The What's Good Project
The What’s Good Project: a collaborative archive of what’s good in communities across the world via interviews, stories, photos, drawings, and paintings.
The What’s Good Project builds upon sociologists Jan and Cornelia Flora’s Community Capitals framework that measures seven areas of community health: natural, political, social, human, cultural, built, and financial. Community Capitals is an asset-based approach that focuses upon capitalizing on areas of strength rather than focusing on challenges.
Culturally, it seems that we are addicted to negativity. According to the Flora’s research, shifting focus from community challenges to community assets can result in more effective community improvement. Using that as a framework, The What’s Good Project s explores the following questions: What happens when we deliberately acknowledge and discuss the assets in our communities? What happens when we make a choice to look for what is working where we live? Can this build community momentum and lead to a “spiraling up effect” within the community?
The What’s Good Project strives to give voice and visibility to unrecognized community assets through the power of direct and creative community engagement. Both the process and the content of The What’s Good Project differ from conventional approaches to art-making and art-viewing by using conversations to stimulate collaborative photographs, drawings and paintings and by finding exhibition spaces outside of the art establishment. At its core, The What’s Good Project challenges who are most often served by art, questions whose stories are valuable, and explores how asset-mapping can be utilized in community development work.