Championing the Arts in Addressing Community Trauma

Saturday, June 16, 3:00 pm - 4:15 pm

In the aftermath of community tragedy—whether natural or manmade—there is a tremendous amount of trauma. How can the arts rise to meet that trauma and heal? This discussion session explores how personal artistic practice, public art, and collaborative conversations around trauma, memory, and history can begin the process of healing a community's spirit after destruction.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Hear examples of personal artistic practice merged with community needs, drawing on the materials, the place, and the memories of the trauma to manage it.
  2. Learn how art can unite a shocked community together to create goals, define a vision, fundraise, as an inclusive community building experience.
  3. Discuss the importance of being sensitive to cultural differences, heightened emotions, and the many different ways that people process grief, pain, and trauma.

Presentation Slides


studio JEFRE
Orlando, Florida

JEFRË, a noted ARTIST, has created several celebrated public art and memorial projects in cities around the world including London, Miami, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Abu Dhabi and Manila. JEFRË studied at the Art Institute of Chicago prior to receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from The Ohio State University. His design solutions originate from a deep understanding of the historical, environmental, social and contextual relationships influencing the site and the architecture. Since starting his own practice, JEFRЁ has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) as the Consultant of the Year for 2016 and as an Up and Coming International Public Artist by the Marlborough Gallery in New York City. He has received several design merit awards by the AIA, ASLA and ULI and currently nominated by the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Award in the category of “Design Mind”

Matt Mayberry
Cultural Services Manager
City of Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Matt Mayberry has served as the Cultural Services Manager for the City of Colorado Springs since 2002. In this capacity he oversees the operations of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, and the interpretive programs in Garden of the Gods Park and North Cheyenne Canon Park. He is also responsible for the administration and preservation of the City's collection of over 95 pieces of public art. He serves as a peer reviewer for the assessment and accreditation programs of the American Alliance of Museums and is a past member of the governing council of the American Association for State and Local History. He holds a MA in history from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and a BA in History from Iowa State University.

Roberta Bloom
Public Art Coordinator
City of Aurora, CO
Aurora, Colorado

Roberta Bloom, Public Art Coordinator, Aurora, CO, where she worked with the 7-20 Memorial Committee on the creation of a memorial to the victims and survivors of the Aurora theater shooting. With over 35 years of professional experience in the arts, non-profit management, public administration, and education, Roberta headed up the ceramics program at a private art school, chaired a college art department, directed Colorado’s statewide public art program, and served as the assistant director of a non-profit art center. She holds an MFA in Visual Arts from Ohio University. Her artwork (functional pottery, sculpture, mosaic, and public and private mosaic commissions) has been exhibited internationally and appeared in numerous books and publications, primarily under her maiden name of Kaserman. Her varied life experiences including artist, educator, coach, project/program manager, supervisor, spouse and parent help inform her approach to the leadership of Aurora’s public art program.