4 Quick Tips to Getting Started with Community Arts

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Image: From World Community Arts Day

As we approach

World Community Arts Day – ART AS A CATALYST FOR CARING AND SHARING 

I thought it would interesting to open up this blog to other writers. Just to get a response as to what other people thought about community arts from their own experience. This is the first piece by Katie Williams who is a American living in The Netherlands.

4 Quick Tips to Getting Started with Community Arts

Are you interested in participating in community arts projects as a hobby? Community arts is a great way to make new friends, meet people from different cultures, and contribute to make something that everyone can enjoy.  Check out these easy tips to getting started with community arts in your community.

1.    Consider your motivation

Community arts can demand both participants, and artists to take on a wide variety of roles besides creating and facilitating. Participants often have more than four functions each so that the artist’s individual vision can merge with that of the community.

Kai Chan, a visual artist from Toronto, says, “It is not simply about an artist working in or with a community. All participants in community arts activity should possess a strong desire to strengthen community through a collaborative, collective, creative process.”

2. Experience a project that is currently underway

You might want to shadow a community arts project at first to see how it works. In this way you can see how a local artist and community work together, and ask them various questions about their project. Simply find a local community arts facilitator, such as a local arts council, or community centre, and they can help you to get started.

3.    Come with an open mind

Come to your first community arts meeting with an open mind. Try to embody the merits of patience, flexibility, and adaptability. Be willing to listen, and communicate with other community members for the overall betterment of the project. Keep in mind that individual ideas often take backseat to ideas from the group. Community art is about reflecting a community, rather than merely individual perspectives.

4.    Get ready to grow

Community art will not only help you to hone your artistic skills, but also to build your interpersonal, team building, and negotiation skills. Community art is truly a process, which brings together various stakeholders from divergent backgrounds, and helps them to work together to create something meaningful, and expressive for their community. It’s a project worth embarking upon, as you will grow as a person, and as an artist.

By: Katie Williams, M.Ed.

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Sources: http://homepage.eircom.net/~maloh/jillteck/Community%20Arts/page07.htm

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