Amidst the many programs, expansion, and partnership work happening here at the Alliance, we forgot to tell you about an exciting new program we’re housing for the cycle. It’s called the Midwest Culture Lab, and its purpose is to increase the civic engagement of young people in the Midwest by integrating cultural organizing and story-driven content with grassroots, youth organizing.

This spring we partnered with experts in marketing, advertising, and culture to create a story platform by young people of color in the Midwest in order to tell a more authentic and holistic story about their lives. This summer we hired cultural organizers and put out a call to emerging creatives across the region to tell the unsung stories of their communities centered around joy, resistance, and transformation!

This is bigger than getting the cool kids more engaged in politics. We’re working with over 50 creatives (and paying them!) to create their best content using the story platform “Co-created by us, real, and with joy!: The world we need.”

And because everything we do is centered in the field, this work is anchored by affiliates and partners at Chicago Votes, Ohio Student Association, and Michigan’s We The People.

We believe that politics is where some of the people are some of the time, but culture is where all the people are all of the time which is why we are so excited to develop programming that joins local influencers, culture creators and community organizers to co-create more just communities that reflect the values of the people.

To learn more the Midwest Culture Lab visit our website or watch this webinar for a more in depth explanation.