaboration initiatives with Creative Planning, the Sustainable Cities Initiative, and the California Association of Museums.


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