Have I Told You About My Friends at Mt. Caz? And, The Case for Community

Mt Caz is a unique community of artists and creative thinkers here in Corvallis, I've been so lucky to get to know these folks, to experience the magic of this community's collective creativity, and even be part of some events.

My Seal for Mt. Caz - this is now hidden within the walls of a neighborhood house... shhh!

Mt. Caz has gained a following out here, and community-level recognition for their pop up events in the community and at their residency location, including the recent Robot Variety Show, and upcoming Yogurt Brunch.

From their Tumblr:

Mt. Caz is a renegade community art and cultural space. The residents and creatures of Mt Caz in Corvallis, Oregon welcome you to explore the grounds within.

If you're a person in the local area (maybe local not only physically, but could also be metaphysically - philosophically...) and you're interested in finding out more, check out the Mt. Caz Tumblr and sign up for the monthly Yodel!

The Case for Community

Here in the Mid-Willamette Valley, there's lots of different artist communities, although I know sometimes it can be hard to connect with folks. I've been lucky to have the chance to connect with different folks through my work with arts and advocacy organizations. I've found that being connected to different communities is an incredible opportunity for hearing different perspectives, sharing and growing in surprising ways.

From my own soap box, I'd like to put out there that if there is one thing that we could all do better for each other, it would be to welcome each other into community, and to share our lives a little more openly. Social isolation, I think, is a significant element of division and fear in our world, and I know I'm not alone in seeing it as a major public health crisis. I was recently inspired by listening to Rachel Wurzman talk about her research into social isolation connected to the opioid addiction crisis in the United States, and have been looking into anecdotal writing and social impact studies about community art and public health.

Here's a quick reading list:

Public Art as Public Health, Public Healthy Post

Creating Healty Communities: Arts + Public Health in America, University of Florida

Strengthening Communities through Public Art, Center for Active Design

And, if you're in the Mid-Willamette Valley and looking for creative community, check out Mt. Caz, and there's also the Artist Accelerator Program at The Arts Center