Art Changes People and People Change the World

According to the quote meme on the internet, the musician John Butler once said, “Art changes people and people change the world.” It also seems evident that events in the world inspires the art that people create. This reciprocal nature of society and human expression has mesmerized artists, researchers, activists, historians, and ethnographers for a long time.

So, let’s talk about art and society. How are artists of all kinds describing the world right now? How are art-based strategies helping researchers better understand the experiences of individuals and groups? How does the present shape art, and how does art shape the future?

The Panel

Eugenia Canas (@EugeniaCanas) co-coordinates the Centre for Research on Health Equity and Social Inclusion (CRHESI). She is a Health Information Science PhD Candidate, where she uses critical, participatory and art-based research approaches to understand issues of epistemic justice in the engagement of vulnerable populations. Eugenia holds clinical experience as an art therapist in child/adolescent oncology, working in hospital and community settings. She is a Doctoral Fellow with the ACCESS Open Minds Network at the Douglas Institute of Mental Health. She serves as mentor and facilitator in local and national research and knowledge translation initiatives, including the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s SPARK Program, the Wisdom to Action Network, and the Collaborative RESearch Team to study psychosocial issues in Bipolar Disorder (CREST.BD) .

Tom Cull (@waltercull) is the current Poet Laureate for the City of London. He grew up in Huron County alongside the Menesetung (Maitland) River. He teaches creative writing and American Studies at the University of Western Ontario, and runs Thames River Rally, a grassroots environmental group he cofounded with his partner Miriam Love. Tom has also served on the boards of the Urban League, Poetry London, and WordsFest. His chapbook, What the Badger Said, was published in 2013 by Baseline Press and his first full length collection of poems, entitled Bad Animals, is forthcoming from Insomniac Press (Spring, 2018). His writing has appeared in journals, anthologies, and he is the co-publisher of WordsFest Zine, an “instant” zine of occasional poetry celebrating London’s literary festival, Words.

Holly Painter (@HollyPoetry) is a spoken word artist, public speaker, and certified teacher. She is passionate about sharing her stories, inspiring audiences, and advocating for important causes through poetry. Holly has spoken to over fifty thousand youth in school and community settings and performed on stages across the country. She is the National Director of Spoken Word Canada, Director of London Poetry Slam, and a former Artist in Residence with Thames Valley District School Boad and London Arts Council.

11 thoughts on “Art Changes People and People Change the World

  1. @solari Absolutely, please do. I have actually been interested in providing podcast transcripts for a long time, and would also be quite thankful for any input, suggestions, or guidance you might have on doing this effectively and efficiently?

  2. @jamesshelley The biggest issue is cost. We’ve found someone who transcribes our podcasts on rush basis (24 hr turnaround) for $1/min. She charges less for longer turnaround. Another place we’ve used in the past was Amazon’s Mechanical Turk ( which is actually pretty good if you don’t need it overnight. You just have to decide whether it is worth your cost to do this. If you have a large audience, you can crowdsource it or ask for sponsorship of it for a good cause. P.S. Transcripts make for great SEO.

  3. @solari thanks so much for the input. I’ve also thought about running new episodes through speech recognition software and then cleaning them up manually, but not sure yet how much time it would take. I realize software solutions still leave a lot to be desired.

  4. @solari On a sidenote, I’ve used MTurk to successfully locate a long obscure book I forgot about in a library, identify a rare photo, etc. It’s an amazing service where you can request help on just about anything.

  5. @jamesshelley On a sidenote, I’ve used MTurk to successfully locate a long obscure book I forgot about in a library, identify a rare photo, etc. It’s an amazing service where you can request help on just about anything.

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