Comedy ThinkTanks is CMSI’s co-creation workshop initiative that pairs professional comedians and social justice organizations to create entertaining comedy to spark public engagement in social issues. CMSI gratefully acknowledges our funders for the Comedy ThinkTanks program, including Luminate, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies,
and the McNulty Foundation.

To address the opportunity and challenge of civic engagement in the networked media age, in 2019, the Center for Media & Social Impact (CMSI) launched the Comedy ThinkTank initiative to create a process of cross-sector collaboration between comedians and social justice organizations, building a path to more frequent interactions and engagements.

Comedy ThinkTank is a unique, customized cultural communication strategy that curates a room of professional comedy writers and performers to collaboratively co-create with social justice groups to create original comedy – sketches, program ideas, campaigns. The newly created comedy is ready to produce by social justice organizations – either in-house, or for the entertainment marketplace.

What is a Comedy ThinkTank?

Comedy ThinkTank is a unique, customized cultural communication strategy that curates a room of professional comedy writers and performers to collaboratively co-create with social justice groups to create original comedy – sketches, program ideas, campaigns. The newly created comedy is ready to produce by social justice organizations – either in-house, or for the entertainment marketplace.

Comedy for Racial Justice in The Climate Crisis

In November 2019, incubated from the CMSI Comedy ThinkTanks ideation sessions, Hip Hop Caucus produced Ain’t Your Mama’s Heat Wave, a live and filmed stand-up comedy show hosted in Norfolk’s historic Attucks Theater, and the centerpiece of a comedic documentary film and short-form video content series. Read this report which analyzes the value and importance of comedy for local public mobilization in climate change and shares details about the participatory co-creation and production process.

Read the Report
Comedy ThinkTanks in Action
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