It was a privilege to be part of Jatiwangi Art Festival 2008. Despite the constrain budget, inadequacy of equipment for documentations and the assistant researcher lack of experience on doing field work/research, overall it was a success, great experiences and exposure.
Since this was the first arts and community research for the researcher, the experience and direct involvement on organizing such arts festival with experiences coordinators does help to foresee the structure in organizing events that involve artist and local community. This research also had help the researcher to make better observation, analyze strong point and weak point in organizing such events.
Working with Jatiwangi art factory community does gave a lot of knowledge in organizing art event and how to build up strategies to engage directly with the public or local community. Not only the researcher have opportunity in networking with local artist but also have the chance to build up better contacts with international artist on sharing idea, experience and etcetera.
The guest-hosts concept in JAF was a good example or ways in bridging the arts, artist and the local-community. Not only we can experiences the life, culture and tradition of the local village, the researcher also have observed an interesting point in this concept that was the collaborative involvement in developing an artwork between each artist artistic idea and concept with local villages wise knowledge on the use of materials in Jatiwangi. The exchange between cultures and issues can be observed in this festival. Both artists and local people have their own unique ways to communicate and learned each other culture, background and perspective in life/ daily life. There was a sense of community when everyone came together, either to talk, discussed, get to know or just have a meal. In general there was a wonderful sense of energy and togetherness. This senses was one of the factor which was lack in most event that was been held in Malaysia where the researcher have involved in coordinating or participated.
Since arts and community project is growing here, in Malaysia, the researcher hopes, this research can be share with Malaysian public who is interested and believe in arts are not only for a certain group of people or art as entertainment. The researcher believes that arts are part of all the society and it can be used as ways of communicating, empower for better change in society.