CounterPulse is a dynamic movement of experimental art that sparks personal transformation and builds enduring community. 

We believe that the role of CounterPulse is to deepen and broaden a movement that inspires, elevates, and adequately resources experimental art that truly engages and transforms individuals and subsequently, communities and the world at large. This vision is the essence behind all our values, strategies, and intended impacts. Our vision notably brings the humanity of the arts into all our work. By focusing on personal transformation, we believe that the art’s audacity to create transformative individual experiences will in turn build a more collaborative and resilient world.

To drive us to this ultimate intended vision, our strategies are directed to three Foci of Change

Diverse, Emerging and Mid-career Artists and Cultural Workers

We recognize the myriad artists, communities, and supporters that rally behind our work to truly make it a movement.

I need to make work where I can show that there is this world and it’s actually not that far away, like it’s within reach.”

– Kim Ip, ARC Edge Residency Alumni

People say art can change lives and I’ve seen that in practice… they gain confidence, they gain value, they recover a lot of pride.”

– Txutxo perez of Hospitality House, former Block Fest featured artist

Established and Emergent Arts Audiences

We engage our audience in ways that are unexpected and innovative, inviting artists to work in new ways and address contemporary issues and  break down the boundaries of artistic disciplines. 

It’s really important that organizations take the time to reach out to the communities that they want to be accessible for.”

– Kevin Abrams, Drag Performer and ASL Interpreter

Everyone’s so excited to be back and we all share that as as well as the desire to actually be watching something. That feels really good.”

– Victor Cordon, CounterPulse’s Board Vice Chair

Partners with a Vision for Social Change

We aim to inspire the development of new ideas, new connections, and new ways to participate in community that fuel positive change on the personal level, positing that the individual is the base unit of social change. We are preserving and developing existing cultures that withstand divestment, inequities, and displacement. 

We’re trying to project what the whole CounterPulse idea of social justice and what art is out from the doorway and into the community.”

– Rick Darnell, Associate Director of Neighborhood Arts

Homogeneity isn’t a good thing for the arts. The Bay Area, as we know, it’s challenging to make work here, and space and place must be preserved.”

– Susan Miller, Executive Director at McEvoy Foundation for the Arts

The development of our Strategic Plan and Theory of Change was predicated on careful listening to stakeholders and program evaluation throughout 2017-2021. We surveyed ourselves, CounterPulse staff and board, to develop consensus around what is important to us as an organization, as arts professionals, and as individuals – and continued to test our assumptions.

We, the staff and board of CounterPulse, embrace this strategic plan as a powerful framework to guide our shared endeavor. We commit our passion, intelligence, energy, and resources to achieving our intended impact. We will pursue these strategies with cultural awareness and responsivity to our changing arts and social landscape. We will adhere to these core values and ensure that they inform every element of our work. We invite you to join us in building a dynamic movement of experimental art that sparks personal transformation and builds enduring community.

Download our New Theory of Change

Download our New Strategic Plan (2021-2025)