89.1 WEMU

Art & Soul - The Visual Arts: Artists At The Community Development Table

May 9, 2019

Americans for the Arts Poster
Credit Americans for the Arts / americansforthearts.org

This week, "Art and Soul" is about the visual arts.  89.1 WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with with a creative strategist working with the Americans for the Arts sponsoring an artist workshop in Ypsilanti later this month.  Roseann Weiss says they're looking forward to connecting with a "room full of artists" at Riverside Arts Center on May 21st.


About the Workshop

The workshop will be about the power and importance of integrating artists and arts organizations into discussions about public policy, civic systems, and community development initiatives continues to grow every day.  How and why artists and arts organizations engage with these initiatives continues to be a conversation that needs to be had, with the goal of empowering creatives to use their work for creative problem solving within communities.

The one-day workshop is taking place May 21st and will look at what arts-based community development is and learn how artists and arts organizations can use their voices to build up the communities they are a part of.  This workshop will include case studies, creative group exercises, and highlight the work of artists in our local community already engaging in this work. 

Local Artist Facilitators:

Ryan Myers-Johnson, Dancer, Founder, Sidewalk Detroit

Ryan Myers-Johnson is a curator of public art and performance, specializing in community engagement and equitable land-use.  In 2012, Ryan founded Sidewalk Detroit, a triple bottom line non-profit invested in celebrating public life and culture of Detroit through the lens of experience design, art and performance.  Ryan has extensive experience in event planning, arts administration, management and leadership, stemming from her many years working as production manager in the film industry, company manager in dance production and artivist within the field of philanthropy.  She is a sought-after collaborator in land-use projects, specializing in public art frameworks and intimate community engagement.  Ryan works with residents and clients to create spaces and experiences that are not just engaging and beautiful, but also tailored to the people who live there.  Community and innovative creative expression are her highest priority.

Julie Quiroz, Writer, Community Activist

Julie is passionate about nurturing collective creativity to reimagine, reclaim, and rebuild a lasting world for generations to come.  Julie is a founding member of Untold Stories of Liberation & Love, an all-volunteer, Ypsilanti-centric effort to amplify and generate local women of color’s creative courage to envision what Washtenaw communities will be when we we center cooperative community-governed solutions grounded in abundance.  Untold Stories invites Washtenaw County women of color to reach back to our ancestors for radical wisdom, to shift the shape of reality in the present moment, and to embody ourvision of the future right now.  In her day job, Julie is Director of Narrative Future with Movement Strategy Center, where she co-creates embodied cultural strategy experiments to shift our world from domination and extraction to interdependence, resilience, and love.  Julie just joined the Advisory Committee for the brand new Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute.  Julie’s writing explores migration, assimilation, race, class, and gender, as in her recent story American Residence.  Julie makes a home withher beloved daughter and a tiny dog named Chula. 

Lisa also talks about the upcoming West Side Art Hop in Ann Arbor taking place on May 19th.  Click here for all of the details.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu