Why is this Arts community important to us?

Submitted by Multicultural C... on August 27, 2013 - 3:42pm
A conversation with a group of artist in KW


Why is this Arts community important to us?

This seemed to be a good question to ask a group of artists in KW.  Often times municipalities will invest time energy and resources to help build a strong arts community.  We look with interest and envy on communities like Hamilton that have a strong and vibrant arts community.  So why is this idea of an arts community important to us?

This question is far more difficult than one would expect and lead to much discussion with our group...

“What do we mean by an art community?”

“Who is in who is out?”

“Are we self defined or are we defined by other people?”

“Who is an artist?”

These were all questions that were expressed by people at the table.

When discussing different community groups, we can list off groups based on commonality: the arts community, the deaf community, the black community or the youth community would be some examples. Though, within one of these communities, it is common to have many sub-communities.

For example, one person talked about how if she had an idea she wanted to bounce off some people, she would not connect with the whole art community. After all, there are many people within this community who she does not really know that well. Instead, she finds friends who she knows and trusts.  So, it's not just common experience that matters, having a relationship with the members of the group is deeply important as well.  In these relationships, you know each other, appreciate each other, and speak same language.

An interesting thing that came out of this conversation was the role of the connectors in building community.  In the case of this group it is Martin de Groot.  A couple of people talked about how they came to town and wanted to get connected into the community but didn’t know how. They came across Martin’s number because it was easily accessible and he warmly welcomed them in, first meeting with them and then connecting them with the people he felt they would match with best. This served as a key starting point for them in the community.  The connectors play an important role in bringing in new blood and energy, as well as helping connect ideas and people who are already within the community.  They make sure a community knows itself and can therefore flourish.



Nice to hear a reflection specific to the arts community- also, so great that there are lots of connectors, like Martin our there!