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Arts and Culture

Arts and Culture highlights creative work in all mediums and disciplines with a special emphasis on artists, writers, performers, and collectives who blur the lines between art-making, personal activism, and community involvement. As they employ new artistic strategies, contemporary creatives continue to expand the role of arts and culture in public life. This section will feature intriguing and often ground-breaking work and explore how it might illuminate the challenges and opportunities we face as we move toward a commons-based world.

A very popular toy doll who shall remain nameless due to lawsuit fears.  (By Deborah is Lola under a Creative Commons license) 

March 10, 2015

The Plot to Privatize Common Knowledge

How patents, copyrights and trademarks have been grossly distorted--even Barbie is tied up in court

(By Dena Flows under a Creative Commons license)

February 20, 2015

If Not For You

Bob Dylan freely acknowledges his debt to Frank Sinatra, Robert Johnson, Woody Guthrie, Kurt Weill and many others

New York's High Line is a popular poster child for Creative Placemaking. (By David Berkowitz under a CC license)

January 8, 2015

What's All the Buzz About Creative Placemaking?

The idea is simple: put arts and culture at the center of urban revitalization

Occupiers of Rome's Teatro Valle want to move Italy's cultural policies in the direction of the commons.

July 28, 2014

Commoners Continue to Occupy Rome’s Teatro Valle

Why breaking the law is sometimes the highest form of legality

Vong Lee wears two hats at the same time as a Hip Hop artist and community organizer working with an inner city neighborhood in St. Paul.

June 12, 2014

A New Twist in Making a Better World

Artist organizers ignite communities' creative vision

Manarola, one of five car-free Cinque Terre towns linked by trails and trains. (Photo by Kevin Botto under a Creative Commons license.)

May 19, 2014

Commons, Italian-Style

A popular vacation destination that keep its character thanks to a new twist in tourism

(Photo by College360 under a Creative Commons license)

May 7, 2014

Commons 101

A reading list from activist and scholar Peter Linebaugh

Mike Rolliin

April 15, 2014

"The Wealth of Nations"

An UNCOMMON/WORD poem by Mike Rollin

Photo courtesy of PM Press

April 14, 2014

Stop, Thief!

Hisotrian Peter Linebaugh on commoning and our rich tradition of resistance to attacks on the commons
April 11, 2014

“Why Are We?”

Poet Crystal Williams talks with Camille Gage about her work, beauty and Detroit.