Where else can you get an analysis of the Supreme Court’s health decision in a poem? Or find information on how artist activists are protesting museums that accept funding from giant oil companies?

The Institute for Policy Studies has a long history of combining political analysis with the power of culture. Today we’re proud to house two important cultural groups, Split This Rock and DC Advocates for the Arts. Split This Rock is a national nonprofit organization of poets, artists, and activists that celebrates the poetry of provocation and witness and works to help make poets be effective champions of social change. Using policy tools and trainings, DC Advocates for the Arts offers the most comprehensive source for data and information about local arts policy in the District of Columbia. Both organizations infuse our work with the creative energy of artists young and old who are committed to building a better world.

We also have to brag about John Feffer. Our Foreign Policy In Focus co-director moonlights as a progressive playwright. His new production, The Pundit, has been featured in Politico and The Washington Post and will open this Friday. If you’re in DC, catch one of his performances here in July at the Goethe Institute. New Yorkers can see The Pundit in Manhattan next month at the Dorothy B. Williams Theatre.

Our IPS colleagues don’t just study the important political issues of the day. As activists and artists, we work to change the culture through the arts in ways that will open the door to progressive change. Andy Shallal, IPS Board Treasurer and owner of Busboys and Poets, created a collage of the Institute’s history in our conference room that we invite you to stop by and see. And IPS Board Chair E. Ethelbert Miller is an award-winning poet and author. As part of our 50th Anniversary Celebration and Reunion in 2013, we will hold many events dedicated to arts and activism. If you’d like to get involved, please email joy@ips-dc.org. Our arts and activism endeavors are just one of the many reasons that we’re so proud to work here.

We thank you for your support as we kick off our IPS Summer Drive. Please donate now to help us reach our goal of raising $50,000 by Labor Day.

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