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Spotlight: “Public Art and Community Development”, CCG Community Hour

November 17, 2009

On November 10th, CCG’s Community Hour hosted three insightful guest speakers who communicated a similar message that art, community service, and a successful career can merge with determination and creativity.

Rick Benjamin, a community artist and Brown professor for the class “Poetry in Service to the Community”, talked about his experiences starting a daycare right out of college and using creative writing as a tool for community development. Emmy Bright, who received a M.Ed in Arts in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and now works as an Artist Mentor Fellow for New Urban Arts, talked about her long journey trying to find a way to combine her seemingly unassociated interests into a career she was passionate about. Pete Hocking, the director of RISD’s Office of Public Engagement who also worked at Brown as Director of the Swearer Center and as an Associate Dean of the College, emphasized his personal need for having a job that involved art and community service and how that translated into several opportunities, even right out of college.

All the speakers emphasized not needing to “have a plan” as an undergraduate or feeling you have to “choose only one interest” to pursue specifically. For them, their several unique personal interests eventually melded into positions that were personally gratifying.

The speakers all stayed long after the session ended to speak with students who had individual questions or wanted more elaboration on certain issues addressed. Many students also networked with each other after realizing during the group discussion that many had similar particular interests for organizations, GISP’s, independent studies etc.

***Each week, Careers in the Common Good hosts an informal discussion about CCG-related topics, moderated by a guest speaker and often featuring panels of alums working in third sector and associated fields. Join us for free coffee and enlightening conversation. The calendar for Spring 2010 Community Hour discussions will be posted soon. Any questions/thoughts/suggestions can be emailed to***

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 6, 2010 7:45 pm

    uEytKx Excellent article, I will take note. Many thanks for the story!

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