The Community Arts Convening and Research Project is pleased to announce the recipients of this year's Writing Group Fellowships. Culled from a long list of highly qualified applicant proposals spanning both the US and the world - these finalists represent the best of the best.
- I-Hotel writing group will investigate the ongoing legacy of an enduring San Francisco-based community arts movement dating to the early 1900s. This story and the politics embedded within offer a sharp edge on which to examine the struggles that artists and under-represented communities experience in society. Participants in the creation of this "community mythology" ongoing in the I-Hotel experience -- church members, labor union members, academic scholars, students, artists, organizers, seniors, activists, youth, artists, writers, etc. -- will share their viewpoints on the meaning and relevance of the arts. The proposed format includes archival material, poetry, visual artwork, interviews and reflections that inform the academic applications to the field.
- Littleglobe is a New Mexico-based arts-in-community, non-profit comprised of cultural workers, artists, activists and facilitators. It will host a Southwest US writing group and mini-convening in partnership with the University of New Mexico (UNM). Participants will include artists and cultural colleagues from various communities and institutions including The National Hispanic Cultural Center, The Institute for American Indian Arts and current and past community projects. Writing Group texts will articulate regional "best-practices" while supporting the production of training materials, workshops and ongoing community-based arts programming.
- University Without Walls writing group will investigate the form and function of a proposed online consortium of colleges/universities and community arts organizations. This pursuit will support the development of a core curriculum framed around the interests and needs of the cultural arts communities within which the college/university learning resides. Therefore, the framing of this dialogue foregrounds community scholars, institutions and other experts. The objective is to establish a course of study that engages the institutions of higher learning and community arts organizations as partners and collaborators in the future of the community arts field.
- Art in the Service of Ritual for Healing writing group explores collaborative artmaking as a vehicle for bringing the healing aspects of closure and ritual to "the unmet bereavement needs of families..." and other community members. From the community arts perspective, this collaboration holds great promise for exploring the role of the arts in bringing diverse groups together to celebrate, mourn, heal, find closure, share stories, give thanks, and express feelings in symbolic, transcendent ways. The power of ritual is intrinsic to diverse groups with a common bond -- especially for those interested in exploring the rituals for healing that may be of use for the huge number of youth and adults who have lost loved ones due to violence.
- East Baltimore writing group will hold candid discussions with various groups that have contributed to the "New East Side." This storytelling process will help to lift up the very proud yet troubled past and hoped for future of East Baltimore as seen through the eyes of local youth leaders. The outcomes of this investigation will be illuminated by way of the written word, drawings, paintings photography and video - to be displayed during the Project's March 13-15 convening in Baltimore.