Awaken Creative Institute is a center for the celebration and development of arts-centered community engagement tools called Arts for Community Action Tools, which occupy the space between the fine arts for expression and arts therapies, a space where the arts intentionally target specific, relational, community issues. We aim to heal devastating, relational divides by bringing people together and rehumanizing the “other,” in order to make real change possible in our communities’ greatest areas of felt need.
Through artistic practices (in the performing, visual, and literary arts), combined with community engagement methods, participants explore common human experiences together, learning that the “other” also has a story, fears, triumphs, and heartaches. Our tiered programs, all of which will begin in Colorado Springs, offer fun, meaningful, and interactive shared experiences alongside facilitated dialogue on tough issues in a safe, neutral space. Here, empathy and authentic, reciprocal relationships are built and barriers that block community cohesion and cooperation are broken down.
Our tools will then be shared with global artists who can contextualize our tools for use in their own communities. By training artists and providing an accessible, flexible framework within which they can participate, we will inspire and empower an international movement of artists in community action.
To comply with state and local COVID restrictions, we will ensure that our unmasked performers are either vaccinated or have a negative COVID test prior to any in-person event. We encourage audience members who are not vaccinated to wear a mask.