The more diverse Jacksonville becomes, the harder we must work to achieve trust and unity. As a city with a wealth of history and people who are migrants and immigrants, citizens, nationals and multi-nationals, Jacksonville has before it an opportunity to embrace the natural assets found in its resident arts and culture. There is tremendous potential for employing basic ideas from cultural nationalism to a contemporary community-based frame that harnesses the restorative potential of arts and culture for people and in communities.
Whereas cultural nationalism of the past set out to provide a singular vision of America’s identity and history, today we can utilize the arts and culture as tools for inclusion, equity, education, and empowerment. This new frame does not nullify the significance of arts and culture; rather it highlights their intrinsic and instrumental value. Arts and culture are unique because they are both a strategy and tactic for facilitating a common culture of community unity, not uniformity, to shape Jacksonville’s identity and future.