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Making Sense

Beauty, Creativity, and Healing

Edited By Bandy Lee, Nancy Olson and Thomas Duffy

Regardless of field, from the art world to healthcare delivery, there is a growing need for practically useful theory and theoretically informed practice. The time is ripe for a collaborative, creative conversation among thinkers and doers who are concerned about the larger world and our role in it. Making Sense: Beauty, Creativity, and Healing is a collection of essays and creative expressions written and produced in relation to a colloquium that tried to address these matters at the Whitney Humanities Center of Yale University. Beginning with a powerful essay on the individually and globally therapeutic qualities of art and beauty by Elaine Scarry of Harvard University, this volume brings together a diversity of theoretically minded scholars, scientists, artists, and healers. In the form of critical and reflective essays, alongside images, poetry, and fiction, this book allows the reader to experience the bursts of ideas and sensory triggers that respond to and extend the artistic installations and performances of the colloquium – and welcomes the reader into the conversation.
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Socially Engaged Art and the Mechanics of Civic Life


by Ruth Morgan


I have been invited to share my experience using the arts to engage “at risk” populations and the impact that has on civic life and culture. Of course, because a large part of my work has taken place inside jails and prisons, most of the people I work with have transcended the term “at risk” and gone on to become whatever they were at risk of becoming.

Our work at Community Works engages communities in ways that may inform the definition or at least the practical application of the socially engaged art. Thus, I would like to share the experience of how I came to do this work and where it has brought me, hopefully to a place that intersects with social engagement.

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