Rachel Hamilton & Katy Moonan: A Conversation

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This week we will be featuring conversations with leaders working in communities. Rachel Hamilton is a theatre educator and arts access advocate who enjoys creating performing arts opportunities in and with communities. She has developed drama programs with young people in schools, museums, community centers and healthcare settings. She currently works as the Associate Director of Education at Nashville Children's Theatre. Katy Moonan works in Massachusetts directing Family Literacy programs for a literacy nonprofit called Reader to Reader … [Read more...]

Monica Montgomery & Kristina Newman-Scott: A Conversation

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This week we will be featuring conversations with leaders working in communities. Monica Montgomery is a cultural entrepreneur launching the Museum of Impact, a social change museum that will explore activism, altruism and advocacy through a creative lens. Kristina Newman-Scott currently works as the Director of Marketing, Events and Cultural Affairs for the City of Hartford. She is working on developing a systematic approach to integrate artistic practice into strategic municipal planning and project development via the artist in residence … [Read more...]

Placemaking: It’s About Addressing the Disconnect

This week continues our conversation on creative placemaking where we asked our Creative Community Fellows to talk about creative placemaking and what their role is as community-engaged artists. We discovered that for many of our Fellows, the work they do is about addressing the disconnect that exists not only within the communities in which they are currently working but across sectors and social boundaries. We found that many Fellows see their work as a means to bridge these divides. In their conversation, Rachel Reynolds Luster and Laurelin … [Read more...]

Nicolle Bennett & Sifiso Maposa: A Conversation

This week we will be featuring conversations with leaders working in communities. Nicolle Bennett, is currently working with an arts education and advocacy organization called Feel the Music! She is developing a technology platform for artists, community-based organizations and policymakers to connect in a more meaningful way. Sifiso Maposa is a social entrepreneur working in the culture and creative industries. Based in South Africa, she is creating a digital platform that connects the creative industries of Africa to each other and to global … [Read more...]

Julie Rada & Chris Webb: A Conversation

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This week we will be featuring conversations with leaders working in communities. Julie Rada is a contemporary performance director using art to create enrichment opportunities for prisoners in Arizona. Chris Webb, originally from Cleveland, Ohio is currently working as a poet, actor and public speaker in LA. Both are Creative Community Fellows. The following is a recounting of what they learned from their conversation. City with a C By Julie Rada I hold an image: of artists and neighbors painting their anger and resentment into a wall … [Read more...]

Placemaking: Bringing People Together

Connect. Connected. Connecting. Connection. Connector. This is what we heard when we asked our Creative Community Fellows and you to talk about creative placemaking. Many saw themselves as connectors of people, across divides and within them – sharing experiences to inspire and motivate. The idea of connection was frequently brought up when defining “community.” For many, and I know certainly for myself, community feels personal, it is almost synonymous with identity. It is a place where we feel we belong. We choose to identify in … [Read more...]

Kate Jopson & Mina Girgis: A Conversation

This week we will be featuring conversations with leaders working in communities. Kate Jopson and Mina Girgis are members of our Creative Community Fellows program. Kate is a professional theater director with a passion for bridging the rural/urban divide in California. Mina is an ethnomusicologist and entrepreneur who specializes in curating and producing innovative musical collaboration across diverse styles. The following audio recording is an excerpt of their conversation.     … [Read more...]

Elise Pepple & Heather Zinger: A Conversation

This week we will be featuring conversations with leaders working in communities. Elise Pepple is storyteller extraordinaire based out of Portland, Maine where she is currently pursuing her Master’s in Social Work as well as working on Portland Brick which builds public memory by collecting stories about place from those who have been long term residents in the community. Heather Zinger is a multimedia artist working at the intersection of art and health in Fargo, North Dakota. She is currently working at the Artist-in-Residence at the Cancer … [Read more...]

Defining Community

How do you define community? This is one of the questions that we asked our Creative Community Fellows, and you, to answer and discuss over this week. For many, the definition included something shared, whatever that may be: a hometown, working in a certain art form or even a fleeting moment of standing at the same intersection together. Laurelin Kruse and Rachel Reynolds Luster certainly see community this way: "RACHEL: I tend to always return to Wendell Berry's definition of community, 'a people and their place.' I feel that the two are … [Read more...]

Casey Caldwell & Amanda Thompson: A Conversation

This week we will be featuring conversations with leaders working in communities. Casey Caldwell is a director, writer, actor and artistic director of Ratatat Theater Group. Amanda Thompson is the Planning Director for Decatur, Georgia and a choreographer & performer for Zoetic Dance Ensemble. Both are Creative Community Fellows. The following was co-written by them.   "An Unexpected Encounter" A short conversation about Creative Placemaking CASEY (curly hair, bright eyes, gets brainy-excited) AMANDA (red hair, … [Read more...]