Joanna Chin

Community connections are being eroded on multiple sides. There are growing divisions amongst Americans on how to deal with our social, economic, and political problems. Technology is making it possible to never physically interact with another human being and warping the way we relate to one another. Small towns and cities alike are losing their sense of identity and facing crises involving lack of affordable housing and declining social services.

Perhaps in reaction to this erosion of community ties, there’s been an increased interest in cultivating civic engagement, placemaking, and change at a local level.

There is a growing body of evidence and examples of how communities have utilized local assets in order to begin to address this problem. We assert that the arts and culture have always had a place in this work of creating a sense of place, strengthening civic participation, and bolstering positive social change.

For this Blog Salon, we’ve dared our bloggers to answer big questions, like:

  1. Where do you see breakthrough work at the intersection of art and community, civic, or social change? What makes it effective?
  2. Looking to the future, what will it take to move and sustain arts and culture into its most potent role in community development, civic engagement, and social change?
  3. What are the principles we have to hold onto and what are the shifts that need to occur?

Drawing from their respective areas of expertise, our bloggers have risen to the challenge:

  • questioning the need for institutions that prevent neutrality;
  • calling for more creative engagement in community planning;
  • providing concrete examples of more inclusive, participatory art;
  • exploring the in-between, shared spaces of a community; and
  • looking back at the past as well as forward into the future.

Please join us this week for our first Animating Democracy Blog Salon on ARTSblog. You can follow along using this link.

We’d love your thoughts, questions, and comments on each post from the 18 artists, scholars, and administrators who will be providing readers with their experiences, knowledge, and insight.

One Response to “Join Our First Animating Democracy Blog Salon”

  1. [...] natural that the canvas of the human body is next in line as the foremost bearer of this message.329 Art can be a means of reconstructing experiences, communicating emotions or echoing the sentimen…s of Fashion, coveralls and work boots construction workers and mechanics clothes Art can be a [...]

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ARTSblog holds week-long Blog Salons, a series of posts by guest bloggers, that focus on an overarching theme within a core area of Americans for the Arts' work. Here are links to the most recent Salons:

Arts Education

Teaching Artists

Early Arts Education

Common Core Standards

Quality, Engagement & Partnerships

Emerging Leaders

Charting the Future of the Arts

Taking Communities to the Next Level

New Methods & Models

Public Art

Best Practices

Evaluation

Arts Marketing

Audience Engagement

Winning Audiences

Powered by Community

Animating Democracy

Arts & the Military

Scaling Up Programs & Projects

Social Impact & Evaluation

Humor & Social Change

Private Sector Initatives

Arts & Business Partnerships

Business Models in the Arts

Local Arts Agencies

Cultural Districts

Economic Development

Trends, Collaborations & Audiences

Art in Rural Communities

Alec Baldwin and Nigel Lythgoe talk about the state of the arts in America at Arts Advocacy Day 2012. The acclaimed actor and famed producer discuss arts education and what inspires them.