City-wide Art Initiative To Promote Creative Engagement

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352Creates coordinator Camilo Reina Munoz draws an apple tree at the Plaza of the Americas on Wednesday, encouraging passersby to join. The 352Creates team is working on spreading the word about the city-wide event up until Friday. (Laura Gomez/WUFT News)
352Creates coordinator Camilo Reina Munoz draws an apple tree at the Plaza of the Americas on Wednesday, encouraging passersby to join. The 352Creates team is working on spreading the word about the city-wide event up until Friday. (Laura Gomez/WUFT News)

On Friday, a city-wide event will draw the community toward the arts.

More than 70 events will take place during the first-ever 352Creates, a 24-hour initiative aimed at promoting health and community engagement through creative activity in Gainesville.

352Creates will be hosting the events at various times and locations throughout Gainesville. More than 50 local individuals, businesses and organizations are participating, offering free creative activities to the public.

“It’s easy,” said UF Center for Arts in Medicine director Jill Sonke. “You can do something creative in a minute and within your day. It doesn’t require a lot of time. It doesn’t require a lot of money.”

352Creates will officially begin at midnight on Thursday and end at midnight on Friday. The coordinators scheduled the event on a weekday to promote the idea that people could be creative anywhere – even at work or at school.

“You can be creative no matter where you are,” Munoz said, “just take like five minutes.”

Unlike other festivals, 352Creates does not curate the events. Every business chose an activity it wanted to provide to the community.

Local art bar, The Midnight, located at 223 S. Main St., is one of the participating businesses with creative activities taking place from 5-9 p.m. Friday.

The venue’s scheduled activities range from dancing and visionary art to puppet making.

“The array of ideas and opportunities is so amazing. I mean, the things people thought of, we could never have thought of,” Sonke said.

On Friday afternoon, Volta Coffee, Tea & Chocolate is organizing yarn bombing, a type of 3-D street art made up of knitted yarn.

“Given the nature of yarn bombing, we have no real clue as to what the artists have in store,” said the store’s co-owner, Anthony Rue.

Because the event offers a pop-up style of art, Munoz said they are hoping a lot of spontaneous things happen.

UF Center for Arts in Medicine is providing art experiences at patient bedsides by bringing in different artists to visit patients and engage in creativity with them, said 352Creates coordinator Camilo Reina Munoz.

“It’s how we engage our patients in a creative experience to help them feel better,” Munoz said, “to kind of humanize the health care experience.”

After 25 years of offering arts in the hospital setting, Sonke and her colleagues saw how the experiences impacted patients and set out to find a way to engage the entire Gainesville community in art.

“We saw how much people love engaging in creativity and how much creativity supports people’s health when they’re dealing with illness,” Sonke said. “Our artists really had a desire to bring that into the community.”

Every activity is free, and the participating businesses will provide the supplies. The full list of events is available on here.

The 352Creates team has been planning the event since May 2015, and is now working on getting the message out up until the day of the event. Munoz encourages participants to take photos and post them under the hashtag #352Creates.

The project’s overall goal is that every person in the community will engage in a moment of creativity during that day. The creators hope the event will make an impact in people’s daily lives.

“It’s just a really great way to de-stress and get into a flow state where your mind is clear of other distractions,” Munoz said.

About Laura Gomez

Laura is a reporter who can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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