Creative Publics Lab is an incubator for new political practices emerging from digital culture. That means we bring together post-secondary students with community organizers to work on active campaigns that use art and media to engage young people in public issues.

Each of our experiments is designed to achieve the following objectives:

  • Student Capacity Building: Facilitate the professional development of post-secondary students through collaborative relationships with community organizations. Through community service learning models, the lab connects students with the social sector in order to build capacities in project management, digital storytelling, public art interventions, issue framing, strategic transmedia outreach, event planning, media relations,  and citizen journalism.
  • Community Engagement: Re-imagine the student course work as a way to practice community organizing and build collective civic capacity. Develop and nurture working relationships between post-secondary institutions and community organizations working on local political and social campaigns.
  • Research: Provide a space for creative research and investigate the connection between the theories of civic media and the practice media-based community organizing.


The lab is housed in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia on unceded Coast Salish Territory; the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. It is part of the PhD research of Tara Mahoney, co-founder and creative director of civic engagement agency, Gen Why Media, and supervised by Dr. Stuart Poyntz, Associate Professor in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University.

Check out our experiments