‘Artists Exist In Every Neighborhood … Of the World’

[ 0 ] August 7, 2014 |

Art is everywhere; you just need to know where to look in order to find it.

And there are so many opportunities for society to use art to make it a better place, says Laura Zabel, executive director at Springboard for the Arts. WATCH as Zabel talks with genConnect about where to find art and how it can be used to build a stronger community:

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 12.27.17 PM“I believe really strongly that artists exist in every neighborhood, on every street in the country, in the world,” says Zabel. “Our communities need creative thinking.”

All of the big challenges facing society today – healthcare, education, poverty – need creative thinking in order to find suitable solutions. Zabel says an artist can be anyone with a creative idea or background, not just someone who pursues art as a profession.

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Springboard for the Arts is an economic and community development organization for artists and by artists. Its goal is to build stronger communities, neighborhoods, and economies with the help of artists and creative thinking. To achieve this, the organization connects artists with business owners to create simple, practical solutions and systems to support artists in the local community. “I think our communities would be a lot better off if we found and recognized the artists that were right next door,” Zabel says.

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 12.21.09 PMOne example she provides is when an artist helped solve HIS local café’s advertising problems.

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Construction in front of The Black Dog Café in St. Paul, Minn., was obscuring potential customers from seeing their store front and thus thwarting business. So artist Chris Lutter helped create Prince Java the Mutt, an 8-foot-long, two-person puppet who walked around town and whose appearances – along with a social media campaign by another local artist – created a buzz that raised the café’s profile and got it through the construction with customers still coming in the doors.

Says Zabel: “Artists have the ability to see challenges as opportunities.”

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About Laura Zabel: Laura Zabel is executive director of Springboard for the Arts, an economic and community development agency whose programs help artists make a living and communities tap into the resource that artists provide. Springboard recently launched [...]
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