The "Process Arts" are a range of participatory practices and facilitative disciplines which welcome disagreement, listen to the repressed, and access latent or underlying (meta) context before, during, and after apparent or literal content in order to understand and effect the mythology and psychology of Big Ideas making cultures. This move is not to claim a new social science or introduce another version of individual therapy, institutional pedagogy, or organizational development, but to track unconscious realities reaching beyond the cloisters of the private experience, classroom, and therapeutic session into contemporary dialogues with the perceived world. My purposes in originating the term and then freeing (claiming no proprietary rights to) this frame for the field are many.
- Without a shared, open, and universally recognized name that is not controlled by a single entity (please always insist on this framing), this wonderfully variegated field will never garner sufficient collective recognition to gain the traction it needs to share survival tools with the entire planet
- By naming these approaches the Process Arts, we have positioned this relatively new field of study parallel to the Liberal Arts so that
- Process Arts will become part of even the most basic curriculum in public and private education (Reading Writing Arithmetic + Relationship) and,
- enable a return to dialectic (dialogue, mediation, deliberation, negotiation, debate, etc.) in education and, thereby,
- the ubiquitous expectation of authentic representation in governance.
Many psychologically aware disciplines are process-savvy and yet stop short of working overtly toward building communities designed for peacemaking. This is an immaturity which contemporary humanity can ill afford. Connecting the Liberal and Process Arts will contribute to a re-visioning of education that re-opens doors of process-level inquiry and deliberate community in order to make this peace and kind of learning possible.
- I have dedicated years of life energy to encouraging recognition of these avocations and vocations I love to practice and for which I feel such admiration. I believe they are the art forms that make deep democracy possible and which can open doors to hope in a day fraught with extensive systemic disjunctions that are causing widespread, needless suffering and costing hundreds of thousands of people their lives.
An independent educational wiki (please click here)is dedicated to working toward the maturation of public, private, and continuing education through the inclusion of Process Arts. These pages here are dedicated to conributing to the greater process arts community which may or may not be focussed at this time on developing our educational landscape, as such.
Process Arts are all around you in the shape of profoundly inclusive, power-sharing participatory practices. Though dialectical practices have been around as long as thinking itself, Brandon WilliamsCraig coined the term to include approaches like peer and therapeutic counseling, organizational development models, somatic systems awareness, mediation, active/deep/compassionate listening, conflict facilitation, cultural studies and activism, martial nonviolence, freedom (improvisational) theater -- any disciplines which make possible the conscious building of culture through creative attention to relationship, conflict and resilience, and purposefully working toward peace through the process of learning. As an educated people are required for democracy and related systems to function, the emerging worldwide community requires universally available education that supports a global politics of inclusion to move forward to the next institutional level required for survival on this planet. This must include the realities of exponential change currently in play and will lead to a shared and more flexible understanding of what it is to be human today.
Process Arts are also widespread in the adult world high school aged people must be ready to enter. Psychological therapies, Organizational Development, Process Work, Dialogue and Deliberation, community building, somatics, and many more related practices around the world offer eventual career paths to students already prepared during K-12 through age-appropriate models geared to anticipate their changing world. Even the child who does not eventually pursue these paths professionally benefits immeasurably from participating in the creation of peaceful communities and will be more capable of realizing her potential as an adult. This work also requires adult learning in order that they may support the work being learned by the next generation.