Voices of Gary

By: Kelly Knaga  

How can we use art and design to create conversations about our community that cultivates opportunity, collaboration, and awareness of community issues and inclusive cultures? Led by designer-educator Kelly Knaga, Voices of Gary is an organization that creates spaces in Gary for conversations, collaborations, and connections between the community and the university. In 2017 and 2018, Voices of Gary collaborated with the Gary-based not-for-profit, Calumet Artist Residency for The Poetry Project. Through a series of workshops, local community members and university students learned how to write and perform poetry. Through workshops, students and local community members contributed to the city-wide poem that will be installed in the city of Gary in 2019. In 2019 Voices of Gary will collaborate once again with Paint Gary to create and install public murals as part of a city-wide mural project that hopes to install 80 murals over the course of 3 years.

Social Practice, Design, Community, Art, Design, Nature, Design Education, Education
The Arts in Social, Political, and Community Life
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Kelly Knaga

Senior Lecturer, Department of Fine Arts, Indiana University (Northwest Campus), United States
United States

Kelly is a leader, educator, designer and artist who's dedicated her career to cultivating community, connections and conversations from Los Angeles to Chicago. She is the Executive Director of AIGA Chicago, where she oversees the organization's programming and collaborates to launch new events and initiatives, such as The Future is Friday, a monthly series focusing on women in design, and AIGA Community Grants. She is the Executive Producer of Chicago Design Week, as well as Director of Operations for Firebelly, a social impact design studio. Kelly also created and currently teaches in the design program in the School of the Arts at IU Northwest. She's painted large murals, developed identity systems, and created public community programming. Kelly lives in Chicago and Northwest Indiana.