ROOTSFest 2011: West Baltimore: June 21-26

It was a truly inspirational exchange with individuals who believe arts, culture, and creativity transform communities! I learned so much from the community of West Baltimore and at the National Learning Exchange that will forever be in my mind and heart!

Lesson #1: When you do work that speaks through your own personal life it is integral to personal healing and healing to the communities you work with.

Lesson #2: Do not misjudge powerlessness as apathy within the communities you work with.

Lesson #3: Important to recognize your own expertise and process.

Lesson #4: Once you let people know that they have a venue to create change the healing can begin.

Lesson #5: Need to change the paradigm of viewing young people as consumers of programs instead of leadership.

Lesson #6: Be willing to take truth to power structures.

Lesson #7: Transformation must begin on personal level then we can transform society.

Lesson #8: Understanding that you must respect elders but move forward, not stay in the past.

Lesson #9: The arts create the dialogue for difficult discussions to happen. The art voice is the means for beginning the conversation.
ROOTSFest2011 was a powerful, inspirational setting with amazing performances, awesome individuals, and positive energy! It had lessons I believe we can all learn from, and the support and evidence that arts, culture, and creativity does transform communities!

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