Welcome to Democracy Cafe!
Democracy Cafe is a new series of free art, music and social events for people of all ages and backgrounds, hosted in Marin County. We build community and drive social change through creative expression and civic engagement.
We think making art, music and talking with people from diverse cultures can bring our communities closer, build mutual understanding and engage us to take meaningful political action together.
Art and Music for the Women’s March
Our first Democracy Cafe took place at the O’Hanlon Center for the Arts in Mill Valley on January 14, 2018. A creative group of 50 activists and artists of all ages gathered to make signs, art and music for the upcoming Women’s March.
In just a few hours, we created dozens of inspiring signs, blue flags and Liberty figures. We also practiced protest songs with the Freedom Singers in the beautiful sculpture garden. We’re now well prepared for our Women’s March next week.
I loved seeing so many creative collaborations take place throughout the afternoon. Participants told us they really enjoyed themselves and would like to meet again at Democracy Cafe!
In our first pilot series for winter and spring 2018, we plan to host Democracy Cafes on the third Sunday of each month, centered around a wide range of social and civic themes:
- February: Youth and Politics
- March: Diversity
- April: Environment
- May: Get Out The Vote
Our next Democracy Cafe will be on Sunday, February 18th from 2 to 5pm, on the theme of Youth and Politics. We will invite young people to participate, so we can connect with them, learn more about their views and how to get millennials engaged in the next election. Save the date and sign up here for more information!
Each 3-hour session can include several hour-long activities. For example, the 1st hour could be for art-making, the 2nd hour for a music performance or sing-along, and the 3rd hour for a group discussion. Where space allows, small group meetings can be held at the same time.
Democracy Cafe shows great promise for energizing people through the transformative power of the arts, and sparking our imaginations to solve problems together — and change the world. At the end of this pilot, we will evaluate results of this program to decide next steps.
If you would like to join future events or volunteer on our team, please sign up for our Democracy Cafe mailing list.
Democracy Cafe is produced by a team of Marin activists and artists led by Fabrice Florin, with Danny Altman, Mary Cosgrove, Carol Korenbrot, Marilyn Price and many more. Our goal is to engage our communities to help change the world, by combining arts and politics through fun, hands-on and inspiring activities.
Thanks as well to all our gracious crew and activity leaders: Jean Bolte, Jake Cohen, Dana Dworin, Wayne Lechner, Gareth Loy and Gary Yost, to name but a few. We’re also grateful to Erma Murphy at the O’Hanlon and all our wonderful participants, whose commitment to art and activism inspires us.
Many of us are part of the Mill Valley Community Action Network (MVCAN), our political action group in Marin. We’re delighted that so many MVCAN members joined us for this creative experiment.
Join your neighbors to make political art — and keep democracy alive!
Note: This page was updated on Jan. 15 to include info about our first event.