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WHO ARE WE?
Out of the political and social upheaval of the '60's, Cooperative Artists Institute (CAI) was founded as a think tank in 1970 by African-American performing and visual artists who understood the power of The Arts to create community. These artists had been searching for a way to use their creative talents in their own community to overcome poverty, improve education, and reduce the destructive effects of racism. Now a multicultural organization, CAI works in partnership with people in community agencies, businesses, schools and cultural organizations, to develop systems and programs that maximize the sense of community and help them work better as a team. After going through CAI's collaborative development process, which includes needs assessment, discussion, brainstorming, and drawing on over 31 years of experience, CAI artists immerse participants in team-building art experiences designed to help them discover the creative side of themselves. As participants share these experiences (dance, dramatic stories, making music, making drums, etc.) the arts act a catalyst for creating common ground among people of diverse backgrounds and experience. Follow-up materials and consultations are provided to help participants continue using consensus-building and problem-solving techniques on their own. Learn more about CAI and our 30 Years of Programs & Achievements, History and Goals, and Why The Arts.
Cooperative Artists Institute's mission is to empower people to solve their individual and collective problems by applying the Arts as a catalyst for personal and institutional change. Founded in 1970, CAI is the first Think Tank to specialize in using the performing and visual arts to build community. All of CAI's programs in schools, after-schools, community centers, businesses, colleges and government organizations are designed to overcome family, community and organizational fragmentation. CAI is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization.