Building Community… Through Art and Music

So, we’ve been talking about a community space where people frequent… the nucleus of a neighborhood. A gathering place.

Breaking down the components of using art and music to build community…

You’ve seen it… you’ve gone into a local eatery or coffee shop and there is a local artist (from the city or area) exhibiting their works. What I want to do looks somewhat similar, but the purpose is not to generate exposure to a local artist to help promote their works… to generate income for them. But, to build community. Build conversation. Build connection. If the exhibit generates exposure and they get income… that’s a bonus.

Who’s works would you envision on the walls that would accomplish this?

child-painted-handsIt’s time to think outside the box. We have artists everywhere! What about the sixth grade class at the local elementary… just down the street, or the elderly gentleman who’s been creating toilet seat mailbox 029sculptures (Barney Smith – San Antonio), or the autistic man who communicates through paintings. Maybe it’s the woman who creates the funky mailboxes, or the sixteen year old who is dreaming of creating custom shoes… maybe there are independent film makers trying their hand at documentaries. Who are the local artists? Not the up & coming artists that want to sell their wares. But, who do we have who live in our zip code who create, paint, photograph, collage, draw, sculpt and film?

Let’s use the same concept for music.

3372483487_d83a994034Who are the local musicians? Is it the guitar instructor who’s been giving lessons, is it the worship band or church choir, is it the 4th grade class recital, maybe it’s the teenage garage band… or a local saxophonist. Who are the people who reside in the community that sing, tap, jam, rock-out, and lift up a joyful noise… via instrument or voice? These are the “local musicians”.

Make sense?

Some events we would have to showcase the local artists and musicians in the community may include a local independent film festival, reggae night, folk night, praise night, perhaps a local recital. Maybe we rock it out with the teenage or college garage band.  Maybe we showcase the paintings from an organization that helps emotionally troubled people communicate… or vision board collages from job seekers. Maybe we have a talent show… or a coloring contest and exhibit the contenders.holding-hands

I want to showcase the talents from the people who live in our zip-code… who may not be up & coming, but, are people that love what they dabble in or communicate through the arts. Our not so average neighbors. How would we know about their talent unless we give them an opportunity to share? Or, give them a voice?

So simple, it doesn’t have to be complex. And, how do we do this? We knock on doors.

It all fits together.

In the poll I presented a few weeks ago, I was surprised that no one put down entertainment as a reason to revisit a favorite coffee house or eating establishment. Some of my favorite coffee houses included the entertainment.


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