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April 9, 2021

Art As a Tool of Community Healing

INRC
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- Ariana Beedie, Creative Placemaking Program Coordinator

Art is a tool that can weave us together. When we consider art is a form of healing and therapy, it’s a safe assumption that we can use the exact tools for healing in our communities.

When you drive around Indianapolis, and you see local art or see neighbors interacting safely, how does that make you feel? For me, it brings me a sense of pride and joy, because I know how important local art is. Not only to the artists that produced the work, or the locals that can enjoy it, but for our future Indy leaders. It’s so important for young people to see and experience community art and healing. It’s important for them to know they could possibly be those artists, or leaders that can commission those artists. They also need to know it can be a way for us to step forward as a city, and bring attention to the issues currently affecting our city. Art can be a leading force of change, but it’s on us as community members to engage it.

Right now, we have local art strategically placed around Indy’s Cultural Trail to celebrate March Madness. In collaboration with the Arts Council, GANGGANG, a cultural development firm, has worked with leading community artists to curate and showcase over 200 musicians and visual artists. This is a perfect example of art as healing. It’s also a great example of Creative Placemaking.

After such a long, dreary pandemic year, it’s very important that Indy residents have a safe, community event to engage in local art. It’s a great step to weaving our communities together.

We need each other. In one way or another, we learned last year how important community can be. Creating a space in your neighborhood or with a community group is one step to adding to the vibrant Indy community, and also contributing to the quality of life of fellow community members.

Art is powerful, and can be morphed into many different avenues. Art can mean different things in different communities. For one group, it could mean a community garden or for another it could mean an outdoor festival for families and local businesses. From a community movie night, to a mural to a community garden, the possibilities to create art in local communities is endless.

If I were you, I’d take a drive around Monument Circle, or venture to Mass Ave or Georgia Street to hear some great local musicians, or to see some of the work from great artists living among us.

Art is healing, and it can also be a portal to seeing and understanding what others are experiencing. It’s important for us as a city to have these collective healing moments, and art is the perfect vessel to start the conversation.

INRC’s Creative Placemaking program is a great step to starting a community-led project. If you have questions, or ideas, please reach out to Ariana Beedie at abeedie@inrc.org.