The cohesion of a community is what binds residents to each other and to their locality. Community cohesion is vital in creating a common vision for a collective future. When differences arise or cohesion weakens, the arts help bring people together.
A community is at its best when it feels coherent, collaborative, and safe. Social tensions created by an influx of new people, economics, environment, or any number of factors can disturb citizens’ sense of self and stress the threads that bind them. Arts participation contributes to social cohesion by reducing isolation, encouraging cooperation, and building community networks. (Source: Americans for the Arts)
Keep your eyes peeled for public art that is rooted in local identity—it’s everywhere!
- The Traveling Museum connects public art to ice fishing in rural Minnesota.
- Celebrating industry using residents’ memories in Pittsburgh.
- Connecting public art to steel industry and job skills for students in Erie, Pennsylvania.
- Reflecting local culture and values.
- A checklist for public art success (and resources to help along the way)
- How to be a public artist: Four parts of the journey ahead
- Americans for the Arts-Public Art Network
- Project for Public Spaces (PPS)
- Americans for the Arts - Public Art Tools & Resources
- Exploring Our Town Practical information gleaned from the experiences of those who have successfully completed Our Town projects.