5 Days of VR: Community Making

Virtual Reality is an effective tool for Community Change Making!

This 5-day survey offers a window into how I use VR for good in communities today, & possible impact for the future. 

Day 1: Diversity

ChangeMakers Week at St. Thomas University. Virtual Reality is used in a Community Making Workshop. Diverse students played Empathy Games including, "I am A Tree" - then identified 3 words that described themselves, illustrating one. Sectioned into three groups, students combined their words to create a story. Groups illustrated their stories in VR. Each individual contributed to the drawing, and presented their VR works as a group. VR was a tool in creating connection, working together, and making a empathetic shared space... a community.  

Day 2: Empathy

A VR Sketch helps create a community vision in Los Angeles. 40+ students at Palms Middle School designed this mural, painted in partnership with the LAPD. Arts Bridging The Gap uses empathy & public murals to create a better community. As recent Artist-in-Residence, this VR Sketch communicates a community's vision in Los Angeles. Next week, I will meet with the Women's STEM Group at the Hennepin County Government Center. My goal is to activate Minneapolis with more empathy raising and partnership opportunities with VR. 


VR shares a community vision.




Day 3: Inclusion

VR Artist-in-Residence at Minneapolis Athenaeum, and VR Mentor at Best Buy Teen Tech Center, I'm directing "Common Urban Edible Plants", VR projections inspired by 16-19th century botanical prints, and remixed by teens & community Artists for the 2 day festival, Northern Spark. I use VR in Facebook Spaces Live in VR to engage and inform the community. FB Spaces allows friends to join inside of 360 space, draw, and connect. 



Day 4: Healing

Inspired by #30DaysofMentalHealth, I joined a 7-Day Body Mapping Challenge. I can see the usefulness of drawing my body to help heal past trauma and to share with the public to help people talk more about mental health, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other trauma-realated issues. After the challenge, participants will meet inside Facebook Spaces in VR to share our findings. 

Our first Yoga + VR Workshop at Better World Museum happened this week! Empathy Games, Drawing in VR, Yoga, then more drawing in VR allowed us to understand and visualize body and mind transformations. Weekly Yoga + VR Workshops provide opportunities to visualize mindfulness together as a community. 

Member of Yoga & VR Workshop at Better World Museum draws in VR

Day 5: Climate Justice

Drawings of sustainable, edible, or medicinal plants helps defend science and climate justice. Inspiring new generations, and working with today's communities is vital in protecting our climate and sustaining our natural world. VR helps drive this into the future with sustainable and Smart-city practices. 

Artist in Residence, Paige Dansinger, draws Opium Poppies in VR, after Mary Delany (1776).
Team members at the Minneapolis Athenaeum learned more about botanical prints while drawing works from their collection in VR. 

Team members at the Minneapolis Athenaeum learned more about botanical prints while drawing works from their collection in VR. 

Tomorrow I will facilitate students from Gaia Democratic Public School in drawing digital Opium Poppies for the set design of their school play, "Dorothy in OZ" -- Everyday there are more opportunities to use Virtual Reality as a tool to create community, and drive change for good!  

Examples of 5 days of VR community making -- including Diversity, Empathy, Inclusion, Wellness, & Climate Justice -- clearly exhibit why VR is vital today, and offers so many positive impacts for our future.