Since 2011, I’ve been participating in Oregon Humanities’ Conversation Project (A New Chautauqua), a program that offers Oregon nonprofits free programs that engage community members in thoughtful, challenging conversations about ideas critical to our daily lives and our state’s future. The program I facilitate, The Art of the Possible, looks at the core values of jazz—risk, collaboration, deep listening, disparate voices coalescing around a common purpose, innovation, and respect—as cornerstones and tools for community engagement. This wonderful program has given me the opportunity to talk with fascinating people in communities across the state, including Pendleton, Astoria, Beaverton, Bend, Cave Junction, Clackamas County, Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, for Eugene’s Big Read, at McMinnville’s Linfield College, Wilsonville, several times in Portland, Milwaukie, and Ashland.
The Art of the Possible: Jazz and Community-Building
Successful community building requires participation, risk, collaboration, and a balance between unified and individual voices. Independent scholar and professional jazz musician Tim DuRoche will explore one model of community building by looking at the history and culture of jazz music. This highly democratic art form is deeply concerned with many of the same social values as efforts to strengthen communities, including unity, equality, improvisation, and freedom. DuRoche will lead participants in a conversation that inspires us to embrace trust and risk, participation and collaboration as important cornerstones of our culture.
Apply to bring Art of the Possible to a library, community center, school, arts center, church or city council chambers near you!