Blog Posts for Community Visions

OH at a Meeting: It’s Not Just a Bike Rack

Posted by Margy Waller, Jan 26, 2016 0 comments

We were in Oklahoma City and Heather Ahtone of Norman Oklahoma shared a story about the power of Arts And…, a moment when, as she said, “The arts community met a civic need in a creative way.”

Her city, like lots of other places, is growing fast. So fast that traffic has gotten a lot worse in the center. City planners decided to encourage more people to start riding bikes to get around, improving the quality of life for everyone. What happened next? 

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How a “non-artist” found her niche in the art world

Posted by Cherie Northon, Jan 11, 2016 1 comment

A foray into the Monterey History and Art Association’s December 2012 exhibit, “Flows to Bay,” totally altered my outlook on how to communicate action on environmental issues. A small exhibit, it featured a variety of art using discarded plastics from the marine environment to demonstrate how they detrimentally affect our planet. I do not consider myself an artist, so the lenses I view the world through are primarily those of an environmental scientist. But what I saw hooked me, and its strong yet captivating message gave me new insight into a way to frame environmental degradation through art. 

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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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