Today was Day 3 of the Crisis and Creativity Symposium, a gathering of scholars and artists from across the country discussing creative approaches to a society in crisis.

The morning began with a group discussion that mirrored the discussion from the first day. As Dan Beachy-Quick reflected, we’d come full cycle, as the end mimicked the beginning.

final group discussion
Our final group discussion.

The discussion explored various topics ranging from the unique experience of physically engaging with materials as a way to explore ideas to the way our ideas of home/house had become intensely complicated over the past few days. Several participants even reflected that the process of interacting and getting to share ideas with one another was a home-like activity itself. The morning ended with some free time to pursue individual art projects and plans to meet later in the afternoon to read poetry at the river.

clay creations
Some of our clay creations from the week.

Later in the afternoon, Brenda Hillman and three other participants met at the Lee Martinez Park and walked down to the river for a poetry reading. Each participant brought a poem and read it to the river. Despite a number of hungry mosquitoes, it was a beautiful and peaceful afternoon.

poetry reading at the river
Cedar Brant, Brenda Hillman, and Karin Anderson at the poetry reading at the river.

The day concluded with a panel discussion facilitated by Dan Beachy-Quick. Panelists included poet Brenda Hillman, scientist Diana Wall, and artist Michael Swaine. Common themes including wonderment, imagination, and collaboration emerged from the discussion; these elements seem to inform and drive both the arts and the sciences.

The evening panel. From left to right: Dan Beachy-Quick, Diana Wall, Brenda Hillman, and Michael Swaine.

The panel concluded with the distribution of a small, wallet-sized piece of art to each member of the audience. It had the word “otototoi,” Greek for grief, cut out of the paper. The audience uttered this word in unison, feeling its power and recognizing that language can’t always perfectly express our sentiments. It was a powerful conclusion to an amazing three days of collaborative art and discussion.