Civic & Social Practice
In 2018, Aaron Hoke Doenges began incorporating civic and social projects into his artistic practice. Seeking out ways his skills could help others, he began to partner with organizations and communities in order to help address civic and social needs through creative processes and practices. Projects are collaboratively developed with people from the organization, and needs can range from internal capacity building or conversations around conflict to external publicity and support.
Doenges was trained in this work at the Learning Lab artist training program sponsored by Nashville’s Metro Arts: Office of Arts and Culture. The training was lead by the folks at the Center for Performance and Civic Practice.
Artist Residency: Metro Nashville Department of Public Health
In the fall of 2018, Doenges was awarded an artist residency with the Nashville Metro Department of Public Health. Funded by the Metro Arts: Office of Arts and Culture, Doenges and Author M. Simone Boyd were tasked with helping the department increase lines of communication with the community at large.
The ongoing project is focused on the development of a 5-year Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). Development of the CHIP is a process that incorporates community voices into a strategic plan for a variety of organizations in the city addressing city-wide health initiatives.
The department has noted that they feel able to collect data from folks in the metro area, but often struggle to communicate the results of that data – and the resulting efforts that come from it – back to the city. Partnered together with the Health Department, Doenges and Boyd are working to collaboratively develop ways to build that needed communication through artistic practices.
As of publication, Doenges time at MPHD has come to a close. He is currently working on a project proposal based on his time there. For more information and updates, follow Aaron Hoke Doenges on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Get Back to Your [Life] (2019)
The project was designed to help identify the challenges of maneuvering throughout the South Corridor (roughly through Davidson, Williamson and Maury counties) while prompting a collective imagination of a better future. The work utilized a short survey to gather information about travel challenges, habits, and transit preferences along the south corridor. Answers to survey questions were incorporated into the piece when they were submitted allowing participants to share their mobility challenges and visions with transit analysts, other participants and everyone viewing the piece.