Kim is a painter and architectural color designer. As a Board Member, she draws on her experience as mentor, teacher and professional in the arts to support our communications and outreach efforts.
ArtCorps has taught me that sustainable social change requires education that is tailor-made to the individuals within the culture and that artists can work wonders!
It sounds a bit crazy, even elitist, to send artists to rural communities in Central America where so much is needed. How can an effort to lead a community in a creative process change anything? What can they hope to accomplish with art? Wouldn't it be more efficient to send trained professionals to solve the problems at hand or teach strategies to a task force working within the country?
I am an artist, but still I asked myself these questions when I first learned of the work that ArtCorps was doing in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. So much is at stake when a community is impoverished. Like others wanting to help, I am impatient for results where there is human suffering. Like any creative endeavor, ArtCorps Artists facilitate this magical shift in thinking that begins with a leap into uncharted territory.
Engaging community members in art-making encourages risk-taking, establishes bonds between participants and taps into the soul of individual stakeholders. The day-to-day working process indirectly teaches problem-solving, craftsmanship, cooperation and the value of creative thinking--skills often lost when a community is mired in self-doubt. And as the artwork comes into view, participants and the whole community begin to see themselves in a new way: empowered and successful agents of change.
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