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 to change how my students and I can interact with each other, but this change is limited and temporary. I know as an individual it is a start, but my vision for what these spaces could look like is greater and we as a society need a greater collective vision in order to improve the spaces we occupy. I was at Johns Hopkins Hospital yesterday and as I was walking through the institutional, alienating, and bewildering halls, I noticed a quilt hung in a corner behind a door. It looked like something made in a community arts program. I thought to myself that this meant that someone in the hospital was invested in community arts, but overall the space of the hospital had not been touched by these ideas and aesthetics and the only clue that it was there was hidden behind a door. Even if the hospital does hold an occasional community arts workshop this is not enough. It is not enough for institutions to hold sporadic workshops, not enough for schools to hold a couple hours a week of after school community arts programming. If the institution is not wholly invested in creating real change in its walls and changing how its space is constructed and utilized, single programs will be unable to create a sustainable environment of love, support, and openness. The spaces must change! We as humans are greatly affected by our surroundings. The gray, brick, prison-like structures of schools, the imposing, sterile hospitals do not support us as people or as a community. If we want our young people to succeed and grow into healthy productive citizens, we must do something to change the spaces where they spend the majority of their time. And if we really want our sick to get well, we must also change the spaces we expect them to heal in. Yes, we must work with what we have, where we are at now, but if we don't have a vision for what our environment could be, the tools we use to create temporary spaces of peace and joy will not be sustained.