Community members, artists, humanists, and social scientists all come together to re-examine a place. They bring particular stories: humanists bring narratives of art, history, literature, culture; social scientists chronicle data, models, and empirical evidence; artists paint stories with brushes, capture moments with digital tools; community members relay accounts of daily life, personal experiences, and political struggle. The convergence of such a diverse group of story-tellers challenges all to consider, to translate, to stretch, and ultimately sharpen their thinking.
Unfortunately, such dialogues rarely happen. The ART OF REGIONAL CHANGE (ARC) seeks to change that.
ARC challenges the traditional boundaries and practices which keep us from knowing each other, from connecting theory to practice and from building coalitions for change on the ground.
Through ARC projects, scholars and community members co-create knowledge aimed at changing the culture of the academy and amplifying the voice of individuals in dialogues on policy, development, and regional sustainability.
Change occurs when:
- We generate new scholarly research grounded in community life
- We infuse teaching with real world examples
- We amplify community voice and increase community cohesion
- We build bridges across economic, cultural, and geographic divides
- We create and deliver new perspectives on place that inform policy and planning
Change requires a commitment to a common place, the ability to embrace multiple perspectives, and the willingness to engage in the lengthy processes of trust-building and collective action.
Place-based enquiry helps communities reflect on their history and struggles and embeds scholars in the process of community construction and collaborative storytelling. ARC projects confront conflict, power, and disparity within communities, within the academic construction of knowledge, and within policy generating structures that are shaping the regions of our future.
jesikah maria ross, Founding Director, Art of Regional Change