Leslie Kimiko Ward has been a tireless friend of ArtPlace America, even providing one of the most beloved keynote closing speeches of all our annual summits. We were delighted when Leslie agreed to write for us on this moment of COVID-19, and knew it would be something good. Turns out it’s an exceptional musing on what’s happening now, what’s been happening always, and what needs to happen in the future.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and Laura Zabel at an open house for Springboard's University Avenue site.
Laura Zabel at Springboard talks about how artists are made for challenge, and that their skills are more useful than ever right now to help us all see the opportunity in the challenge, find new ways of working and persist through adversity.
Four white men around a rectangular table.
Back in 2014 we partnered with The Coalfield Development Corporation in Huntington, WV. This area functions as a quasi-urban center of opportunity for this rural Appalachian region. The organization started out by repurposing an abandoned factory as a creative hub for community gathering and engagement. In the time of the COVID-19 crisis, they are repurposing it again. Brandon Dennison, Founder and CEO of the Coalfield Development Corporation spoke with us about their swift pivot to be helpful in this unsettling time.
A group of dancers in bright yellow and blue skirts
Artist Andrew Simonet has written a manifesto for this time, reminding us that all art making and community building have really just been basic training for some future moment of crisis. Artists and creatives have been strengthening muscles for the rupture or emergency to come. And here we are.
An extended hand with an orange which is covered in soot
The residents of the village of San Ysidro, California, have an 18% higher rate of asthma than the rest of the county; fruit from local trees are covered in a dusty residue on a daily basis. Not many residents knew that the residue came from idling cars at the nearby México-U.S. border. Learn how local residents leveraged the arts to make the invisible visible and take control of the narrative.
Image which reads Covid-19 Resources
In times of crisis it is often hard to find the resources, information, and help we need. From loss of income and cancelling of events to shifting to online meetings and more, the COVID-19 virus is affecting many artists, nonprofits, and communities across the globe. While not comprehensive, we hope the running list of resources below is a start to help mitigate/navigate the effects of the virus (whether it be financial, health, etc) going forward.
For the past four years, artist and immigration attorney Carolina Rubio-MacWright has witnessed the ability of creative practice to empower, build community, and broaden horizons. She shared with ArtPlace what she’s learned from organizing and leading a series of “Know Your Rights” workshops for immigrants in a Brooklyn clay studio.
A series of corn sylos in the sun
Struggling rural communities have found new life through smart public policies that boost the creative sector, the National Governors Association said in a report and action guide that is the product of more than a year of research across a wide swath of the country.
The Charleston Rhizome Collective holding a banner as they march
In the last few years, Charleston, SC has seen a real estate and economic boom, which has left many small businesses behind due to gentrification. Charleston Rhizome’s solution? Championing the tiny businesses that operate there.
Local musicians playing accordion
Hidalgo County experiences some of the worst flooding in the Rio Grande Valley. In response, a coalition of community organizers realized that flooding, basic rights, and song have more in common than you might think. Respected design firm buildingcommunityWORKSHOP will work with local Conjunto musicians to equip and mobilize residents in the Rio Grande Valley floodplain to tackle flood-related public health issues by commissioning songs inspired by residents’ stories that will be performed at colonia events and incorporated into a video series to be presented to policy makers.
Arts organizations