How to co-create an exhibition with your community so people take action on an issue that matters.

The Community Issue Exhibition toolkit is a product of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History’s first community-driven exhibition in 2017 called Lost Childhoods: Voices of Santa Cruz County Foster Youth and the Foster Youth Museum. We are proud to present this toolkit to all who are interested in launching a project that ignites community action around a specific local issue.

We created this resource for cultural workers and community organizers alike. Whether you’re an individual community member, a mentor, a coach, an ally, or a professional — this toolkit will guide you in facilitating a project in which community building and involvement is necessary from start to finish.

We also wrote it for institutions—museums, libraries, cultural centers—that want to host and develop these kinds of projects. Inside, you'll find templates, checklists, and helpful tips to build a high-impact exhibition on an issue that matters in your community.

As the OF/BY/FOR ALL Change Network casts our net wider and build across borders and waters, we hope that our small contribution will be able to steer the greater conversation of community inclusion into action.

Now it’s up to you -- the advocates, community members, builders and changemakers -- to involve your community. Let’s get to work!   


If you have questions or can imagine using this toolkit in your work, please email us. We'd love to see this model evolve and grow.


We want you to use, adapt, and share this toolkit freely, so we are using a Creative Commons license for The Community Issue Exhibition Toolkit.