Poet, Author and Civil Engineer
Though the stories of individual members of a community may vary, art acts as a catalyst, letting us understand that each of us experiences a similar set of universal feelings: love, loss, joy, sorrow, etc., regardless of the particulars of each person’s story. As such, art can connect us all to our shared humanity and elevate a community by letting us see how we are more alike, than unalike. It lets us see ourselves in the other and the other in ourselves. Art is a mirror that holds our collective reflections. What’s more, art asks us to dig deeper into those core emotions, to be more emotionally aware and honest with ourselves. And the more honest and aware we are as individuals, the better we are as a community.
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Art elevates our community by bridging together all walks of life that wouldn’t normally interact. The explosion of art in public places, the murals and street art throughout Miami has electrified our neighborhoods, and I love it! This summer I was part of a beautification project at Carol City Middle School. Many local artists painted large scale murals. This school, like so many, has no art classes due to budget cuts, but now their campus is filled with amazing murals that will elevate these students for years to come. As an artist it gives me great pleasure to share my art and inspire all who see it.
Art unites us, makes us feel together even when miles apart. For me, art is the language of the misunderstood. The only way I’ve ever truly expressed myself is through my music. I think art has the power to impact our community not only by educating us but by pushing us to feel outside our comfort zones, helping us to understand and appreciate life. But it’s a matter of perspective in the end.
Children’s Book Writer and Head of Fundación Cuatrogato
By having to decode and integrate everything it has to offer and all of its legacy, art can definitely create a path toward understanding others, especially those who are different. Art should help foster a community that’s based on mutual respect and peaceful coexistence. That’s why I love the Miami I have seen evolve since I set roots in this city — all at once, multifaceted and singular.