Creative Tools for Critical Times

Creative Tools for
 Critical Times

Creative Tools for Critical Times (CT4CT) is an arts for civic engagement initiative comprising workshops, a symposium, an internship training program, a performing arts showcase, and a web-based video series.

We developed CT4CT in response to the concern expressed by our youth and community partners that we are—all of us—living in critical times. The fabric of our social contracts is shredding; the socio-political landscape is riddled with landmines; our world is increasingly divided into us versus them camps. CT4CT builds bridges of understanding among diverse Southern California communities who use their unique experiences to create artwork that promotes awareness and inspires action to constructively address injustices affecting underrepresented groups.


CT4CT Intern Training Program

In this training, university students learn how to design and facilitate a variety of theatre for social justice (TSJ) projects. They develop cultural competency, ally-empowerment, community-building, playwriting, improvisation, and workshop facilitation skills. The interns work on three tracks: 1) Developing proposals for TSJ projects with school and/or community groups; 2) Creating arts-for-civic-engagement theatre and video pieces; and 3) Preparing to facilitate CT4CT Videos for Social Justice Workshops. 


CT4CT Videos for Social Justice (VSJ) Workshops

Fringe Benefits teaching artists and student interns facilitate these workshops with diverse, underserved SoCal schools and communities. Participants share stories and brainstorm artistic strategies to promote awareness, understanding and action around multiple social justice issues. Supported by workshop facilitators, participants create “Call to Action” video scripts about issues affecting their community. Each workshop concludes with participants recording short, inspirational videos to share online with the wider public.


CT4CT Student Arts for Civic Engagement Showcase

Student interns present their original plays and videos addressing current social justice issues. They take on leadership roles viz producing and marketing the showcase, along with a post-show discussion and reception for the interns and their audience of peers and faculty. 


CT4CT "Think Outside the Box" Symposium

Student interns and the school and community members with whom they’ve collaborated in VSJ Workshops will participate in the symposium. They will join together in panels, roundtables, and workshops to discuss their recent arts for civic engagement efforts, and to reflect critically on their concepts, methodologies, and the impact of their work. Finally, they wil explore ideas for advancing their work, the program, and the field. The wider SoCal community will be invited to join the dialogue and share their ideas and to participate in diverse theatre for social justice exercises and activities. 

CT4CT Videos for Social Justice Series

This web-based video series highlights the “Call to Action” videos created by participants in our VSJ Workshops, as well as by our interns and teaching artists. The videos will offer the wider public toos and inspiration for creating a more just and inclusive future.

If you’d like to see the videos we’re posting on our CT4CT YouTube channel, please subscribe to our Facebook, Instagram and/or YouTube accounts… 


Some of the groups we are partnering with on CT4CT include Congregation Kol Ami, Girls Build/L.A., City View  Assisted Living, the University of Southern California, Loyola Marymount University, Southeast Middle School, Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble, and Coming to the Table/Pasadena, “a community of people who seek to heal from the ravages of slavery and the ensuing racism”. We are also collaborating with two distinguished groups of LGBTQ+ & Allied theatre artists, poets, and political and legal activists.

We are eager to include as wide a range of Southern California communities and schools as possible, so please CONTACT US if you would like us to bring a FREE Videos for Social Justice Workshop to your school or community group!