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Building Creative Communities

When we started hosting The Building Creative Communities Conference ten years ago we were determined not to have a boring conference, no men (or women) in 3 piece suits talking down to you. And we have been true to that vision, and had a great time each year. The annual gathering is held in Cotton Hall, Colquitt, Ga to demonstrate the transformative power of story at the community and personal level and to showcase the little town that has become a national model of community revitalization through the Arts. For ten years people have gathered the last weekend in January from every corner of the U.S. and several other countries to hear international speakers and participate with Richard Geer in Story Bridge and learn from Jan Sanders the Art of Social Change. The stories told during the Story Bridge track become the cabaret for each evening’s entertainment. A special performance of Swamp Gravy is given for conference attendees on the opening night. The pre-conference is entitled an Introduction to Social Artistry and the post conference is training for those who want to teach Social Artistry principles. (To learn more about Social Artistry see the link to Jean Houston website.) The Florida State University Department of Urban and Regional Planning is a partner in the conference and along with the FSU College of Social Work afford a good mix of students, community leaders and artists. The Jean Houston Foundation is a collaborator and sends young adults from their Emerging Leaders initiative for training as Social Artists. For more information see the links on my homepage to The Jean Houston Foundation and Social Artistry websites.

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