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Laura Walker, “Collective Healing Through Arts-based Development.” (2021) AIA Eastern Oklahoma ChitChat.

Two projects where communities are organizing and developing land by promoting the cultural production of artists using non-exploitive and non-extractive methods. This is a conversation around value systems, and how arts-based communities are redefining value - that of land, citizenship, and marginalized peoples, specifically Black, working class artists. These emergent modes of development and urbanization prioritize health and wellness through alliance formation and a radical celebration of differences.

Emergent modes of Arts-based development engage and wrestle with these societal forms of violence and oppression. Horizontal co-production supports the agency of community members to inform the social and economic exchanges in development. Taking a reparative stance leads to healing relationships to civic agency, to land, to one another. Restoring ownership and redistributing power leads to stewardship. And that through all of these aspects, the approach is joy centered and joy informed. I’ll show how both projects address these.