Theaster Gates & Rebuilding Chicago

I came across this Huffington Post article earlier today that included the video above and knew I wanted to discuss the subject more. Being in Chicago, and working for a non-profit that helps bring more services to the Chicagoland community, I’m always expanding my world view. There’s a beauty in the city. More than that, there’s a beauty in the people and their ability to overcome.

One of my favorite moments in the video is as 4:10 time mark, where Theaster references the intersection of disciplines needed for a community to thrive. I spoke a bit before about learning to see your surroundings with new eyes. That awareness makes you possessive of your community and therefore inspired to turn things around. But you can’t do it yourself. You need those varying perspectives and skill sets.

I find it so powerful that the work of people like Theaster Gates showcases that artistic expression shows your past and can redefine your future when you go beyond the expected paths. I feel like there are many Chicago resources like this.

But it’s not just painting an old car that suddenly makes it run right. You still need to make sure each part works optimally. That is definitely the other half of the puzzle you can never ignore. Organizations like those I work for and with are doing the research to find out what’s needed, finding the resources willing to help fund these needs and asking the community for feedback on if we’re succeeding or not. It’s an ongoing cycle.

In a perfect world, you have every available voice in the room to get things done. In reality, you’ll have a handful trying to do the best they can for the whole group. If there are changes coming–with public forums already being put in place–you’d want to not only proud of living there, but provided with what you need to better your way of life. That’s true for anyone.

What do you feel like is the most important when it comes to community changes? Do you start with the visual environment? Or do you introduce the services first?

The Sounding Board Graphic

Adobe Comp CC came out today. I’m curious to see how well it ends up serving everyone.

If you’re ever confused about SIL Open Font Licenses, this is a great resource for understanding what you can/can’t do.


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