I’ve had the pleasure of seeing what happens when non-profit and social change-oriented groups hook up with artists on specific projects. The results include:

  • New perspectives on challenges that have resisted previous efforts
  • Solutions people wouldn’t have otherwise have thought of
  • A release of creative energy within the groups and organizations.

The question occurs; What would happen if people working to make the world a better place had access to an artist full time?

What would happen if they had an artist in residence?

Someone who could:

  • Teach the creative process – its discipline, its artistry, its mystery
  • Bring out the creativity of others
  • Catch our attention in a busy world
  • Reveal voices and perspectives of those who are silent or cannot speak
  • Help us find the beauty in what has been desecrated and broken
  • Make the unexplainable, understandable.

If you believe that touching hearts and opening minds are prerequisites to social change, then artists are your essential companions.

Why not hire one? They’re available in such exquisite variation. You can choose among musicians, dancers, poets, painters, sculptors, storytellers, comedians, filmmakers, playwrights and performers of all shapes and sizes.

You won’t know what is possible until you’ve done so.

NOTE: If you are interested in pursuing this, drop me a note. I just might have a job description you can use.

EH!

But that’s the nature of art, it scrapes up against those ugly places and concedes their existence. Which is very different from performing, fetishizing or objectifying that ugliness, resulting in something closer, along the spectrum, to spectacle rather than art. (Madeleine Thien)

Musical accompaniment this post, “Near to the Wild Heart of Life” by the Japandroids. Purchase here.

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2 Comments

  1. Kathleen Gifford

    We have certainly found this to be true for our son David. When we had no where else to turn, the days were dark with behaviours and sadness and we saw no way out we hired Danielle, an art facilitator to sit and Dave’s presence and observe everything, take pictures of everything he looked at. This was our last chance to see if a pattern would emerge that we could not see in our veiled eyes of raising our son. What emerged from the darkness where photography and painting and community rallying. My son, now 3 years passed this dark time is a beautiful painter and photographer. He enters many shows and hosted his own exhibit and two businesses in town sell his work. We are over the moon. Best money I ever spent and will continue to spend.

  2. Monica

    I have been looking for opportunities to take my skills and share them in such a way that not only allows me to grow as an artist but also to be able to share with others my belief that culture and the gift of creativity is an asset that our society needs more of. I just recently had the opportunity to graphically record at the OIFN Common Threads conference in Toronto. The joy that creating in collaboration gives me is something that is hard to define. I have always dreamt of being an art therapist or an art facilitator. I have a BES in Community Planning, a long history of education in the arts (visual, art history, and architecture) and currently work as a DSW. I love the nexus between art, community and wellness and have been interested in visual perception and visual communication for the last few years and I am definitely interested in sharing my gifts with others.

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