Bridging Divides to Mobilize a Creative Force was a workshop by Jonny Stax, Artist, Creative Coach, and Social Equity Strategist. The event was part of the Witching Hour Festival in Iowa City Nov 1-2, 2019. If you aren't familiar, the Witching Hour is "a festival exploring the unknown, discussing the creative process, and presenting new work." Over the course of a few days, The Englert Theater and other venues around town are buzzing with activity.
This session sparked brainstorming and included yours truly facilitating some Manibus Dance-Painting with attendees. The group identified existing divides and strategized creative solutions for finding common ground through artistic means. A list of those ideas can be found here.
Stax has a new project underway, "using art, play, and adventure to call people to cross cultural boundaries to find new ways to commune." I find this mission to be in natural alignment with the purpose behind my Public Performative Manibus Dance-Painting Happenings. Creating and experiencing art collectively allows us the space to practice meaning-making together. We communicate in new ways by stepping outside of our comfort zones and physically embodying sentiments that may not be readily accessible by immediate rational language and logic. Dance is innate and present in all cultures as a form of expression. The completed painting that results captures a witnessing snapshot of collaborative time and energy spent together. It represents the kinetic potential that exists within any influential moment of unity.