Springboard for the Arts is a community and economic development organization based in St. Paul and Fergus Falls. They serve artists and communities across Minnesota and across the country with programs and resources that help artists make a living and a life, and help communities connect to the creative power of artists. Springboard understands the role of artists in communities, how they can create change, how they help people have complicated conversations, and how they contribute to new solutions for community challenges. To this, Springboard has developed the Handbook for Artists Working in Community, a resource for both artists and community leaders. Jul-Li Wang, Springboard's Associate Director of Community Programs told us about how the handbook can be used and why it's important for artists to engage in community action and community development.
We feel like artists really should be involved in every kind of discussion that a place has about its future because they're just going to bring new ideas to the table....Main Street is so important and artists can bring different things to animate and help people appreciate that Main Street more...When you need out of the box thinking, if you have an artist at the table, they're going to ask different questions, they're going to notice different things and they're going to help us see different paths… - Jun-Li Wang