Metatheatre: reflections & civic life

In this episode, Aubrey Hicks, Oliver Mayer, Christopher Shaw, and John Sonego examine “how, over time, the rituals that we enact color, reflect, refract back upon who we are, at any time – politically, culturally,” as Oliver points out so poetically. These two plays feature characters whose creative work reflects back onto their civic and personal lives. Will these plays, theatre in general, help a polarized country learn to spend time with each other, and listen? Can theatre help us make order from chaos? What can they reflect about America today?

To listen to the Policy at the Playhouse click the arrow here, or download and subscribe through Apple PodcastsSoundcloud, StitcherGoogle Play, or your favorite podcasting app!

How to Stop Feeling Marginalized and Start Engaging in Politics

You may think politics isn’t for you. It’s for the elites. It’s for the rich and powerful. It isn’t for people who look like you or talk like you or live like you. Well, that may be the world we’ve constructed, but it’s not inevitable. You deserve better.

Still not convinced? Good! This episode is for you! Learn how you can become a part of the solution.

In this episode, inspirational speaker and social work professor Melissa Bird knocks down the misconceptions that marginalize us and replaces them with the attitude we need to take on the injustices in our nation today.

To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the arrow in the Soundcloud player here. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcastsSoundcloud, or Google Play.

Community Engagement Post #4: On social media and online engagement

In our previous post on community engagement, we talked a lot about innovation and how to make citizen engagement more attractive for community members. Additionally, during our first LA Civics Initiative workshop, we talked about the barriers that prevent people from becoming civically engaged in LA. One of the barriers that our attendees pointed to was a certain disconnect or feeling of apathy from Angelenos towards government or other formal institutions. Could online engagement and social media be the keys to making communities feel more interested and connected to local governance and decision-making?

Community Engagement Post #3: On informing and educating the public, and innovation

One of the barriers discouraging civic involvement identified in our LA Civics Initiative kick-off workshop last year was “baseline knowledge”—the idea that people need to be informed and educated in certain issues and processes in order for them to fully engage and participate. It is no surprise that Sherry Arnstein writing on citizen participation in…

Federalism and the Battle for Partisan Power

We think we know how federalism works. Republicans believe in states’ rights, and Democrats want a strong federal government, right? Not so fast. New research reveals a whole different tug of war playing out on Capitol Hill. Our legislators don’t always do what they say, but they do have a strategy to design and implement our laws. It turns out that federalism is ground zero in their battle for partisan power—and now we finally know how the game is being played.

In this episode, we go behind-the-scenes with the researcher who uncovered these terms of engagement, Pamela Clouser McCann.