THE PROCESS

Art and music filled the space of Decatur ArtHouse as children as young as nine and folks up into their sixties entered to imagine our ideal future. Participants were greeted with engaging activities like the creative nametag-making station and watercolor power-words and were able to meet local artists making an impact in Decatur. To welcome everyone in the form of live art, artist Mike Molina invited us to gather in a circle as we called in ancestors and others who influence, support, and inspire our continuing creative power. This welcome set the tone for our Creative Power Café rounds — small group conversations with art materials to further express our response to each question. We asked ourselves, What is my creative power? How would our communities transform when using it? What would we like to see in 2034?

WHAT I LEARNED

When our youth are treated as equal participants among adults, the experience can inspire meaningful creative action. I left this gathering, not only as a co-designer, but as an active participant working across differences and became personally motivated to continue making space for social transformation.

You can read the interview with Mattice Haynes and USDAC here.

Organized by The Art of Community, LLC, U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, Decatur ArtHouse, and The People Practice.

Video by JustMaine and photography by Kelley Raye.