Art Spaces Can Bridge Social Divides—But First You Need to Know Your Neighbor
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It came to mind after the mosque next door, attended by West African newcomers, was shot at for the second Ramadan in a row. Social bridging also comes to mind when I listen to my mother, a local artist in Newark, New Jersey, describe the people who are moving into her community—MFA types from Brooklyn whose work uses a completely different language than the one to which she is accustomed.
Of course, art spaces are no substitute for safe streets and more evenly distributed public services. But I believe they can go a long way towards fostering wider social inclusion. After running an art space and observing how others operate within their communities around the world, I’ve had the fortune to collect some possible approaches to bringing people across social divisions together to have meaningful experiences with one another in the context of an art-oriented environment.
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