Last week, I was joined by Karen Hunter Watson and Angie Blackwell of the Multiregion, Trail of Dreams World Peace Walk CC and NOWTIME Radio CC to attend the Building Creative Communities Conference in Colquitt, Georgia, home of Georgia's play, Swamp Gravy. Colquitt, Georgia is a national model for community and economic development through the Arts, Heritage and Culture. Colquitt, in partnership with Florida State University, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, presented this very special opportunity for us to play with crayons and markers, sing and learn the art of story play -- all towards the goal of creating positive social change.
The Building Creative Communities Conference mission is to motivate, encourage, empower and inspire community advocates by sharing ideas, learning new skills, and fostering positive change. The experience was very uplifting and connections made were inspiring. Thank you Joy Jinks and Karen Kimbrel and your outstanding team there in Colquitt and beyond. Janet Sanders, Robert Geer, Margaret Ashmore, Tannur "Shewrightz" Ali, Rhea and Vicky thank you as well for your spirit of true love and commitment to a transformative process that the world surely needs.
Thank you to Jean Houston for introducing the foundations of Social Artistry as a means of addressing the times we find ourselves in: "The times of great change and remarkable opportunity are upon us. To succeed we can no longer go it alone, but must partner with one another to share innovative and creative ways in which to rethink and restructure our individual existence within the context of our expanding global communities. To do this requires a heightened awareness, an awakened sense of purpose, and a dedicated commitment to actively seek out the possible."
What was my take away? The healing/transformative power of communities, healing and nurturing themselves through Storytelling and Social Artistry; capturing their history and oral traditions -- heroes and sheroes; good times and bad times -- through storytelling, theatrical renderings, and painted murals on town buildings. People, young and young at heart -- Black, White, Native American, Asian, Latino, Gay, Straight, Rich and Poor -- the beloved community -- our communities, our homes, our stories and our "awakened sense of purpose and dedicated commitment to actively seek the possible" -- together.