Article for the Mill Woods Mosaic

I am an Edmonton-based musician and spoken word artist who has lived in Mill Woods for more than 30 years. I am originally from Chile and moved to Mill Woods with my parents in 1978.  I love my community so much that I now live in Knottwood with my wife and two boys.  I have often thought of how I may get involved in my community and contribute to the beauty and cultural diversity we all share.  I recently visited Havana, Cuba with a Punjabi friend, who also happens to live in Mill Woods, and we were surprised by the high involvement of artists; musicians, painters, dancers, etc. that provide entertainment and more importantly education to help raise awareness about social issues in the community.  Upon returning from my travels I challenged myself to do the same here in Mill Woods.As I started doing research regarding the topic, I soon realized that there are a few ways for artists to help build and engage community; however, another sharp reality I came across was that sometimes committees will contract artists that live outside of the community because they can’t identify local artists from their own neighbourhoods.  As I shared these thoughts with other artists, we thought that we could begin organizing on a geographical basis so that we could link our craft with where we live and more importantly the people.

As an artist who reflects a great deal on community development, one of my own concerns is how to collaborate with people who don’t normally engage in the arts and work together to make art that reflects the whole community’s common interests.  Living in Mill Woods also demands addressing issues of cultural diversity and how we bring artists from different ethnic backgrounds together to collaborate on common issues that we all face as human beings.

If you are a creative person that wants to help encourage others to participate in sharing the beauty of our community and have interesting ideas for how to bring neighbours together to celebrate our rich ethnic and cultural diversity, then please come to the first meeting of Mill Woods artists. This meeting will take place on Thursday, November 24, 2011 at 7:30 PM in the Program Room of the Mill Woods Branch of the Edmonton Public Library. If you would like more information regarding this exciting new initiative please call me, Rod Loyola, at 780-293-8496.

One last thought I would like to share is that when people think of an artist they often think of someone who is professionally trained; however, I can say that after having completed an album and having preformed across the province and the country, I have never been formally trained.  Music and writing come from my soul and I know that there are many out in the Mill Woods community who share the same passion as me and have never been formally trained. Anyone who is creative and  and interested in contributing to their community is welcomed to join this initiative, let’s come together as people who are expressive in all media – words, visual images, music, and dance and let’s continue building the wonderful community that Mill Woods always strives to be.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s