One of my life’s continual struggles has been to name, and claim, the value of art as a worthy enterprise. I’ve always loved art of all kinds, especially music, and yet frequently been unable to escape the nagging Puritanical feeling that creative effort is a waste of time, or “just goofing off” as opposed to what American society regards as more productive work. Continue reading
Is it art?
Is it good?
Is it holy?
These definitions are constantly re-negotiated in our public spaces. And the present time, our age of Internet and continual new technologies, seems to be a time of acceleration in this re-negotiation.
One school of thought gives way to another.
Your “holiness” may be my “blasphemy.”
Yesterday’s “good” may be tomorrow’s “What were we thinking?” Continue reading
In a way, it was an event that was fifteen years in coming. Sometime around 2000, at a concert in the Boston area, I was told “If you’re ever in San Francisco, you have to check out Saint John Coltrane African Orthodox Church.” Kind of a conspiratorial rumor, among musicians, that this was something unique. Continue reading
When I was first considering applying for this Arts Immersion, I will admit that I had some trepidation because I am not well-versed in the visual arts. As a performing artist, I knew that world, and that way of looking at the world, quite well, and I felt I wouldn’t have much to offer in a class that was predominantly focused on the visual arts.
However, when I realized that the course would be taught in conjunction with the Earl Lectures, I decided it would be the best possible experience for me. The performance art elements of the Earl Lectures (Adriene Thorne, Michael Franti, The Piper) would mesh well with the visual art that predominated the Immersion. Continue reading
…putting it into action, one baby blog step at at time (a reflection on the Earl Lectures and Being Art Now)
During worship on the second day of the Earl Lectures, Rev. Adriene Thorne demonstrated that James Weldon Johnson’s poetic meditation on the creation narrative is actually a blueprint for creating art and doing justice. She distributed a handout with this nifty blueprint and it reads as follows:
“Be-Art-Now: a cheat sheet for creating art AND justice based on The Creation:
Name what you are feeling.
Name what you plan to do about it.
Make yourself aware of what you are up against. Continue reading