Social Artistry

Final LogoLGSocial Artistry emerges from Jean Houston’s work, through the United Nations and in over 100 countries and cultures, to bring forth our full human capacities to co-create the New Story, igniting a culture of peace and change. Social Artists promote teaching-learning under the positive assumption that you know something I don’t and vice versa. Together, we know more. And together, discovering and manifesting our Social Artistry, we can make the world work for every living being. CirclesWork! aims to grow teaching-learning communities via one circle at a time. The Jean Houston Foundation co-sponsored our 2012-2013 Peacemaker Circles Teleconference Series. They are co-sponsoring the 2014 Beloved Community Teleconference Series, along with Be the Change.

Principles of the Social Artist and Social Artistry

by Peggy Rubin

The social artist sees, and persists in seeing, in everyone—and helps to evoke in everyone—the possible human creating the possible society in a possible world, a world that truly works for everyone.

The social artist is a skilled and dedicated orchestrator/choreographer of energy, mood, inner personae, time, situations, patterns and points of view, in order to inspire creativity, elan, delight, courage, and innovation in herself and others.

The social artist is a devoted compassionate listener, capable of hearing the stories of others at many levels, while also attending to the stories that are beyond speech and body language.  At the same time he acknowledges the presence of a new story asking to be born, a story that may be hiding within or under the old story.

The social artist maintains love, honor and respect for her family, her community, her country, while in the process of shifting her conscious allegiance to the global family, the global community of sentient beings, and the living earth.  The social artist is opening his consciousness in order to “think like a planet,” and become a full planetary citizen.

The social artist is a lifelong learner committed to deepening her existing skills, and gaining new ones—skills that open the powers, focus, dedication, values and knowledge of a great artist to her on a scale that employs these skills for the well being and nurturing of her society.

The social artist is in love with people’s cultural gifts to the world, though fearlessly also aware of cultural shadows and the ultimate need for a people to resolve such shadows creatively.

The social artist carries a profound knowledge of the source and resource levels of existence; he recognizes, acknowledges and respects these unifying levels in others (even when they seem unable to do so); she maintains communion with these sourcing levels in order to sustain her energy, commitment, passion, compassion, creativity, playfulness, alignment and well being.

Social Artist Core Competencies

  • Ability to use story and building learning experiences around a story or myth
  • Internalize processes and deepen knowledge of Social Artistry, including:

Four levels (sensory, psychological, mythic, unitive)
Compassionate listening and dialog
The power of myth
The polyphrenic self or inner crew
The entelechy

  • Ability to create exercises in all four levels in different cultural contexts
  • Ability to create workshops and learning environments that evoke the genius in individuals and groups
  • Ability to help people access their creativity, think “out of the box,” and move beyond their comfort zones
  • Skills in using dance, drama, music to energize groups and help them integrate processes
  • Ability to help others be mobilized by a vision of new possibilities
  • Ability to create a sense of urgency and hope
  • Ability to help others shift from local to global, from internal to external perspectives, and to operate from “planetary consciousness”
  • Skill at creating partnerships, collaborative networks and teaching/learning communities
  • Communication skills, including speaking, writing, and use of visual arts and computer technology
  • Ability to self-orchestrate in terms of voice tone, body movement and expression to serve the outcome of the training
  • Strong group process and facilitation skills, including:

Eliciting from the audience
Paraphrasing, reframing activities
Giving and receiving feedback
Brainstorming and prioritizing
Recording the results

  • Ability to set a tone of respect, honor and learning delight in every context and culture
  • Ability to help people recognize operating paradigms or metaphors they use that are failing them
  • Ability to understand the importance of timing and discern trim-tab opportunities
  • Workshop planning and follow-up skills
  • Cross-cultural fluency; ability to communicate and facilitate in diverse cultural contexts
  • Enabling people to create and initiate their own trim-tab projects
  • Transforming communities, organizations and institutions

Circle at the 4-Levels of the Self


Become close enough to deeply see the other in their fullness. Hear the resonance and tones of the voice and words of each person speaking in turn. Taste the flavors of foods offered in potluck to begin our breaking bread together.


Revive the ancient magic of circle to unlock and give space for the stories of each circle member to blossom. Activate meaningful bonds amongst colleagues and friends, creating a tribe. Stimulate creativity and unlock your deepest human potential by engaging in the practice of giving and receiving: speaking and listening… teaching and learning… leading and participating.


Circle represents the infinite nature of energy, and the inclusivity of the universe. In the act of sharing personal mythologies, the circle reflects the variation and cultural diversity of circle members. Discovering common values, circle brings to light our deep interconnectedness. The circle is the unending loop, the wheel to move us to a new place, the shape of Earth, the shape of nuclei of our cells.


When the circle reaches this level of safety and interconnectedness– where judgments disappear– you can shed your ego and become pure “you”, no longer restricted by the local self’s limiting boundary. From this experience it’s easier to plan and create the peaceful and harmonious society. It’s at this level that the entelechy of the circle unfolds.