"What does 'the art stuff' have to do with quality of life in low and moderate income communities?"
This is the question around which Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson's talk was focused last week at Emma Bistro in Nashville. This event was made possible by the Metro Arts Commission, Vanderbilt's Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy, and the Scarritt Bennett Center.
A point of the conversation that was particularly useful to me was thinking about why arts are useful--essential even--in building and maintaining vital communities. Dr. Jackson pointed out that strategies of oppression are quick to strip people of their access to spaces where they can express themselves. Thus, it is important to think of arts and expression as spaces where vitality in communities can be cultivated and encouraged. See her TedX talk on a similar topic at this link.