Episode 4 – Using the arts to connect neighbors and cultivate inclusivity

Episode 4 – Using the arts to connect neighbors and cultivate inclusivity

Joanna Taft of the Harrison Center discusses the role of the arts, place, and story to humanize, connect, and empower a neighborhood. We talk about how a neighborhood can change and improve in inclusive and equitable ways, and how important it is for people to feel known and loved in their community and their homes. Central to it all is being a neighbor to your neighbors. This is a jam-packed discussion you can't afford to miss!

2:15 – Brief recap of our Cultivating Strong Towns workshop in Shreveport

9:30 – Introducing Joanna Taft & the Harrison Center

14:15 – Beginning of interview: Joanna's role as a neighbor, helping her neighborhood grow stronger through the arts, education, entrepreneurship, youth development and more

15:00 – What "community building" means to Joanna, and how her thinking on the matter has evolved over the years

18:00 – Harrison Center's neighborhood partnerships, and how residents' concerns about being left out of their neighborhood's story and evolution led her organization to try a new approach to storytelling

22:45 – "Preenactment," or reimagining a neighborhood the way it ought to be

28:00 – How Joanna's team collected stories and concerns from the neighborhood

32:00 – Changing behaviors and attitudes, not just the physical makeup of a neighborhood, and how Joanna uses the concept of preenactment in her personal life

38:00 – Preenactment as a response to the question: "How do we revitalize in an inclusive way?"

39:05 – The centrality of art and place in building vibrant, equitable, and human neighborhoods

43:05 – Cultivating a generation of arts patrons at Herron High School

48:10 – Partnerships with the City of Indianapolis

50:15 – Some of the challenges (and unique opportunities) that come from working directly with a city government

52:50 – The role of relationships and how other cities could set themselves up to be welcoming to grassroots community building

54:00 – The Harrison Center's City Gallery: "Could the arts actually help with the abandoned housing issue?"

57:45 – Porching! How the simple act of inviting neighbors onto your front porch can begin to change your neighborhood

1:00:25 – How to start a grassroots community building movement in a neighborhood without much current involvement


The Harrison Center

PreEnact Indy

City Gallery

This episode features music from Custodian of Records and Tours.

On 'civic vitality'

On 'civic vitality'

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Do our cities gather enough property taxes?