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Fort Lauderdale Nonprofit Launches New Arts Series For Community 'Changemakers'

Caitie Switalski
The new networking and community series called 'Changemakers Circle' will kick off at the ArtServe building on Sunrise Blvd in Fort Lauderdale on May 17.

There's a Changemaker Circle coming to Fort Lauderdale. 

It hopes to create a space for artists, entrepreneurs and professionals who are interested in social change. Small groups will be able to brainstorm projects with the goal of making quality of life in Fort Lauderdale better - through works of art. 

ArtServe, the fine arts incubator in the city, is launching the new arts networking series this Friday, May 17th at 6:30 at its building off of E. Sunrise Blvd. 

ArtServe's new Executive Director, Craig W. Johnson, said nothing like this has been done in the nonprofit's more than 30 years in the community.

"We're talking about how can the arts be used and infused into areas and arenas where they've been underused," Johnson said.  "Areas of equity and inclusion. We're talking about health and human services, we're talking about public school education and education reform."

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One early idea includes creating a kindness curriculum in Broward's public schools through different arts classes.

"We can actively teach kindness through dance, through visual arts...and we can get outcomes that actually shift the values of a public school classroom," Johnson said. 

Once the projects move from ideas to more formal plans later this year, Johnson says ArtServe will help them get funding. 

"Within the context of the Changemaker Circle, we're going to teach independent artists and entrepreneurs how to actually develop and write grants," Johnson said.

Future sessions are planned for the third Friday of every month, through the rest of 2019.  

"Everyone is welcome," Johnson said. "If you think that you don't belong in this kind of Changemaker's Circle, but you're excited about the idea, come. Because there is a place for you here."