PARTICIPATION

I was flipping through Participation in the Re: PLANT room at RoCo the other day and it got me to thinking about the importance of community.

As I am in my second year of graduate school there are a lot of “important decisions” to be made within the next year, one being: where will I end up? As a semi-young adult I’m at the age where I am capable of just picking up and moving across the country, yet I very badly want to settle down. Where does that leave me? I have no idea. Everyday it seems I become more and more eager to stay right here in Rochester, NY however if I can’t find a job after graduation (worst nightmare) then I will have to move away. Having lived here off and on for going on six years now I am comfortable calling this city home. A big part of this for me, and I have touched on it before, is the role of the local art community in my life. I make the effort to volunteer my time at arts organizations, I take classes offered in the community, I sit down and drink coffee with local artists. I PARTICIPATE.

After thinking about it, I’ve always made the effort to be involved in my community, even when I was in high school. I often receive e-mails from students and/or transplanted artists who want to know how to get involved and who they should contact (apparently my name comes up often, which is flattering). I usually end up asking more questions than answering them. What do you want to do? What are your interests? What are your skill sets? How much time can you volunteer? Are you familiar with the local organizations? It’s a great idea to visit the places you’re interested in. That might sound a little obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people I have met that want to choose an internship or volunteer position off of a website! If you’re in the ROC area and interested in my personal favorite organizations (I am indeed biased!) please feel free to contact me.


side note: I LOVE the Documents of Contemporary Art series by The MIT Press. I’m currently reading The Everyday. Participation is next up on my to-read list followed by Situation.

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Author: Megan Charland

www.megancharland.com

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