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Art Inspired By Pride Of Place And In Service Of The Displaced

Pride of place inspires a native Hoosier to take up the art of jigsaw puzzle-cutting; a desire to welcome and support the displaced spurs a musician to action.

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Marc Tschida had been a fixture of Bloomington’s performing arts scene for many years but didn’t exactly consider himself an artist. Until he encountered a dilemma–

“I draw great pride in the community. And over these thirty years I ran out of unique gifts to give to people that spoke of my community.”

So he forged a creative solution to that problem. Our woodworking series continues with a profile of the accidental jigsaw puzzle cutter.

Other artists wield their craft as a form of activism. Dena El Saffar acknowledges that her Middle Eastern band Salaam can’t change the world–

“I do what I can but it feels like my level of effect on the culture is very limited. I haven’t been able to make the world a better place. It’s less safe than when I started Salaam.”

Still, she suggests, music is capable of a subtle diplomacy when genres mingle. Today at the Café, we traverse the world and return to our own backyard, finding people making art to strengthen communities. First, we report on local musical efforts to assist refugees and others in the state who are affected by the immigration ban. Next, how an artist who’s called Bloomington home for decades is seeking to promote his community far and wide with his handmade wooden jigsaw puzzles.

Stories On This Episode

Artists As Activists: Salaam Band Raises Funds For Refugees

Dena El Saffar, leader of Salaam, a Middle Eastern band based in Bloomington.

Dena El Saffar, leader of Salaam Band, finds a way to help a cause close to her heart. No Lost Generation raises funds for area refugee resettlement agencies.

Finding A Missing Piece In The Local Arts Scene

Marc Tschida, Press Puzzles

"My first puzzles, the back side of the puzzle could actually be a hand-painted set piece that you might’ve seen onstage at a Cardinal performance."

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