A Fundamental Stepping Stone in fostering Community Change Apr17

A Fundamental Stepping Stone in fostering Community Change...

By Tatiana Zamorano Photos by Syed Mustafa Permission to reprint granted by the Vancouver Arts Colloquium Society Community is necessary and a crucial element that society requires in order to thrive as community has the power to create culture and sense of belonging, which produces unity amongst individuals and fosters compassion for one another, that then contributes to the wellbeing of individuals and the regeneration of sustainable communities. However, over the years the values and dynamics of communities have changed due to the framework that encompasses us, which has worked to generate a society founded on profit and individualism. This urbanized society has increased the levels of social isolation and self-interest within our societies, which has broken the necessary bonds needed to keep community and culture alive and thriving. So the question that remains is how can we combat social isolation and reignite sustainable communities? Well the Vancouver Arts Colloquium Society (VACS) believes that art is a central tool in creating this vision of sustainable community as, art is rooted in culture which has the capacity to bind people together through profound relationships, that produce bounded solidarity amongst community members that then incites change and builds strongly connected communities.  Therefore, through VACS’s mission art has played a pivotal role in building community and in nurturing and cultivating culture, which VACS wanted to share with the public but not solely through their initiatives. Instead VACS wanted to take their idea centered on the vitality of art even further and focused on how they could relay this revelation of art to others in order to make others comprehend their vision in which art is an essential component in generating sustainable communities and culture. However, the hurdle that stood in their path was formulating a method that...

ABCD in Action: Recap of Community Forum with Jim Diers, Feb11

ABCD in Action: Recap of Community Forum with Jim Diers,...

  By Leonni Antono             “Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” – Jane Jacobs             Guest speaker Jim Diers draws on his past experience as the Director of Neighbourhood Development in the City of Seattle to highlight the importance and viability of neighbourhood empowerment in improving quality of life and solving community problems. By examining the existing crises – such as economic, social and environmental – he explains the reasons behind people’s estrangement from their communities and thus posits that a strong local community is the essential basis for change, which begins with community involvement in neighbourhoods, leading eventually to a collaborative effort from both the government and groups of individuals in order to promote sustainable asset-based development at a community level.             Delving into the main reasons behind the divide between the government and the individuals of society, Diers sheds light on the various roles that can be played by both parties respectively, and concludes that in order to engage the government in the community, it is indispensable to change the government and how it views its citizens. Ideally, the government “supports the community to work on its own priorities through its own associates”, and the citizens in this case become what Diers calls the “producer”, which implies people’s involvement in and contributions to changing the community for the better. In the words of Diers, people nowadays have forgotten about the role of community. Due to this, many human resources are squandered and not utilized.             However, the aforementioned crises have made people more cognizant of the importance of neighbourhood, and to change the community for the better – to solve societal issues like safety, etc. – it is requisite...