Creative resilience: spitfire takes cultural work to the next level
Storytelling has long been one of the most powerful ways that we communicate. It's how we share from one generation to the next our cultural customs, our local narratives and our language of understanding. As times change, so do the ways in which we tell, share and engage with stories.
At the beginning of this year Spitfire hired Wyatt Closs as senior vice president for creative and cultural strategies as we enhance this area of Spitfire’s work. Our goal is to better serve our clients and to add another dimension to what strategic communications can look like. Spitfire sees the power of these strategies to engage, persuade and mobilize audiences in fresh and relevant ways. Over the years, we have had an opportunity to do some of this work through our partnerships with organizations like Art for Justice and Patagonia, however we want to move away from using these tactics episodically and begin to incorporate them as an active part of any communicators toolkit.
Too often we see the word culture misapplied or narrowly defined as something artsy, and it’s that plus so much more. We see the power of rooting cultural change in the evolving landscape of organizing and advocacy, as we emphasized in our recent blog post on shifting gun culture. Culture change starts where the people are. It takes their cultural cues and norms to translate a message into something so compelling that the priority audience may find it hard to ignore.
Spitfire’s biggest project to-date in cultural strategy is Creative Resilience, a ten-day community experience combining visual art, performances, workshops and discussions focused on economic justice and mutual aid. We are producing the event in partnership with the People's Project powered by the L.A. Federation of Labor. Creative Resilience utilizes cultural strategies to shine a light on the BIPOC Angeleno workers’ experiences of pre- and post-pandemic hardships and the rich history of coming together through mutual aid and lifting each other up to take control of our futures. The event will include practical applications of mutual aid related to the economy and work, situated amongst artful depictions of solidarity, workers and challenges workers face in both the past and present to envision the future of LA labor.
These kinds of multifaceted projects bringing together 100 works of art by 50 artists with 20 programs over 10 days don't happen often. We're thrilled to work with The People's Project to bring it to colorful life. Usually when we integrate cultural strategy into a long-term communications effort, we identify one or two approaches to help a partner amplify their message, such as commissioning a poster for a campaign or producing a spoken word poetry video. But in the case of Creative Resilience, it’s actually 25 of those targeted, cultural tactics woven together into a single space, which is no small feat, and we can’t wait to share it with you.
The Creative Resilience event will be taking place from Saturday, Oct. 8, through Sunday, Oct. 15 at 1922 E 7th Pl. Los Angeles, CA 90021. For more information check out the Creative Resilience website and follow the event on Instagram and Facebook.