While the mystery of how emotions are evoked or how synaptic connections get sparked may never be fully understood, we know artistic practices have capacities to do these things. Some wonderful Twin Cities artists demonstrated this to me well over a decade ago.
We were bringing people together to find solutions to neighborhood challenges, addressing things that might be known by the mundane terms of community problem-solving, strategic planning, and urban design.
Engaging people on expressive levels using visual art-making, movement, as in dance, and storytelling, these artists tapped imaginations and provoked different ways of understanding physical environments and relationships.
As my professional work has taken me into cultural and community planning and partnering with architects and urban planners and designers, I’ve had multiple (although not enough) opportunities to bring artists into the mix to enrich, and sometimes to completely reorient, the thinking of people and communities. Read the rest of this entry »