- Replicating Telling Stories Through Visuals to address any issue
- Enlighten the greater community about the issues
Dena Stewart and Stewart Stewart: The Stewarts have a program called “Telling Stories Through Visuals.” where your group designs a tapestry and is debuted the next day; create a short ceremony in which they unveil the tapestry as part of the keynote address the next day in general session; present the tapestry to the conference. The tapestry could then be used by the conference for PR and marketing purposes. Many times they are invited back the next year to add an additional panel to the tapestry.
Artists, Dena Stewart and Stewart Stewart, have created and use an art intervention program called “Telling Stories Through Visuals.” This two-part program consists of writing/art workshops and public mural exhibitions. At the workshops, participants are guided through a process in which they visualize an issue and how it affects their lives, write a story or description of that visualization, and then illustrate the narratives with pictures. These stories and artwork then become part of a movable, montage-style mural, displayed in large public venues to enlighten the greater community about the issues. The Stewart’s as artists have successfully utilized “Telling Stories Through Visuals” to address important social issues such as what it feels like to grow older; getting along with neighbors; trauma from natural disasters; growing up in our times; crime; LIVING with HIV/AIDS; and tobacco use, highlighting the thought process and creativity of children as young as five thru senior citizens.
Dena and Stewart continue the educational process by speaking before public audiences and through the media about different issues. Because of their personal interaction with the many and diverse workshop participants and the lessons they are learning along the way, they are very aware of the problems and feelings involved, and, as artists, they have created a way to share that information with various groups.
For example, for their AIDS project, as guests of the State of Florida, Department of Health, Disease Intervention Bureau Training Conference, they conducted a
“Telling Stories Through Visuals”
workshop, added mural panels to the
“What It Feels Like to LIVE With HIV/AIDS”
mural, and then addressed an audience of approximately 500 Professional HIV/AIDS Care Providers about the particular issues that surfaced during the workshop session.
They have created a very new and cutting edge approach to reaching people in a non-threatening way, and getting them to respond positively. As part of the permanent artwork, each mural has special panels listing all of the project’s sponsors and supporters to celebrate the individuals and groups who have joined in this effort to make the “community” a better place for everybody. To replicate the program in your community, addressing any social issue.