Where Is Community Arts Development Headed? Altering the Face and the Heart of America
Robert Gard once wrote, "If you try, you can indeed alter the face and the heart of America." You have seen it happen time and again. It is why you work as an artist or arts administrator or community volunteer. You know the power of community arts development to create healthy communities. You know the rich history of the field.
It is time to look forward, to envision a thriving future - for the community arts development field and for our communities. It is time to embrace the rich, rural roots of this movement, and to proclaim the power of this work in urban neighborhoods and diverse communities. It is time to come together, to dream, to think, to act.
How will we do it?
We'll look at the meaning of a "healthy community" from the perspectives of a sociologist, a religious leader, a political leader, a community technology specialist, and an economist. They'll share their perspectives in advance on our website in the form of white papers, and at the symposium in a 15 minute conversation. An arts activist will respond to each perspective, following each presentation. As an assembly, those convened will address what this means for our daily work in the arts, and for the training of those who will come after us. We'll have keynote presentations from Lew Feldstein (co-author of Better Together) and Dr. William Cronon (most recently seen in the PBS series, "The National Parks America's Best Idea").
Who should come? You! Whether you're artist, planner, educator, economist, humanist, arts council director, business leader, student, community developer, human services specialist we need your voice in this conversation.
For a century, Wisconsin has boasted a rich history of community arts development a term whose meaning has evolved with the decades. It has signified the movement that resulted in thousands of Wisconsin people writing, painting, creating dance and music; the movement to create community arts councils; the movement to infuse the arts into community design, healthcare, youth-at-risk programming, and more. Wisconsin is the place where Robert Gard, a man whose career in community arts development spanned each of these movements, did his most important work. In turn, these movements national in scope - have played a vital role in the health of our communities.
So it's fitting that in Wisconsin we ask, "What's next? Can we envision the next phase of this work, bringing together urban planning, architecture, art, design, political engagement, economic development, recreation, etc. into a greater, holistic whole?" Can we come to a better understanding of the terms "healthy community" and "community-building"?
This symposium will start this process and explore "what's next?" for community arts development.
Lowell Center, UW Madison
610 Langdon Street
Madison, WI 53703-1104
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