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Kisyuu and Nori
February 13, 2019
3 mins read

UBC Changemaking Series: Art for Change

As part of the UBC Changemaking Series led by the Centre for Community Engaged Learning, Art for Change explores how art can be used to lead positive impact.

The 2-hour long event, held at the Hatch Art Gallery, consisted of speed-networking, incredible performances, and inspiration left and right through both people and art pieces.

Since I was a child, I have always loved exploring my creative side. My mind has always bubbled with new ideas and the enthusiasm to create something new. Recently I realized that combining my creative passion with a career path was possible (I even switched my major due to this epiphany).

Art for Change was the cherry on top that solidified my confidence in my decision, opening new doors of inspiration. Here, I share my experience at this lively event!

Sparking conversations creates inspiration and empowerment

Events like Art for Change, and other events in the UBC Changemaking Series, create a hub for exchanging ideas and making new friends.

While everyone creates change through their unique interests and strengths, it’s powerful to exchange dialogue with other passionate individuals. At my networking table, I found myself engrossed in an enriching conversation about the different ways we express emotions through art: writing, doodling, drumming, filmmaking, and music-making.

Among the creatives was a pen doodler named Sofia, who began drawing as a way to convey her emotions (@sofsdoodles). As her art has picked up traction, she now inspires many others with her relatable (and beautiful) form of expression. Talking to her reminded me of my blogging journey—also an expressive hobby that turned into something impactful.

I was inspired by all the changemakers I met, like Sofia, by the ways they create change unconventionally. No matter how large or small the impact, they speak about their past-times with a genuine sparkle in their eyes.

You don’t have to be an artist to create change with art

Through speed-networking, I engaged in wonderful conversations with half a dozen inspiring community changemakers, including a curator at UBC’s Museum of Anthropology, a Japanese taiko drummer (Nori Akagi), and a music maker.

Like pieces of art, changemaking incorporates many different elements and dimensions—and whether as a job, side-hustle, passion-project, or small hobby, anyone can do it.

Art, like changemaking, is interdisciplinary and collaborative

The painting and taiko drumming finale, performed by Japanese calligrapher Kisyuu (Kisyuu Calligraphy) and drummer Nori, expressed the idea of independence transformed into togetherness. As the calligrapher painted, the drummer played the beat and brought the drums together—1, 2, 3, 4.

To me, this was synonymous to the ‘togetherness’ created by Art for Change—it brought people together from different backgrounds and disciplines to share in the passion of meaningful art.

Though the event seemed targeted for art students, I, as a business student, was joyful to mingle with science students, art students, and engineers alike—all of whom, like me, love exercising our creative sides regardless of what we study.

Creating “Art for Change” beyond Art for Change

As students, we are often swept away by our hectic schedules and to-do lists…but Art for Change reminded me of how impactful it is to stop and appreciate the stories of changemakers in our community, who have loads of passion to share.

We live in a city and attend a school abundant with cultures, creativity, art, and passion projects; we should open ourselves up and make room to be inspired.

If you want to get inspired, check out the Changemaking Series next year to meet a whole new set of creatives from the community. Changemaking can come in the most unimaginable ways and forms of any size—as long as it’s something you love, you’re making a real difference!