By ,     Aug 21, 2014
Executive Director, Transformative Action Institute

Scott Sherman

NAS Director

Sunny Widmann

Sunny believes that arts participation engenders empathy and builds cross-cultural understanding, and is interested in how the arts work in different communities across the globe. Sunny likes to spend her time practicing yoga with friends, or planning her next great adventure.

Creative Community Tools

National Arts Strategies has developed a set of lessons to help cultural entrepreneurs push their great ideas forward.  Think of each lesson as a tool, grouped with other related lessons to form a themed toolkit.  Each toolkit features videos and worksheets from the National Arts Strategies Team and our faculty partners.

The Creative Community Fellows explore these tools with the support of their learning groups.  We make the toolkits openly available on this blog and invite the greater arts and culture community to use them.  We invite you to share your experience with these tools in the comments section.  Happy learning!


Unit 1: Community

We think about community in two ways: the community your project serves and our community of Fellows.  We want to strengthen your connection to both.  The Luck Circle and Accountability activities will help you push through your own roadblocks and access new resources using the CCF community’s support.  The Systems Mapping exercise helps you to view the community in which you work in a new light.  All three lessons in this unit help deepen community bonds and allow for new opportunities to surface. Special thanks to our partners Scott Sherman (Transformative Action Institute) and Joelle Cook (FSG).


Accountability Teams

Read the information on Accountability Teams.  Online Fellows, you can consider your Learning Group as your Accountability Team.  Choose an Accountability Partner within the group and complete the worksheet with her/him.  Consider scheduling regular check-ins with your team to cheer each other on and hold each other accountable.


Luck Circles

Luck Circles allow us to access the resources and connections of our acquaintances.  Scott Sherman, Director of the Transformative Action Institute, introduces the science behind the Luck Circle below:

Creative Community Fellows discuss their experiences “getting lucky” here:

After watching these videos, complete the following steps:

  • Read the Luck Circle worksheet.
  •  Tell your Learning Group about one personal and one professional goal you are trying to achieve.  Record any resources or connections your group members suggest on the worksheet.
  • Consider telling your Mentor about your goals or posting them to the CCF blog/Facebook group.  The wider the circle, the more you can benefit!


Systems Mapping

Systems Mapping helps you examine the different people and organizations you might encounter on your way to achieving a certain goal.  Watch the video introduction on systems mapping below and then complete the following steps:

  •  Using this guide, create a systems map for your own work and answer the corresponding questions
  •  Share your systems map with your group.  What similarities do the maps have?
  •  There are many approaches to mapping.  Check out this tool from Fieldstone Alliance for more.