The Culture of Possibility
Art, Artists, and the Future
"The bridge is made of the stories that the old paradigm can’t hear,
the lives that it doesn’t count, the imagined future it can’t encompass."
Arlene Goldbard is the author of The Culture of Possibility: Art, Artists, and the Future
This page is inspired by her work. Click here to order her book.
The Idea that change comes from the top is propaganda
"The Culture of Possibility: This title alone opens doors, and Arlene Goldbard offers more on every page. By showing us that culture is the crucible in which we forge our laws and our government as well as our values and families, she restores our power as unique individuals and as creative communities. The idea that all change comes from the top is the propaganda of those who wish it were true. This book encourages us to take back our power through unique and communal creativity."
— Gloria Steinem
Stories are more powerful than Numbers and Slogans
"You don't change the world by lobbying numbers, slogans, or arguments at people. You do it by changing the story of despair or powerlessness to one of real possibility. Things would change if everyone lifted their voices as citizens of the world, calling out what doesn't reflect their deepest values, and standing up for what does."
----Arlene Goldbard speaking for The Center for Digital Storytelling.
Who is Arlene Goldbard?
"Arlene Goldbard is a writer and consultant whose focus is the intersection of culture, politics and spirituality. Her blog and other writings may be downloaded from her Web site www.arlenegoldbard.com. She was born in New York and grew up near San Francisco. Her most recent book, New Creative Community: The Art of Cultural Development was published by New Village Press in November 2006. She is also co-author of Community, Culture and Globalization, an international anthology published by the Rockefeller Foundation and Clarity, a novel. Her essays have been published in In Motion Magazine, Art in America, Theatre, Tikkun, and many other journals.
She has addressed many academic and community audiences in the U.S. and Europe, on topics ranging from the ethics of community arts practice to the development of integral organizations. She has provided advice and counsel to hundreds of community-based organizations, independent media groups, and public and private funders and policymakers including the Rockefeller Foundation, Global Kids, the Independent Television Service, Appalshop and dozens of others. She is currently focusing on three projects: a book about artists working to heal the prison-industrial complex; a film about Rabbi Arthur Waskow; and a campaign to create Cultural Recovery for the U.S., including a "new WPA" for artists. She serves as President of the Board of Directors of The Shalom Center."
Interested in Justice and Beauty?
You might also be interested in:
Seeing Through Propaganda and Flags, a digital story by Eugenie Dolberg
Stand Up, a digital story by Jamie Mayo
Replanting Yourself in Beauty, by Patricia Adams Farmer
The Numinosity of Rocks, by Patricia Adams Farmer
Savoring, by Patricia Adams Farmer
Kindness: The Beautiful Contagion, by Patricia Adams Farmer
Process and Poetry: Muriel Rukeyser and Alfred North Whitehead, by Jay McDaniel
Creation Through Lovingkindness, by Rabbi Bradley Artson
Constellation of Process Theology, by Rabbi Bradley Artson
A Priest Occupies Wall Street, by Rev. Michael Riffen
Deliver us From Evil, Including Our Own, by John Cobb and Jay McDaniel
Would Jesus Occupy Wall Street?, by John Cobb
American Gun Culture, by John Cobb
Beyond American Gun Culture, by John Cobb
Can We Find God in Organized Religion?, by John Cobb
Beyond Islamophobia, by Jay McDaniel
Global Rape Culture, by Jay McDaniel
Food, Music, and Storytelling
A guidance counselor in high school once told me that there are three things which hold people together: food, music, and storytelling. "Not only stories that are told," she said, "but stories that are sung and danced, painted and photographed." She was encouraging me to become an artist.
If you watch John Trudell's Crazy Horse, or scroll down and watch Well Contested Sites, you'll get the point. You'll see pain and hope vividly depicted by John Trudell In Crazy Horse and by former prison inmates in Well Contested Sites. I learned about both of these from one of the most important writers on cultural development in the United States today: Arlene Goldbard. Here's the link to her website: http://arlenegoldbard.com/.
In the course of her life she has again and again made a strong case that the arts can help transform culture in ways that numbers and slogans and arguments. A synopsis of the general idea is offered below, in a description of her new book: The Culture of Possibility: Art, Artists, and the Future.
Arts and the New Paradigm