The fixed notion of Community Art is elusive, and yet, community art has been around for centuries. Artists are intrinsically drawn to the world they live in, and for many that means not only viewing but participating in it. As I start my personal journey with Community Art, I intend to find out what exactly it means, how exactly it can be defined, so I can help spread this creative fervor and transform the general public into the creatively passionate.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dream a Little Dream with Me

One of my favorite games as I was a kid was trying to figure out what I would be when I grew up. I don't ever remember having an aspiration to be an astronaut, a famous singer, or (to use the dream of a friend of mine) a paleontologist. Yes, there were times I imagined my face on the movie screens, or my voice coming over the radio, and let's not forget thinking about what the USA would be like with Miranda Hynes as Madame President. But I've always loved so many different things, that none of those dreams lasted long because how could you be President and a famous actress?

And so in my game I used to try and figure out what I could be when I grew up that would allow me to do everything I liked doing. As I've gotten closer to what I want to become, marching down the path of self-development, I've realized that not everyone asks themselves this question. Most people have their work and their hobby; what they do, and what they like to do. For me, that was never an option. My passions run my life, every part of it.

Whenever I introduced someone else to this game and explained everything that I loved to do, they came up with an immediate answer: “You should be a kindergarten teacher!” This seemed like too obvious a choice to me. Wasn’t there something else I could do? Some profession I could find that would make me able to help people while making art and not be confined to a classroom?

If you’re reading this, on a blog about community art, you can probably guess what I ended up deciding. But it took a long time for me to realize that my two passions of helping people and being creative weren’t mutually exclusive. It took longer still once I had my realization to see how I could fit the two together. When I was sixteen I solved my game; I wanted to run my own community art center. From the solution of my game came my dream, and since then I haven’t stopped dreaming about it.

With each person I’ve met my dream has grown and solidified, coming ever closer to becoming an actual concrete goal. When I began to dream of my art center, getting my degree in art was the goal, one that I was less than two years away from. As graduation drew closer, my next goal arose: to find a life after college that included art and a way to make money. And so I applied to Lesley University for a Masters of Education in Community art while also applying to the Community Art Department at the Museum of Fine Arts. With the realization of each of these goals, I faithfully continued my march towards my far off dream.

Now, a little less than halfway through my masters degree, my dream is that much closer to becoming an actual goal. I’ve recently been offered an internship at the wonderful Springstep in Medford, where I will learn about the inner workings of a community art center and add to it as best I can. With each goal accomplished, I’ve realized that my dream isn’t as far off as I think it is. Instead of a jump into space, I can now see a climbing staircase of goals that will, if all goes well and I work my little ass off, make my dream my reality.

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