Arts and Culture play a critical role in communities across Wayne County. This is seen through creating a community identity, preserving local artistic history, or building a sense of space and belonging. As we continue discussing this topic, read below to learn how Arts and Culture create community and bring people together.

Overbeck Pottery Mural in Cambridge City

Local Identity

Cities are usually known for something or have some claim to fame that puts them on the map. This thinking ties into a town’s identity or its distinguishing characteristics and features. A town’s identity needs to not only be established but maintained. Luckily, one of the best ways to do this is through arts and culture.

For example, here in Wayne County, Richmond is known for Starr Gennett and its impact on early jazz recording. Another great case is seen with Cambridge City through the well-known pottery of the Overbeck Sisters. It is features like those two examples that allow communities to create a sort of personality centered around the arts. It can lead to new projects and events that help add to a town’s distinctive traits.

Wayne Couty has heavily capitalized on these efforts through various projects. One method of doing this has been commissioning public murals that capture a town’s character, like the new Overbeck mural in Cambridge City.

Another successful local endeavor has been preserving local arts landmarks, as seen with the Star Gennett Building or Reid Church.

Starr Gennett Building

Local History

Arts and Culture closely intertwine with local history as they provide a narrative for a town’s identity. This is especially true for Wayne County, with its communities’ rich artistic history.

Richmond would not be the same city rich in artistic history if it weren’t for Starr Gennett or the art of the Richmond Group. The same could be said for the distinct archways of Centerville.

It is the same history that still benefits Wayne County communities. Richmond has created a successful event space through Starr Gennett, while the Richmond Group’s art makes up a large portion of the Richmond Art Museum’s collection. Centerville has been able to hold “Archway Days” annually and install two new arch-themed art installations because of the city’s architectural history.

Artistic history helps add a new chapter to a community’s story. It provides a notable feature that residents remember and use to build community through a shared knowledge of the past.

The Richmond Art Museum

Local Events

Local events are a proven method for building community, and several are related to arts and culture. Community events can quickly become staples of a city, whether they are public gatherings or performances by local artists.

Wayne County has a vibrant and active music, theater, and arts scene. Richmond Civic Theater and the Nettle Creek Players keep theater alive, while the Richmond Symphony Orchestra regularly performs concerts. Annual events, like the Meltdown Festival, Potterypalooza, and Arts Alive, have become community anchors and give people something to look forward to every year.

Bringing People Together

Hopefully, you have found the recurring theme throughout this blog post, and it is all about bringing people together. That is the strongest vehicle for community building, and the arts allow it to happen.

People across Wayne County regularly attend arts and culture events and organizations yearly. Arts and culture is more than paintings and songs, but an avenue for promoting togetherness. There is a shared interest in the arts that people might only sometimes realize.

Community building is one of the hidden advantages of promoting arts and culture. It is an essential step to moving Wayne County forward. Visit the Arts and Culture page on Forward Wayne County’s website to learn more.

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