The Beloved Community Project seeks to build community by exploring and nurturing the potential connections and contributions of young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This includes facilitating civic engagement projects through urban documentation and participatory mapping of public art in Downtown Las Cruces.
Kay Lilley has led Beloved Community members in exploring Downtown Las Cruces where together they have photographed murals, mosaics and sculptures and captured their locations using a smart phone. Meanwhile, Robert Yee Productions has interviewed several local artists through video and photography. (Robert has focused on raising the visibility of the arts in Las Cruces since 2006.) The Beloved Community is partnering with the City of Las Cruces Convention and Visitors Bureau to include the photos and videos, along with other information about the art and artists, in a “Visit Las Cruces” mobile device application that will enable tourists and locals alike to explore Downtown Las Cruces, enjoy public art and learn more about the artists.
The next phase of the project will engage the community at a broader and more direct level, through walking tours of downtown public art led by Beloved Community members. “Great Conversations” will also be facilitated by Randy Harris to glean evaluative feedback from walking tour participants and explore potential improvement and/or expansion of this “Connecting Community to Downtown Public Art” endeavor. These intimate conversations will connect artists with the public in a personal way.