September 2021 Think Tank:

Peter Atsu Adaletey

Teaching Artists as Arts Emergency Surgeons
for Community Healing and Empowerment

Session Synopsis

While referencing his own stories and experiences, Peter invited participants to share the challenges facing their own local communities. Collectively, they discussed the role arts can have in addressing community challenges and how said communities can be effectively engaged at local levels.

To keep the conversation in motion, a formed working group will aim to include people from a wide variety of local communities (from all over the world), that are facing their own unique challenges. What do we have in common? What is context specific? What can we learn from each other to help us address these issues?

This project will challenge working group members to identify other Teaching Artists within their local communities and begin to map ways in which they might effectively engage community members in creative change-making. The group will work together to support, and provide insights into, the ways in which the arts could be utilized to address their identified challenges. Participants will be encouraged to pilot community engagement methods, report back, and identify the approaches which have worked best in their own contexts.

The intended outcome of this project is the creation of small, local, community-engaged TA cohorts. The process by which these are built will be documented and made available online as a ‘how to’ guide for other TAs seeking to build and mobilize local community collectives.

Additional Resources

Learn more about Peter Atsu Adaletey and how in crisis teaching artists can provide aid comparable to the work of our doctors:

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