Arts & Inter-Community Connection
This essay looks at America’s changing communities and how they have and will interact with each other, as well as the role that the arts may play in positively impacting those changes over the next 10–15 years. In particular, this paper proposes the following trends and associated arts interventions:
- As debunked theories and practices—such as the Broken Windows theory, which pit different communities against each other and allow prejudice and privilege to override common goals—become untenable, an opportunity will open up for a new, more equitable way of ensuring safe and healthy communities. Creative deployment of the arts and artists will increase connections and understandings across disparate and historically unequal groups; provide opportunities for a more even-footed conversation; and build agency for marginalized communities to create, maintain, and share their own narratives.
- With a stronger and more sustained lens being trained on issues of gentrification and economic and cultural displacement, a movement to find ways of encouraging neighborhood investment and population growth without displacing indigenous residents or dismantling long-held cultural beliefs will arise.
- The arts and artists will need to recognize their historic role in displacement, deliberate or not, and to deploy their skills as stewards of cultural traditions and points of intersection among new and existing residents.
Excerpted from Arts & America: Arts, Culture, and the Future of America’s Communities. This essay looks at America's changing communities, how they interact with one another, the role of the arts in that change over the next 10 to 15 years. The full book of essays can be purchased in Americans for the Arts online store.