Issue #2 | Spring/Summer 2004

Does Art Nurture a Community?

Jobs, housing, schools, a decent infrastructure – no-one argues that these are essential ingredients to a community. But art as economic development? The topic can open up a heated debate. By serendipity, the common thread that runs through the articles in our second issue gives this question much food for thought.

Is it possible the little town of Chemainus, BC, would still be struggling to exist if it had not been for someone who believed in art. Now it thrives, its 33 murals drawing over 400,000 visitors a year. Dawson Creek may have lost its historic grain elevator had it not been converted to a vibrant art gallery. The new phase of the Grande Prairie Museum at Centre 2000 is brought to life, thanks to the talent of Tim Heimdal.

Repeated studies show that teaching art and music in schools creates more diverse and successful learners. No-one working at the Prairie Art Gallery would doubt that. The children who visit on the many school tours embrace art and become its best ambassadors.

Partnerships of diversity are the key to growth – whether artistic, or economic. Taking primary colours and creating rainbows; turning a flat, square building into a glorious waterfall; evolving rage into beauty; making a vision become a reality. This is the power of art.

Dymphny Dronyk
Associate Editor

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