Building An Arts Community

At the beginning of the year, I talked about wanting to put together a “creative support group“.  I said:

I’d like to propose a regular get-together of creative people.  Coffee (or beer for those who drink it) at some place where we can sit and talk about theatre, or writing (or whatever) in the hopes that I can keep the creative juices flowing (and hopefully so can the other folks participating).

A few people contacted me, so we made a Facebook group, and we’ve had a couple of meetings.  Basically, its people who have a creative leaning getting together and talking about the things that they are working on, general encouragement, and just socializing with people who create.

Last night, we happened to be discussing yesterday’s post, and we started talking about the disparate arts disciplines.  The people who met yesterday were predominantly of theatrical disciplines and we were discussing how there is a distinct lack of “community”.  We talked about how the theatre “community” exists on something of an existential level: theatre folks tend to meet up while working on a project, and then go their separate ways.  One of the folks called the “theatre community” more of an underground brother (or sister)-hood.  If you extend the community discussion to include other disciplines, things get more muddy.  How many of us network with dancers, or painters or sculptors, etc?  Very few of us, we found.

Why don’t we socialize with artists from other disciplines?  And if we don’t, how can we possibly become the kind of “boosters” of the arts in general, that I talked about yesterday?

When I first started organizing the “support group for creative people”, I envisioned it as something that encompassed artists of many disciplines.  Due to the network of people I have friended on Facebook, most of those who have joined in the group have been theatre people.  But I’d love to have dancers, other performers, and artists from non-performing disciplines join us.

I have found the regular get-togethers of this “support group” to be creatively invigorating.  I’d encourage you to form your own: gather together artists of all stripes, and talk about what you’re working on, encourage each other, learn about the arts that you don’t “get”, and keep yourself inspired through interacting with other creative people.

And maybe, if we all do something like this, we’ll start building the kind of unified community that can better become the kind of arts boosters we need to be in order to help bring more audiences to art in general, so that we can all

“make the case for the case for the relevancy and value of our art”?

One Comment

  1. I think what you are doing is outstanding. I would add another component — as artists, we need to become part of the community as a whole, socialize with non-artists, and invite them into our groups. Maybe not something that is intensely focused on artist concerns, but generally. We don’t need to boost the arts, but rather integrate artists into the community and create trust.

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