Entertainment & Popular Culture

At CMSI, we believe that all forms of entertainment have the potential to shape culture. Through our research, we strive to demonstrate the ways in which the media can be a force for public good.

Yes, And...Laughter Lab

The Yes, And…Laughter Lab is a competitive incubation lab and pitch program that lifts up diverse comedy writers and performers creating new comedy about topics that matter. The Laughter Lab is designed to introduce these comedians to the entertainment industry, social justice organizations, philanthropists and activists who can help bring their work into the comedy marketplace – and into movements for social change. Powered by CMSI and Moore + Associates, and based on pathbreaking research, the Lab leverages comedy’s unique power to change public perceptions about, and build power within, marginalized communities in the United States.

Comedy ThinkTanks

Bringing Comedy Strategy into Social Justice Activism

The Comedy ThinkTank jumpstarts the use of comedy and out-of-the-box Cultural thinking to creatively empower social justice organizations through exposure to the raw, unedited brainstorming of brilliant comedic minds.

Comedy for Racial Justice in the Climate Crisis

As a combined team of engaged researchers, comedians, activists, organizers, music producers and filmmakers, Hip Hop Caucus and the Center for Media & Social Impact (CMSI) began working together in the summer of 2019 to co-create a climate justice entertainment project that centers comedians of color. By sharing the participatory co-creation and production process of Ain’t Your Mama’s Heat Wave, a novel docu-comedy and community mobilization initiative, this report invites social justice organizers, activists, community leaders, and environmental advocates to learn about the power of creativity and comedy to disrupt usual ways of doing business in the climate crisis – and why it matters.

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