I had fun with Fun a Day Reseda. I enjoyed developing the discipline to write every day, seeing my ideas get visualized, and inventing memes. The hard parts of creativity were fun too. Even looking at the beast can become an enlightening experience.
More importantly, Fun a Day Reseda gave me some important insights about creativity and community.
People need creativity to be healthy. Creativity enables us to find solutions to our problems by seeing them in a different perspective or stretching our minds to find answers we didn’t consider before. Creativity gives us an outlet for expressing feelings we may otherwise bottle up. When we’re trapped by despair, creativity gives us the freedom to hope. When we are in conflict with others, creativity enables us to see their point of view so that we can resolve our differences. When we are happy, creativity enables us to share that joy. There is nothing frivolous or impractical about creativity. Creativity is a powerful tool for solving problems and expressing ourselves constructively.
Communities need creativity as well. While many see vacant storefronts as a blight, creative people see them as opportunities. They can come up with ways to attract businesses. One way is to make buildings and neighborhoods aesthetically pleasing. Furthermore, the arts can be a great draw for communities. People will travel to hear live music, savor delicious food, see a play, and sip a glass of fine wine while touring a gallery.
Fun a Day Reseda also made me think about community.
I haven’t lived in Reseda in 27 years. Since I’ve put down roots where I live now with a family, home, and career, I’m not going to be moving back. Yet, this experience and the experience of writing my book, I feel more connected with my hometown than ever. Through the Internet and Facebook, I can stay in touch with my hometown, reunite with my old friends (including those who put down roots around the country), and make new friends with the residents who live there now.
Reseda isn’t just an address, but a spirit, an identity, and a state of mind. It isn’t just what is bounded by Victory, Corbin, Roscoe, and White Oak, but everywhere people have a connection and a history to the community. When someone watches Boogie Nights or sings “Free Fallin’,” they too establish a connection with a place that, to us, is more than just a suburb. Reseda is everywhere people love her.
If art can do that for Reseda, it can do that for other communities.
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