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
This episode features music from Custodian of Records and Tours.