It has been seven years since I retired from three decades in academia. Yet each year, come fall, I am still aware of back-to-class vibrations in the air and my inner professor seeks to remind me he is there.
This year, at the same time, I am reflecting on the materials we have put together to support community engagement work. This thinking was generated by an email I got about one of my books. It said, in part,
“I have to be honest, I haven’t finished it yet because I’m constantly having to digest the ‘YES’ and ‘AMEN’ moments I get from each section.”
Every year I get 5-10 emails from new readers responding in ways not unlike this to the perspective the books have given them. So, the beginning of a new academic year feels like a good time to work on making all of these resources more widely known. ArtsEngaged has the following available for people in the field who want to support community engagement:
- Books (Paperback and ebooks)
- Building Communities, Not Audiences: The Future of the Arts in the United States [A “why to” book about community engagement]
- Engage Now! A Guide to Making the Arts Indispensable [A “how to” for becoming invaluable]
- Engagement Essentials: A large collection of outlines, tools, and writings to support community engagement work
- Community Engagement Network: A Facebook group for community engagement advocates and practitioners
- Community Engagement Training: Introductory to in-depth training for individuals and organizations
- Blog: Engaging Matters
The books and Community Engagement Training are not free. However, everything else is. If you are active in community engagement and are unaware of some of these resources, I would encourage you to familiarize yourself with them. And, if you are aware of these resources and consider them to be valuable I would ask you to share them with friends and colleagues as widely as you can.