What We Do

We support and create work that builds upon USC’s commitment to addressing society’s most pressing issues. 

Our projects span a wide range of art forms to address systemic oppression and social issues including homelessness, mass incarceration, sustainability, educational inequity, arts access, healthcare, and multiple forms of violence.

We deliver on our mission by annually funding arts projects that are co-led by community partners and USC personnel, directly producing our own projects in partnership with organizations and activists, and acting as a connecting hub for individuals and organizations within and beyond USC, seeding the ground for future collaborations.

who we serve

Community Partners

Conduct projects with partners who are addressing social problems via the arts, helping each other to do effective and excellent work.

Create greater visibility and support for partners’ work by providing access to USC audiences, online and at events.

Offer recurring issue-specific forums for partners and the USC community to share knowledge, build networks, and evaluate work.

University Artists

Sponsor artists’ projects that alleviate and/or propose solutions to society’s most challenging problems across diverse art forms.

Nurture collaborative project formats that create change through a process, not a final artistic product.

Offer a forum for artists to collaborate across disciplines and to develop their skills in community environments beyond the studio or classroom.


Facilitate arts activities that advance positive change within politics, policy, community-building, and environmental and social justice through projects, documentation, and public events.

Deepen public awareness of social problems by documenting projects, sharing work by partners, and spotlighting research online.


For information, please refer to these Frequently Asked Questions. If your question isn’t addressed here, feel free to get in touch via our Contact page

We support projects whose vision, objectives, and execution are developed with underlying support and input from community members and/or organizations. Projects are often participant-driven, challenging a separation between “artists” and “audiences.” We prioritize artwork that is the result of a shared, relational process, and where the collaborative process of creating the work is a core part of the project’s impact and value. Please refer to our featured past projects for examples.

Yes. Full-time, part-time, tenured, tenure-track, and non–tenure track USC faculty of any level are eligible to submit a proposal in response to an Arts in Action Request for Proposals.

Yes. All USC students are eligible to submit a proposal in response to an Arts in Action Request for Proposals, as long as they have the listed endorsement of at least one USC faculty member. All students are eligible to attend Arts in Action public events. However, specific projects may be reserved for students studying a particular degree.

We welcome the participation of people from a range of study fields, and encourage the formation of diverse project teams. However, we encourage each project team to include at least one individual based within a USC arts school.

Please get in touch with us via our Contact page! We will point you toward people and activities at USC that are engaged in work related to your cause. You can also explore a list of USC initiatives via our Community page.

No. Arts in Action projects must include collaboration with USC faculty or students.