When some people think of art, they envision individuals sitting at home and tinkering around with paint brushes. However, art is so much more than this vision. Not only does art empower people to express their thoughts it can help to build and improve communities.
In many communities, a major part of the problem is that individuals are unaware of what issues exist. They may go about their daily activities without noticing that prejudice, poverty, failing schools, high crime rates or other issues plague the neighborhood in which they live. One power that art has is the ability to raise awareness. When art is shown or demonstrated in public areas, residents can learn about the issues and begin to seek solutions.
Art is also attractive to many young people, and this benefit is one that all communities can behold. The empowering nature of art is particularly useful for young people in problematic neighborhoods. These neighborhoods might be riddled with gang violence, drug usage or alcohol abuse, which can all encourage teenagers to head down the wrong path. However, implementing art as an option can help them to find a healthy alternative to express their feelings.
The power of art also helps to bring people together. Some individuals may love their neighborhoods but feel as though a strong sense of community does not exist. Community organizations could, for example, decide to put on a showcase of paintings or murals created by teenagers at the local high school. Community theaters can host a wide range of shows throughout the season. Acts such as these ones show how art can develop a neighborhood.
Virtually all communities have some sort of area for improvement, and art might help to solve that problem. For example, artists can use their work to explore not only the issues that exist in the communities but also the possible solutions to these problems. Then, they can spread the word about their ideas by promoting their art in public atmospheres that many community members frequent.
Art plays such an important role in the shaping of a community whether people realize it or not. Now is the time to let art come to the forefront and better communities.