Today I had a conversation with a group of people about community, specifically for artists. It made me think about the importance of community, on so many levels:
- Feeling included, something we as human beings seek out
- Being challenged
- Contributing to the community and feeling the satisfaction of being able to support and be supported
- Business and personal growth
Personally, living in St. Petersburg has been a catalyst for my community involvement. The words “I love St. Pete” pass the lips of just about every person who has the fortune of living here for even a few months. It’s such a wonderful place, not just because of the beautiful backdrop of Tampa Bay, palm trees, and beaches, but also because of the thoughtful, passionate people who live and work here. People that are proud of the city and therefore want to uplift it in so many ways. People who care about the citizens who reside here and want to make this the best place to live and work. People who want to destroy poverty, recognize mistakes, and forge new paths. This is why St. Pete is so irresistible.
The artist community, for me, has been welcoming, a place where I can grow, learn, exhibit, and receive constructive criticism and support. It is the foundation of my career as an artist. Because of the accessibility of the community, the open arms of fellow artists and arts organizations, I was able to assimilate into the community without feeling like an outsider trying to get in. This allowed me to collaborate, discuss, receive critique, and in general, commune with my fellow artists and art-lovers in ways that helped me to grow. Over the years, arts organizations dedicated to St. Pete’s artists and the growth of the city have helped further boost all of us. This has created a community that is not just art-centric, it’s a civic-minded group comprised of community leaders and influencers. This creates an atmosphere where creatives can be instrumental in the future of the city. And in a city that thrives because of the art scene, it’s important for the artists themselves to be a part of the movement and decision-making of the city.