Arts-Based Community Development Convening
Transforming Post-Industrial Cities through Art and Innovation
April 12 through 14, 2012 - St. Louis

Emily Augsburger

St. Louis, Missouri


Emily Augsburger (moderator), Community Projects Coordinator, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, graduated with from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work in 2010 and is a Community Arts Training Graduate from 2011. She served as the assistant producer on the Staging Reflections of the Buddha project at the Pulitzer. Augsburger has served as the Community Projects Coordinator for the Pulitzer for two years exploring the role of art in community building and development, while also investigating arts institutions’ function and responsibility in these settings. Her professional interests include creating new pathways for social workers in nontraditional setting.


Staging Innovation: Uniting Theatre Arts and Social Work in a Museum Setting

Day 2 / Apr, 13 @ 4:15 pm
Lower Level : Room A

For five months the Pulitzer has partnered with Prison Performing Arts, St. Patrick Center, and Employment connection to present Staging Reflections of the Buddha, a community project inspired by our highly successful Staging Old Masters project of 2009. The project unites theater, visual arts, and social work to build connections between the art and all audiences while transforming lives and fostering connections between communities.

The program works with a group of former prisoners and homeless veterans training them to become actors through weekly workshops that also include art exploration and instruction, theatre exercises, meditation, and rehearsals. Concurrently, the actors work with St. Patrick Center and Employment Connection to apply their art experiences toward achieving their goals, which include but are not limited to, obtaining housing and employment and re-integrating into society. The workshops culminate in performances of an original work created by the actors.

After two successful Staging programs, the question is what happens next? Can we replicate the program again, and if so, in what capacity? Can the program be exported to another museum or arts institution? Can the program develop into an organization on its own?