If you combine creative arts practices with communities can you create real and lasting change?
This is a question I have asked myself as I explore methods and means for cultural community development through a Graduate Certificate in Arts & Community Engagement at Victoria College of the Arts (VCA), Melbourne University.
The intensive 5-week course is taking us through the theoretical and practical elements of creating community-based arts projects that can have a positive impact on society.
Some interesting community arts projects that I have come across so far include the Before I die… project, which focuses on the creation of a massive blackboard in a local community and asks the question ‘what do you want to do before you die?’.
The artist Candy Chung created the project to help her deal with personal grief and has spread to communities around the world to cover 400 walls in 60 countries in over 25 languages. The beauty of the project is in its simplicity, with a stencil kit now available on the Before I die… website.