Friday, January 24, 2014

The role of arts, culture, and recreation in community

Communities are more than just houses with a fancy neighbourhood sign at the entrance. They are a framework for how we interact with each other, both directly and indirectly. 
Direct interaction keeps the social fabric of the community alive with festivals, cultural groups of all kinds and sports and recreational activities.
Strong communities have lots of opportunities for interaction, whether that's festivals, sports leagues, or even just great public space. Make sure your community has these opportunities for everybody.
Indirect interaction takes place when we experience public art or architecture, whether it's a chalk drawing on the sidewalk, a community ice sculpture, christmas lights, or an edgy new art gallery.
We build what we care about, then we care about what we've built.
Before mass media, architecture was the primary means for communication with an illiterate public. Even amidst modern distractions, it remains a permanent fixture in our culture.
Public Art, including the houses, power centres and public buildings is the constructed manifestation of the spirit of people who live there. It makes a statement about the values of the community, demonstrating what we care about and what we value.
We maintain what we care about. The barn that's falling down? We used to care about that. We don't anymore.
The arts, culture, and recreation elements in a community have a major role to play in helping communities endure. The arts show us who we are. The culture informs what we do. The recreation elements keep us healthy and active.

You can't have a thriving community without these opportunities.
Build carefully, because your community becomes what it builds. You are a part of the community. What's been built affects you, and you affect what comes next.
Communities are about interdependently enhancing people's lives. The more you're involved, the more you make it come alive. Take advantage of the arts, cultural, and recreational opportunities right where you are, or if that's not your cup of tea start something of your own.

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