Last weekend was Summer Arts Weekend in Boston. What a wonderful way to bring people together. In fact, communities all over the world are enjoying arts festivals of all kinds this time of year, a worldwide recognition of the importance of the arts in uniting communities.
Passions are ignited during these events as people from the entire community and visitors near and far explore the art, music, and literature of the area. The freedom to create, to perform, and to share work and thoughts with others at events of this kind allows the arts to be central to a thriving world. Summer arts festivals can create new connections and help us rise above the often complex problems that might normally divide us. Art of all kinds can be an agent of change; these summer events draw people who may never come together otherwise.
The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.
~ Pablo Picasso
Whether discussions and talks about a work of art, a performance, or a book, or art walks or performances in a wide variety of genres, everyone leaves with a deeper understanding of the artistic process, an appreciation for things they never before experienced, and perhaps a global perspective that transcends cultural differences that often cause trauma in everyday life. The arts unite people and give voice to feelings we all share; they can communicate where a reasonable idea exchange might otherwise be blocked.
My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
~ Maya Angelou
We can use the knowledge we gain at these events and carry it over to create an ongoing sense of community once the festival is over. The core body of knowledge that is inherent within the artistic process can be used to consciously evolve and create resilient and thriving communities. The arts in a community can “reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity.”
Here are just a few of the transformative powers of the arts.
- The arts and artistic process play a pivotal role in improving creative thinking skills, enhancing business practices, and increasing employee engagement.
- Engaged with the arts, families have a new focus and sense of belonging while they learn the beauty inherent in the artistic process.
- Communities grow together with deeper appreciation for one another and a deeper understanding of their culture.
- People work courageously with one another and gain a deeper understanding of diversity and gain a more global perspective.
- The basic fundamental principles at the heart of the artistic process can be learned and that knowledge used to find positive solutions to differences, conflict, and changes in our personal lives.
- A vibrant arts experience creates social networks that bring people together in ways not otherwise offered within their community life.
In this modern society, art may be the only force that invites expression from the inside out, where the pure light of the wisdom of the soul is realized.
~ Jessye Norman
If we commit to creating space for depth of understanding about the arts and artistic process—in family settings, schools, community events, and neighborhoods—we can truly transform our lives and experience more vibrant, healthy communities.
With all that’s going on in the world, couldn’t we all handle communities that are healthier and happier right about now?