In the Neighborhood
About this Issue
We took the title of this issue from an old Tom Waits song because it fit so well: in the neighborhood is where arts and community congregate, dance, sing, recite poetry, or just sit and watch. It’s where a public library can lead to the revitalization of a city’s downtown, as happened in Kankakee, Illinois; it’s where a summer festival can bring together diverse cultures as the Tamejavi Festival in California has; it’s where arts organizations can get together to provide much-needed arts programs for urban youth, as has happened in Providence, Rhode Island; it’s where a community orchestra made up of health-care professionals gives back to its community by providing free concerts at the local hospital, as happens in Houston, Texas; it’s where a city devastated by natural disasters rises up and redefines its culture as New Orleans did; it’s where a community of poets try and better connect with their audiences, as is happening in New York City.
In this issue we look at the impact of artists and arts organizations on the communities in which they live and work to examine questions such as, What is the role of the artist in the community? How do the arts engage the community, and how do communities engage the arts?