SXSW 2023

Paint by Number: Data, Action and Future Thinking


Artists are truth-tellers and the vanguards of their communities’ most pressing issues. In order to sustain their creative approaches to activism and the well-being of the artists themselves, three different elements must work in sync: data, direct action, and future-thinking.
In Chicago, you can see this reflected in the efforts of ACRE, alt_, and Firebird Community Arts, all of which have a hand in establishing Chicago as a permanent and nourishing home for artists while providing communal resources that boost creative engagement between artists and their neighbors.
In concert, these three organizations move beyond buzzy ideas about “democratizing” the art world: These artist-led projects reflect how those closest to the problem are the most creatively equipped to solve it.

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  1. Data: Data-driven projects like the groundbreaking Chicago Arts Census can shape realistic, meaningful initiatives in the art world
  2. Action: Developing a stronger sense of how arts and grassroots advocacy can converge and help prevent further disenfranchisement of our communities
  3. Future-thinking: Understand how visual art and open spaces can meet today’s youth where they are and mitigate future generational trauma



Kathleen Strand, Head of Communications, Builders Vision

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Culture
  • Track 2
  • Level: Advanced

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