Sharing joyful activities, creativity and art
Setting up and running group projects requires an awful amount of conceptual work.
So much so that social activities often get neglected. It is therefore wise to organise spaces and events that have nothing to do with deciding, coordinating, managing – but just plain practical work in the garden, cleaning, renovating, decorating.
This comes with numerous benefits. First of all something gets done with no expense or through compensation. Secondly, members’ practical competences and manual abilities come to light. Some people tend to hold back in official situations, but quite often these people prove to be ingenious manual workers. When other members of the group get to see and appreciate their talents, this can improve their self-esteem.
The third benefit is that manual work results in satisfaction rarely achieved by mental work. Working together is an embodiment of group energy, a commonly owned totem (“this is OUR garden”). The fourth benefit is that organised group work creates an excellent opportunity to invite neighbours, friends or any interested public; this can lead to some of them considering joining the community or becoming supporters.
Creativity and art are transversal and universal languages understood globally.
Current mainstream society made them hermetic, competitive and commercialised.
In non-competitive contexts, per example in an intentional community, art proves to be a fascinating tool for bridging differences and deepening collective enjoyment. People get to appreciate each other’s hidden aspects and open up to being honestly surprised; for instance when a cook finds out he is an excellent sculptor. Art therapists rely on creativity and art for individual and collective therapy. Setting up an internal choir, band, theater or dance group is a great way to strengthen group identity through art.
There needs to be fun in group projects. Thus existing members will want to stay, and new members will want to join. Honouring time and space for enjoying together makes group projects lasting, alive and appealing to its own members and others.