Works of Heart: Building Village Through the Arts was featured in two blogs this week, in both cases being read for the first time and surprising the readers enough they decided to write about it. Margaret, a social worker and educator from Eastern Washington, comments in her blog Margaret’s Wanderings, “How joyful it is to see people using their creative gifts in and for their communities. It helped reiterate something I have always known: Art can change the world.” The second blogger is a young pastor of a suburban Presbyterian church in a Mid-Atlantic state, whose blog, Reverendmother, notes “One of my favorite sections of the book was about an artist who got a grant to rent out a stall at the local public market as a place for storytelling, music and performance art. How wonderful.” She found the book in the Tools for Change catalog from Syracuse Cultural Workers.
Works of Heart is being adopted by more and more college courses as a textbook. One early adopter is Professor Amara Geffen, a notable community artist and chair of the art department at Allegheny College in Western Pennsylvania. Amara has stepped outside conventional boundaries of academia by directing two initiatives in an ambitious program that involves faculty and students in college-community partnerships that address local and regional sustainability issues—The Center for Economic and Environmental Development, called simply CEED. (more…)