Everyday I left the class with an extra spring in my step, hoping that the ridiculous grin on my face didn't make me look like I was jumped up on something and yet not caring if it did. Isn't that just the most wonderful? When you can't help but smiling, when even thinking about what happened involuntarily curves your lips, turns your cheeks into red apples and your eyes into what would be described in a children's book as twinkling stars? That. That is the power of Community Art.
We watched videos from RAW Art Works, made by teenagers not much younger than myself, which left me silent and serene, tearful and disturbed, generally moved in any numbers of directions. They made me rethink my relationship with the little sister I rarely get the chance to see, the father I've only recently started growing close to, the homeless man on the street who I didn't step to listen to, and the shy child who I didn't have to time to reach out to. I heard stories of transformation that brought tears to my eyes and the heavy weight of empathetic sympathy across my brows. I laughed, connected, and created with the people around me, helping to develop a potentially life-altering educational festival with only my companions and the city we were in as inspiration.
Even the moments of theoretical and practical conversation opened my eyes to what already exists and what can exist. By acknowledging the difficult realities of our dreams, we connected the blind, bubbly passion of conception with the intense, driven necessities of implementation. This underlying theme both named our course, Ideas into Action, and grounded us, showing us what can be done when we leave the mental drawing board and reach out to grab what life has to offer.
Now I am, obviously, an inspired romantic optimist, but that doesn't mean that all of this isn't true. Community Art connects people at all levels, from their most superficial projections of themselves to the inexplicable depths they may not be conscious of having; being around creative, supportive, and open people inspires the huge amount of intrinsic motivation necessary to enter into the world of creating Community Art; passion doesn't need to be checked and tempered to join reality, only directed and funneled through the correct channels. With these truths in mind, I know that, though they may change form along the way, my ideas will become my actions.