Power

Community Arts Practice: The First Arts Practice in the World

 

Glenna Avila

 

The longest history of arts practice in the entire world is held by community arts and public arts. The very first visual artwork created on earth was made by prehistoric people who painted on the walls of their caves. These cave paintings or murals, which have a lot to do with the creation of community, existed long before we had museums, symphonies, universities, operas, galleries, literature, or printed materials. People who did not label themselves as artists and perhaps didn’t even have a concept for what art was or could be, thought of experimenting with rocks and sticks and different minerals from the land to draw images of animals on the walls of their dwellings. Since the beginning of time on earth, humans have invented innovative ways to tell their stories and share creativity with their communities.

 

 

by Annie Buckley

 

I still believe that art can make a difference. It’s not that I think art objects are outmoded or that art has to be social to be vital, but a couple of years ago, shortly after completing a year of grueling cancer treatment (is there any other kind?), I was walking through the courtyard garden of the loft building where I live when I thought, “I want to make something that has a direct and immediate impact.”

Karla Diaz

 

The word action indicates movement and performance. But to me, it also means silence and stillness. There is an erroneous belief that radical acts only involve protests and militant actions. And although I understand the necessity of these actions at times, I prefer what I call “quiet actions.”  By this, I don’t mean to suggest that I have suppressed my passion and conviction; I believe in political involvement and awareness. On the contrary, my actions are more focused, strategized, and intentional. As a young immigrant child, growing up in both Mexico and Los Angeles, I bore witness to many injustices, exile, violence, poverty, and the power of government/institutions to take away basic human rights such as shelter, food and water.

hanging with the boys in blue

 

Price William Hall

 

“Damn! A holiday, another one...” I muttered under my breath and hung up the phone. No classes would be taught today, again, due to an issue with the deployment of correctional staff. I have been teaching Creative Writing at the California Institution for Men (CIM), the prison in Chino, for the past two years through California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) Community-based Art (CBA). With changes in staff at the prison, our ongoing program was being reassessed and reevaluated, including the manpower allocated to insure our

safety.