Arts for Social Justice

Art. Justice. Action.

Santa Clara University’s SCU•Presents Arts for Social Justice Program Recognized Nationally with NEA Grant Matching Grant Requires Community Support

SCU•PRESENTS is proud to announce the Arts for Social Justice Program has received a $10,000 matching grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. NEA guidelines stipulate that grants are to support the creation of art that meets the highest standard of excellence, while strengthening communities. The grant requires SCU•Presents to match the funds dollar-for-dollar.

SCU•Presents Arts for Social Justice (ASJ), is a collaborative, interdisciplinary initiative, the mission of which is to raise awareness about critical issues addressing the human condition, inspiring students to engage the world. Through the creation of and participation in a wide variety of art forms that promote dialogue and action both on and off campus, students transform lives and society through their creative and intellectual energy and skills. Direct participation in the artistic process encourages positive change by engaging with individuals to address the broader contemporary challenges of our global society... Read more

“Art plays an important role in all our lives and we acknowledge the power of the arts to affect positive change.  Even the briefest human connection through art can inspire, motivate, interact, and heal. Art is accessible across social boundaries and is a universal language that gives voice to individuals and communities. “


Matthew Works
Winter Quarter
SCU•Presents is thrilled to bring Matthew Works to the Santa Clara University community. Matthew is a homeless artist and activist  who speaks out about issues of poverty and homelessness from the perspective of the homeless. Matthew has been traveling the country for several years speaking at schools, churches and conferences.

Lineage Dance: Ceiling in the Floor
Spring Quarter
Even in death relationships continue to evolve. Ceiling in the Floor explores the darkness of mental illness, unveiling an inspired, true story about two lives bound together through music and dance. 

She Should Have Been Playing with Dolls
by Jeevika Bhat and Kiyasha Mehta
Thursday, May 28, 2015 | Fess Parker Studio Theatre
This event is free. Seating is limitied, click here to reserve your seats today
Students of the Cupertino Actors' Theatre at Cupertino High School, tackle the true stories of sex trafficking around the world in their 30-minute play She Should Have Been Playing with Dolls. Based on the true story of Asha, a bright-eyed little girl who was sold by her father at the tender age of nine to become a "doll" in a Mumbai brothel, the play features true accounts of both the young girls who are forced into these situations as well as the men who use their services. A discussion panel, led by Ruth Silver-Taube and in partnership with The Freedom Project, an SCU Organization will follow the play. Read More...

The Creative Project | El Proyecto Creativo
In Partnership with SCU•Presents and Ignatian Center

The Creative Project | El Proyecto Creativo, was co-designed by Santa Clara University Professor Kristin Kusanovich and SCU Presents Director Butch Coyne. As part of the SCU neighborhood initiative, this project develops and presents interactive, multidisciplinary performing and visual arts to schools and in the community. Participants will experience AND create their own original work for an audience. Creative projects include South Bay Sound Map, Street Canvas, Performing Our Environment, Poesía en Movimiento for youth and families, among many others thataddress specific social justice issues such as racism, homelessness, immigration, the environment and bullying.

The Creative Project works in communities with the greatest need for the arts. The Project serves students from K-12, adults and seniors including: Washington Elementary School, a neighborhood with recent immigrants, many of whom are struggling due to significant social barriers; Luther Burbank Elementary/Middle School which has minimal arts programming; and Sacred Heart Community Center, assisting approximately 70,000 underserved individuals a year.