Through our artist-led work at IDEAS xLab, we focus on leveraging the power of community creativity and culture to transform people's lives 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. The Smoketown Hopebox is being co-developed out of these priorities on the site of an old liquor store – and has the ten-year goal of bringing the neighborhood up to the Louisville-average when it comes to things like income and education. That could mean $8.6 million more in annual income for residents.
And that’s just the beginning. We’re embarking on a two-year co-creation project with artists and young people from Louisville Youth Group, Justice League, and Bates Kingdom Academy to measurably cultivate hope and positively impact emotional wellbeing through a research partnership with UofL’s Center for Creative Placehealing.
Our team at IDEAS xLab is currently working with HEAL Community sites in Louisville, KY; Natchez, MS; New Orleans, LA; Jackson, KY; Asheville, NC.