Art helps us create stronger communities

Chamber of Commerce

By Susan Cady
Taos County Chamber of Commerce
Posted 9/5/19

A quick glance at the headlines of any newspaper illustrates how the United States is at a historical crossroads of social change. The country's future depends on intercommunity connections - the …

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Art helps us create stronger communities

Chamber of Commerce

Posted

A quick glance at the headlines of any newspaper illustrates how the United States is at a historical crossroads of social change. The country's future depends on intercommunity connections - the promise of increased understanding between people who maybe have little in common on the surface.

The arts have a long history of bringing people together across boundaries, increasing understanding across disparate and historically unequal groups and supporting the agency of underrepresented communities to create, maintain and share their own stories.

Artists and arts organizations are an important resource in our path to building stronger connections. Opportunities for more even-footed conversation among groups lead to insight and a shared sense of community, and in turn lay the groundwork for exploration about how to maintain vital cultural and community traditions while inviting much-needed neighborhood investment.

In Taos we are fortunate to have a vibrant arts community that shines like the September sun. We look forward to the annual Fall Arts Festival each year and the unique experiences by The Paseo Project. Our Taos Gallery Association is actively promoting the gallery community with their significant impact for our visitors and community. Our local musicians share their music at numerous venues throughout Taos. The Taos Pueblo artists share their vision with visitors to the Pueblo and with the community. For our nontraditional artists the Vagrant Heart gallery offers an impressive space to explore their work. Our myriad of museums holds our collective history.

But it isn't only artists and arts organizations that are stewards of strength and connection in communities. You can be, too. Take the time to go to community meetings and learn more about what's happening. Tend to a neighborhood; participate in projects like community murals or sidewalk painting. You'll be surprised how these small, creative acts can change the perception of neighborhood value and safety both inside and outside the community.

Integrating the arts more fully into our lives enriches each of us, and because engaging in the arts brings individuals together, it fosters community. Art and artists aren't only in museums or concert halls - they are all around us.

It is almost impossible to live in Taos and not participate in the arts community. There are weekly classes in almost every medium - fiber, watercolor, acrylics and oils, dance, music, glass, jewelry, graphic arts, clay and more - to dabble with to enhance our connections. Every one of us has the ability to create and imagine a way to make our neighborhood healthier and stronger.

Susan Cady is executive director of the Taos County Chamber of Commerce. Contact the TCCC at taoschamber.com, (575) 751-8800 or email susan@taoschamber.com. The TCCC is a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting local businesses.

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