Updated: Jun 20
Revitalizing Greater Downtown San Jose after Covid-19
As an artist and a business owner dedicated to the arts, I must admit bias as I focus on the strength and vitality that creativity brings to culture and its ability to focus community identity. Acknowledging my bias, I suggest it is my deep dedication to the arts that qualify my statements. Art is our most important language given its universality is absolute. Art has always been the record keeper of history, it is able to reach everyone, everywhere. It is what connects and binds us. Through art we tell our stories, creating memories that build cultural identity and, in turn, cultural behavior.
This blog statement is about my current time and place and how I believe art is our greatest asset. The power of art is what we need to rebuild our community post COVID-19 outbreak. This post is not about me, yet some readers may like to know who is ranting. I am a sculptor and a co-creator of an art school called The School of Visual Philosophy. I make my living as an artist. My time is now and my place is in the hub of the world market. My school and business are both located in the heart of San Jose. The City streets have been empty and both businesses and citizens are looking to the future. I should also mention that my two social phobias are singing in front of people and communicable diseases. There is no way you will find me singing Aria in the park tomorrow. Yet, I firmly believe it is time to rebuild our social networks and community. All of this build-up is to say there are many people out there who are also thinking of how our city can get back on its feet, and we are all wondering what that future will look like.
Art and artists are our community’s strongest assets. Art has no boundaries in its methods of communication—Art can reach every demographic in our city in a method that is true to each environment and group. I will repeat myself--Art is our strongest asset. With proper branding, education and artistic development we can foster a system of educated procedures that will develop a safe and responsible community culture. I offer you Safely Social San Jose.
I propose that through local arts, we create Safely Social San Jose as a method of responsibly reopening downtown businesses. In order to create the Safely Social San Jose movement, we must first define the issue. I am 41, and in my lifetime, this is the first global disaster that has reached and effected me directly. The issue of safety is real, and our problem is a pandemic. In order to develop an answer, we must first ask ourselves: How do we rebuild using cultural behavior within a social setting like San Jose so that our citizens are safe? We must also proceed while admitting that we don’t have many of the answers we need to answer this question. Despite this lack of information it is imperative that we proceed with the initiative.
Safely Social San Jose is an idea that I believe can unify our city. For example, as a pandemically paranoid citizen I want to know that businesses are prepared for my patronage and that my fellow citizens not only respect but are culturally seasoned to understand and act according to Safely Social San Jose practices.
So, what is Safely Social San Jose?
Before this crisis, Visual Philosophy worked with local businesses doing team building events. Over the last several weeks we have been planning a team building event that combines professionals in the fields of both First and Second Responders: Health Care Workers and Artists working together to rebuild our city culture. Each business will participate in one event that will deliver awareness and safety guidelines for the business and a creative outlet for colleagues to reconnect in a safe and guided artistic arena. Businesses that complete the team building event Safely Social San Jose will receive a poster to place in their storefront which will illustrate to the public that they are ready to safely serve them. Teams will also create works of art that Visual Philosophy will display on their website which will help bring the city together through connectivity.
In conclusion, teams that complete a Safely Social San Jose team building event will have specific training and guidelines to help them re-open their businesses. They will be able to show the City that they are responsible members of the community by posting a Safely Social San Jose poster in their store. Additionally, their employees will have the ability to connect with each other and our City by creating artwork about their experiences.
Let us rebuild. Safely Social San Jose.
For more information or to book an event please visit www.visualphilosophystudio.com