We believe that true civility requires more than mere politeness; it calls upon us to respect others, to remain open-minded and curious, and to engage in honest and constructive discourse. Civility requires an integration of relational attitudes, behaviors, and skills. We believe that the foundation for civility is consciousness, creativity, and community (3 C’s).
Developed by Italian artist and art teacher, Sergio Tamassia, the Civility Mural Project was created to introduce students to these 3 C’s. The exercise begins with white shapes and black shapes that are precut into interesting forms to stimulate creativity, even from those who claim no artistic ability. The students then paint on the shapes they select.
During the process of painting on these shapes, students practice consciousness by going inward and unleashing their own creativity; by mindfully focusing on their painting; and by being relaxed and playful. After the painted shapes have dried, students create a collage with the shapes (their own or others’) by placing them on a long sheet of poster paper. At this point, students must let go of their attachment to their own work and sacrifice their own piece of art to the good of the community’s collective art. Through this stage of the process students see how they can change the impact of a form by altering its direction or by placing other forms next to it. Thus, they see how a creative process enables them to expand possibilities and keep soft eyes and open minds – a skill that is useful in problem-solving generally. In the end, the collage is hung on the wall where students can literally see how their individual contributions are both necessary to the completion of the whole and, more importantly, how the whole is enhanced by everyone’s contributions. Thus they see the value in community collaboration.
Try out this exercise with your community and send us some photos or post on instagram and facebook with the hashtag #AlfieScholars3Cs.
How else do you practice the 3 C’s?