Blog Posts for community engagement

Weaving A New Cultural Tapestry

Posted by Mr. John R. Killacky, Apr 21, 2016 0 comments

One-third of the children in Burlington and Winooski public schools are students of color, including new Americans who are English language learners. With the demographics in our region shifting so dramatically, government agencies, educational institutions, businesses, and nonprofits are grappling with inadequate cultural competency in trying to serve these myriad populations.

Yesterday, the Flynn Center, along with Burlington City Arts, the Vermont Arts Council, and the Vermont Community Foundation, hosted a forum in Burlington called New Community Visions with Americans for the Arts. The initiative’s goal was to explore the role that the arts play in pursuing a healthy, vibrant, and cohesive community, and how individuals, arts institutions, and support organizations can help achieve that.

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Acknowledge This History + Then Go to Work

Posted by Margy Waller, Mar 29, 2016 0 comments

Sometimes the most exciting and memorable speakers at the New Community Visions Initiative regional meetings are—like many magical things in the rest of life—serendipitous and unplanned.

One of those inspiring moments occurred at the meeting in Macon when Reverend James Lawrence Wofford gave us words we needed to hear about equity.

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Where We Love to Live—Tales from the Community Visions Tour

Posted by Margy Waller, Jan 08, 2016 0 comments

What kind of community is the place where we all want to live, work, and visit? 

That’s one of the questions Americans for the Arts is asking on a national tour, talking with people about their vision for healthy, equitable, vibrant communities of the future. The answers—and the discussion—are compelling.

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We Are From the Arts and We’re Here to Help

Posted by Margy Waller, Jan 06, 2016 0 comments

When people who work in the arts talk about the value of our contribution in communities, we risk seeming privileged and paternalistic.

Our motivation is just fine, but we don’t realize how we sound sometimes. In the midst of many local and national conversations about the role of the arts in community planning efforts, we should listen carefully to see if we can hear ourselves the way others might.

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New Ways to Talk About Art, Artists, and Community

Posted by Margy Waller, Dec 22, 2015 0 comments

A young dancer recently told me she would be so happy if architects of community change and innovation and planning came to her with a request to put her skills to work for her community. Nothing would make her happier as an artist.

She’s just waiting for the invite! So, why doesn't this happen more often? And why do artists find it so hard to get a seat at the community planning table?

In recent meetings about the role of arts in community building and development, including the four regional meetings of the New Community Visions Initiative this fall, participants from the arts told us that they have a hard time getting a seat at that table. They sense that people in other sectors don’t seem to take arts seriously as a community development partner.

 

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The role and responsibility of the arts

Posted by Erik Takeshita, Dec 10, 2015 0 comments

“The arts are like a little black dress; right for every occasion, but one size doesn’t fit all.” - Commander Moira McGuire, Clinical care coordinator; Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Jamie Bennett, President of ArtPlace America, recently shared this missive with me and I couldn’t agree more. The arts are unique in their capacity to inspire, motivate, connect, give voice, and, all in all, lead to great things.  And, to quote another great source, Spiderman, “with great power comes great responsibility.” 

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