Luckyly for me, my visa was denied and I have more flexibility to learn about community arts happening in the vibrant Toronto and gather some knowledge that can help me to improve my work as a visual artist.
So far the events and a gatherings got me to the understanding of very important things, first, the importance of symbols, that have the power to gather people together and also to spread visual messages, this symbols can be simple, or elaborated, or can be intangible in the sense of humor, the symbols are present in the graphic arts and manifestations of communities, and also are carefully builded by artists, during the time.
Second, timing. The community arts need time, and they can be alive during decades with the presence of the right people, that can manifest in community leaders, researchers, elders. The reason to gather haves to be so nice and so exciting that people can remain engaged, and they will participate over the years, creating this sense of community in an artistic expression. Regarding timing, I have noticed that for artists, that remain doing their work, and they sustain it during the years or decades, it will come a moment that their work haves its momentum, and it will be embraced by the funding and the resources of institutions, museums, galleries, media. But I can imagine how hard was to sustain their ideals for 30 years without having the support.
Third, networking, It is more obvious in the work of collectives in community arts, but in the work of artists they have a team of creative and professional people supporting their work.
Fourth, financing, it still a mystery and will have to learn how to move in the world of funding. But so far the community arts groups have some source of financing, that could be non profit organizations or governmental institutions.