Through our artist-led work at IDEAS xLab, we focus on leveraging the power of community creativity and culture to transform lives through art, in support of a more healthy, just, and hopeful society.
You can imagine our engagement with communities like a transportation roundabout. We know each community is in a unique place in their health journey. As a facilitator, capacity builder, and strategic partner, IDEAS xLab can enter at different points along the route to support them through our HEAL Community Approach, using arts and culture interventions to identify priorities and goals for the future, and an action plan for positive change.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen that young people become hopeful when they are part of the solution. Artists and students at Meyzeek Middle School explored how they could make a difference in environmental health and created a Hero+Shero Journeys comic book. Through artist-led after school programming, students had a demonstrated change from 6.3 to 9 on a 10-point scale in their ability to advocate for themselves and for others after their first year of the Justice League.
Out in the community, Smoketown stakeholders came together through arts-based engagements, building on existing data, identifying priorities including a laundromat and place-based jobs.
And that’s just the beginning. We’ve embarked on a two-year co-creation initiative - Our Emotional Wellbeing - with artists and young people from Louisville Youth Group and Meyzeek Middle School to measurably impact hope and belonging through a research partnership with UofL’s Center for Creative Placehealing.
We’ve collaborated with communities in Louisville, KY; Natchez, MS; New Orleans, LA; Jackson, KY; Asheville, NC, Breathitt County, KY.