Our Stories

The Unique Power of Art to Engage Communities


Art inspires social movements, evokes memories, transcends generations. Throughout history, music, drawing, dance, writing and many other artforms have served to soothe or stimulate our senses. Engaging in acts of artistic expression—alone or with others—takes us out of our day-to-day existence; art helps us slow down, meditate and reflect on how we might better understand ourselves and each other.

Inspiring or amusing for one person, provocative or even boring for another, the fundamental truth about art is that no two people see or hear the same thing, and that’s what makes life more interesting! Public works or outdoor performances add to this cultural mix an element of exploration and low-stakes adventure—an invitation to engage with familiar, everyday places in a new way.

For these reasons, art is an important part of EDENS’ mission to enrich community through human engagement; existing landscapes are activated with unique displays and exhibitions that spark conversation and encourage interpersonal connection


Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.

Edgar Degas

Art is healing.  

Artistic experiences are also recognized as beneficial to our health and can serve as an effective means for enhancing emotional and physical wellness. In The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health: A Review of Current Literature, an article published by American Journal of Public Health, authors Heather L. Stuckey, DEd, and Jeremy Nobel, MD MPH, summarize their research: “The idea that creative expression can make a powerful contribution to the healing process has been embraced in many different cultures. Throughout recorded history, people have used pictures, stories, dances, and chants as healing rituals.”


Creativity occurs in the moment, and in the moment we are timeless.

Julia Cameron

Art enriches community.

Nine dot Arts, an art consulting firm based in Denver, regularly prepares “State of the Art” reports for professionals in the hospitality, real estate, architecture, healthcare and government sectors. In their most recent survey titled “The Experience Era,” 90% of approximately 200 respondents considered art as a way to create unique, memorable experiences that improve the quality of life for those who use their space; they almost unanimously agree that art is “more than a decorative afterthought.”

Americans for the Arts is our country’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education. According to their research, 72% of Americans believe “the arts unify our communities regardless of age, race and ethnicity” and 70% enjoy the arts in “non-traditional” venues such as parks, airports or shopping malls; seven in 10 Americans say the arts have improved not only the quality and livability of their community but also its image and identity.

Art is a shared experience.

During COVID, when many public events were postponed or cancelled, public art and performances in open spaces provided rare cultural moments for us to safely come together and stay connected with our friends and neighbors. The arts prevailed in these difficult times as intimate strategies for managing stress, catalyzing communities, building resilience and expressing one’s voice.

Today, more than 60 murals, sculptures and permanent installations commissioned from more than 50 different artists can be found in our places across twelve states. As a creative and intentional form of PLAY, art can surprise and delight, deepen our social connections and help us build lasting relationships around a shared sense of purpose.

Learn more about art in our communities.