Those of us who participate in the Centre for Community-Engaged Narrative Arts (CCENA) believe that addressing the inequities in our world depends upon widespread recognition of the inherent value of diverse communities’ everyday, experiential knowledge: their stories. CCENA aims to learn from the stories and narrative traditions through which communities imagine themselves and their relationships with each other. With this aim in mind, CCENA seeks to support and sustain art-based community listening, remembering, and story-making. We link community members with other communities, and with various media and sources of expertise in order to support them in telling their stories. CCENA works with:
- community groups, either existing or envisioned
- individual community members
- arts organizations
- public intellectuals
We take our lead from community initiatives, priorities and needs, and seek to collaborate with those communities, in Hamilton and beyond, to work in the service of shared memory, sustainability, and creativity. In that spirit, we seek to bring together university resources (whether financial, cultural, infrastructural, or research) with community capacities, so that we can learn and retell the stories of living well together.