Memphis is One of Six Cities Participating in a national Creative Community Development Workshop hosted by ArtsMemphis
ArtsMemphis has been selected by Americans for the Arts as one of six organizations in cities across the United States to host Artists at the Community Development Table Workshop. This program was developed to deepen the capacity of local artists and arts organizations to pursue arts-based solutions to community development.
ArtsMemphis has served as the primary arts support and advocacy organization in Shelby County since 1963. Through our core functions of Investing in Artists and Organizations and Generating Arts Support, by strengthening artists and organizations we aim to elevate the People and Places of Memphis and Shelby County.
The power and importance of integrating artists and arts organizations into discussions about public policy, civic systems, and community development initiatives continues to grow every day. How and why artists and arts organizations engage with these initiatives continues to be a conversation that needs to be had, with the goal of empowering creatives to use their work for creative problem solving within communities.
This workshop series was developed by Americans for the Arts as part of its Artists at the Community Development Table Initiative, which is generously supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The one-day workshop will be held in late February and hosted by Wonder Cowork Create, co-founded by ArtsMemphis Artists Advisory Council member and past ArtsAccelerator grant recipient, Cat Peña.
ArtsMemphis was invited from a pool of more than 40 arts agencies across the country to host this workshop, following participation in a similar event last fall. “Along with other arts agency representatives, we examined the unique knowledge, skill and talent that artists contribute to community development efforts. It was a meaningful experience, at times very personal and introspective, that provided me with new perspectives on artist and community engagement, and new tools for advancing such work.” said Tracy Lauritzen Wright, Chief Operating Officer for ArtsMemphis.
The workshop facilitators will include artists and arts administrators from St. Louis, along with Memphis representatives Henry Nelson, executive director of Carpenter Art Garden and local artist Yancy Villa Calvo. Participants will look at what arts-based community development is and learn how artists and arts organizations can use their voices to build up the communities they are a part of. This workshop will include case studies, creative group exercises, and highlight the work of artists in our local community already engaging in this work.