Inspiring quotes from Creative Exchange

Since Creative Exchange launched in March, we’ve published 28 different artist profiles, featuring people working in communities across the United States. These artists come from all kinds of disciplines, work in a lot of different organizational structures and have vastly different backgrounds, but they all have one thing in common – they are using their art and creativity to make an impact in their community. We think it’s inspiring, and we wanted to share 10 of our favorite quotes with you for this month’s featured post. Check out all the artist profiles here.

“I believe in using what you’ve got. The only mistake you can make in life is not doing what burns bright in your heart.” Blind musician and ambassador for Macon Joey Stuckey shows the way to a creative, spontaneous life. Read the full story here.

“The idea is that you push yourself to the point of exhaustion, past resistance, to whatever it is you’re working on and end up in heightened creative, very imaginative state.” Performer Liza Bielby of The Hinterlands in Detroit explores identity and makes creative, collaborative work. Read the full story here.

“Art is a way to tell our experiences and share our stories. With the arts people are in control of how they tell their stories.” Hmong artist and organizer Oskar Ly in Saint Paul shares the power of art to shape a community. Read the full story here.

“The crux of [being a participatory artist] is that it is a collaborative, socially-engaged art work that tackles issues that are concerning people at the present time. It involves people who are interested in making changes.” Artist Annabel Manning in Charlotte creates space for communities like youth and undocumented immigrants to address the issues that affect them. Read the full story here.

“Hip hop is something that really shaped my perspective of myself and my world view. It had such a positive impact on me and I know that it has shaped me from the standpoint that it promoted individualism and self-expression. When you’re operating in environments like that, very nurturing environments, that promote expression and individualism, that’s an environment where people grow.” Ismail Al-Amin, Executive Director of Keepers of the Art in Akron uses art to fight stereotypes. Read the full story here.

“The story of corn for me is symbolic of the way we have disconnected ourselves from growing from the earth, from creation. That’s true culturally as well as our tenuous connection to where our food comes from now and what we’re actually consuming.” San Jose artist Yvonne Escalante is using corn explore social & environmental justice. Read the full story here.

“Because this work is public we hope it will work within the community to promote community connectiveness, but we also hope it impacts public and population health and increase awareness around public health.” Sara Ansell of the Porch Light mural project in Philadelphia works with people receiving mental health services to create new ways to express and connect. Read the full story here.

“I see myself as an artist, and artists have that ability to be objective. We see the world in a slightly different way, and can take that knowledge into the community to people who don’t step outside of their roles, which is what artists are trained to do.” Painter & yogi Laura Alma McCarthy on the transformative possibility of creativity in Charlotte. Read the full story here.

“As someone who grew up here and almost left but didn’t because I got involved in music scene, things like Sweat and other places like it create the quality of life that will keep others from leaving.” Lauren Reskin of Miami’s Sweat Records knows first-hand how important an arts scene can be in keeping a young, creative population in a community. Read the full story here

“At the end of the day, I’m always going to be an artist and to have apathy as an artist will not make you an artist at all because art is based off feeling. Someone is always going to need their first chance. There are a lot of no’s out there and few yeses and I want to be the constant yes in the community.” Flaco Shalom’s Untitled Bottega project in Detroit is pushing the limits of a community space for art and creativity. Read the full story here.