Pluribus Project Narrative Collaboratory Selects Eight Winning Projects

May 16, 2016


Contact: Caroline Hopper
The Aspen Institute
202.721.2337 |

Diverse national range of projects spread storylines of citizen power

Washington, DC, May 16, 2016 –– The Pluribus Project Narrative Collaboratory today announced the selection of eight winning projects to spread narratives of citizen power and to inspire enhanced public participation in civic and political life.

The Pluribus Project Narrative Collaboratory proceeds from the premise that in American life today the dominant overarching narrative says that the system is so broken and the game so rigged that there is no point in participating in democracy. The goal is to displace that narrative. The method is to seed these experiments in narrative-making that can add up to a counter-narrative of citizen power, along with the tools for exercising such power. The eight winning projects were selected from a pool of over 230 submitted proposals.

The following will be supported by the Pluribus Project Narrative Collaboratory in the amount of $25,000:

First Book, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Albert Shanker Institute for a Citizen Power Challenge to support educators in 15 communities across the United States to curate diverse book collections that can spark student-led projects for community change.

Free the People for a transpartisan video project to tell the story of how individuals self-organized, bypassed government, and created social change.

Futuro Media Group to produce videos in their “Humanizing America” series and a corresponding digital event in talk show format. “Humanizing America” is a digital short series, which deconstructs stereotypes by presenting the human stories behind the American electorate and beyond.

NationSwell for its “AllStar Program”, a campaign to support the greatest innovators who are tackling some of our nation’s most critical issues, and to spur civic engagement by providing clear and compelling calls-to-action.

PICO National Network for “Flint Rising”, an organizing project using stories to build community power in a sustainable way in Flint, Michigan.

Springboard for the Arts in partnership with the Citizens League for “Calling Home,” an initiative to inspire, support, and document conversations among Minnesotans about aging through the lens of home and community to ultimately inform policy priorities.

The Public Theater for a new American play to be announced soon, and a corresponding audience engagement program that inspires action.

Upworthy for a series of highly shareable multimedia stories to address both the need for civic engagement beyond voting and the insufficient understanding of US history, and to connect audience members to action.

The Pluribus Project is a special initiative with the Aspen Institute that seeks to cultivate the political power of the many so America can live up to its founding vision as a republic of the people, by the people, and for the people. Founded to address the concern that American democracy is working more effectively on behalf of special interests than public interests, the Pluribus Project is a venture that leverages the unique and unprecedented opportunities for innovation that are available at this moment of profound social, demographic and technological change. We bring together issue experts and practitioners as well as private sector entrepreneurs and investors to catalyze and accelerate targeted innovations that ensure the people are the ultimate source of power in our republic.


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