Showing category "Community Arts" (Show all posts)

What Does Trust Look Like?

Posted by Sarah McCann on Thursday, January 27, 2011, In : Community Arts 
I had a thought provoking day at work this week. There was an incredible moment of communication, people shared a lot and I appreciated everyone's openness and honesty. In conversation we talked about where we were coming from, the issues that made us angry and brought us to community work and how we would define those problems and intervene. It made me think about how much we have to understand about ourselves in order to do work with others, especially in community, with youth and working t...
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On the Justice of Conflicts

Posted by Sarah McCann on Wednesday, January 19, 2011, In : Community Arts 
It is the time of year for staff reviews. One of the questions we were asked was about skills that we would like to develop. I found myself immediately thinking that I wanted to be better skilled at social justice based conflict resolution. I wrote it down as something to talk to my boss about. Then looking at the phrase on the paper I realized that theoretically I knew what the phrase meant, but that tangibly I didn't know what training in this would entail so of course, I googled it. The fi...
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Honest Expression

Posted by Sarah McCann on Monday, May 24, 2010, In : Community Arts 
I am currently co-facilitating a project with two amazing groups of people, the young people I work with in my program at the Youth Dreamers and a group of artists that manage and curate a green space on 33rd street here in Baltimore City. We had our first workshop last Thursday and I wasn't sure how it would go. Most planning had happened through e-mail and I didn't know what to expect when all the people came together face-to-face. My students were a little nervous, one of them sick, and we...
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It All Depends on Who is in Charge of the Money

Posted by Sarah McCann on Friday, May 14, 2010, In : Community Arts 
Last year when I completed my second year in the Community Art Corps, an Americorps program that places artists in partnerships with community organizations and non-profits that is organized and run through Maryland Institute College of Art, I was interviewed as part of an evaluation of the program. Part of that interview has stuck with me, I cannot exactly remember what the question was that led up to the discussion, but Paolo, the interviewer and I got to talking about whether money is bett...
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At Best, Our Work and Our Lives Result in the Creation of Joy

Posted by Sarah McCann on Monday, April 26, 2010, In : Community Arts 
There is a conversation in the community arts field about best practices. I have not really been involved in this until now, I am not sure I understood what "best practices" meant because it seems to me that every individual artists' best practice will be different, every community's best practice will not be the same, and that every new combination of people, resources, and place will foster a new kind of practice based on the circumstances. This weekend, however, I realized that there is so...
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The Spaces Must Change

Posted by Sarah McCann on Wednesday, March 24, 2010, In : Community Arts 
As a community artist, I end up working in many different spaces - schools, clinics, youth centers, office, outdoors, etc. What has become clear through my work is how we can and must alter spaces to allow for more direct human interaction, open communication, and to create space for healing and love. The ordinary institutional spaces of society do not allow for this. I find schools especially oppressive. By moving desks, playing ice-breakers, and sitting in circles the classroom space begins...
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Tim Rollins and K.O.S. at the Frye

Posted by Sarah McCann on Monday, March 22, 2010, In : Community Arts 
After seeing the Tim Rollins and K.O.S. exhibit at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, and seeing him speak there, I have noticed a difference in the way that I approach my programming with youth and how Rollins does. I still admire what he does and think that he is successful at it. The work that he and his students make is beautiful, the grown up young people he has worked with are successful and seem to be doing well, their artwork is housed in museum collections around the world, and I do thi...
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I Heart Smalltimore

Posted by Sarah McCann on Saturday, March 6, 2010, In : Community Arts 
I didn't know how I would feel about moving to a small city. Having lived in New York for seven years, there was something that I enjoyed about the anonymity it allowed. And having lived in New York for seven years, there was something oppressive that happened when I began to know enough people to run into them randomly on the street or when I would recognized strangers, simply because our patterns overlapped. And yet here I am, in Baltimore, I have been here for just about three years now an...
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The Key to Successful Community Arts Programming: Support

Posted by Sarah McCann on Monday, March 1, 2010, In : Community Arts 
Over the last three years, working as a community artist in Baltimore, it has become increasingly clear to me that one of the most important components of a successful community arts project is support. Going beyond the obvious need for monetary support, one must also have the investment of the partnering organizations, members of the community, and volunteers. I have learned the hard way how to recognize when this support may or may not be present. I now realize in hindsight that there were ...
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Creating the Feeling of Home: The Example of the Youth Dreamers

Posted by Sarah McCann on Saturday, February 20, 2010, In : Community Arts 
I have had the immeasurable pleasure of working for the last two years with the Stadium School Youth Dreamers, a non-profit organization dedicated to decreasing the amount of violence youth are exposed to after school by opening a youth-run youth center. There is something incredible that is happening at this organization. The young people involved and their adult allies are some of the most amazing people that I have met in my life. The environment that teacher/director Kristina Berdan creat...
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Not Empowerment, Rather Acknowledgment

Posted by Sarah McCann on Monday, February 15, 2010, In : Community Arts 
Empowerment is often used to describe what one does when working with people of less privilege than oneself. I find this problematic. People do not have to be "empowered", people already have the power that they need to act within them. Acknowledgment of this power is what is necessary. Another person cannot force this onto someone else. What one can do is set up circumstances that make it easier. That is why art-making is such an important part of this process. When a person creates somethin...
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Notes, Thoughts, and Quotes While Reading Tim Rollins + K.O.S.

Posted by Sarah McCann on Tuesday, February 9, 2010, In : Community Arts 
In reading about Tim Rollins and K.O.S. I am inspired. His approach to creation and education is akin to my own. I firmly believe that everyone has a great creative potential within themselves, and that when given the opportunity to follow their individual path, will contribute great things to the world. Teachers are key in either fostering the growth of this creativity or crushing it. Unfortunately, as the education system currently exists in the United States, students are being crushed mor...
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This blog will address issues of communication, art, and life from my point of view. It is a means for me to keep writing, thinking critically, and finding meaning in my life and work.

 

 

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