Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Whose Values Count

Election eve thought on the role of artists in public life...

There's a lot of talk in the press about "value" and "values." Value in the sense of "what is something worth" in economic terms and "whose values guides the politics and policies that decide what something is worth?" It seems that the financial and general press is learning something that we knew all along - that not everything with a big price tag is"worth" a lot of money and things that seemingly have no value on the stock market really do have tremendous value and meaning. What drives creative people to create and what is the "value" of what they create is worthy of study here. Lewis Hyde wrote "The Gift - Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World" in 1979 and he was on to something when quotes Joseph Conrad - "The artist appeals to that part of our being...which is a gift and not an acquisition - and, therefore, more permanently enduring." and then goes on to say "The art that matters to us - which moves the heart, or revives the soul, or delights the senses, or offers courage for living, however we choose to describe the experience - that work is received by us as a gift is received....The spirit of an artist's gifts can wake our own. The work appeals, as Joseph Conrad says, to a part of our being which is itself a gift and not an acquisition." This resonates with arts marketing studies by large foundations and hard-working consultants who endeavor to guide the arts industry in making a stronger case for itself with the public and politicians. These studies discount the economic impact of the arts and revive a conversation about the intrinsic value of the arts and creativity that, while hard to measure, is the real distinctive power of the creative process. But the market place says we only measure what matters and that Wall Street experts and Blackberry punching M.B.A.s RALLY know how to assign value in this society. How's that been working? But this conversation about who gets to value what is a prelude to my real concern around "values" - namely that people who live and practice the creation and exchange of intrinsic value, America's artists and cultural workers, have been absent from the political discourse and so have been unable to transfer their values into governance. So if we are cringing that taxpayers will spend $750 billion to bail out Wall Street firms, banks and potentially General Motors. If we are livid if taxpayers spend $123 billion to bail out AIG and then it spent $440,000 on a lavish executive retreat. And if we just shrug our shoulders when we see that the National Endowment for the Arts is budgeted for a pathetic $145 million for 2008. (Don't even mention the estimated $3 trillion cost of the Iraq War). If these facts - these expressions of what America "values" don't jive with yours, then,
The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves if we are underlings.”

Tom Tresser wants artists to run for local office all over the country as creativity champions and bring their values and skills into public life in new ways.

Monday, October 13, 2008

caryls Global Art Spot

http://carylsglobalartspot.blogspot.com/

Spoken Word at the Garfield Market Place


SpEak OuT

Examining the State of Our Environment

OpEn Mic EveNt


October 17, 18 & 19, 2008
Friday 6-8p, Sat 1-4pm, Sun 1-4pm

RaP -sPOkeN- Word
presented by Community Christian Alternative Academy Art Students, and Artist Nancy Zook

Garfield Park Conservatory
Market Place
300 North Central Park Ave.
Chicago, IL 60624

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

RANT-A-Thon



LITTLE BLACK PEARL ART AND DESIGN CENTER 1060 E. 47TH STREET, CHICAGO IL
773-268-5040
pHANTOM gALLERY
773-638-1217X3

FEATURED ARTISTS RAY NOLAND - "GOT NEXT- GENERAL ELECTION TOUR
VIP RECEPTION

OCTOBER 10, 2008 6-8PM
6PM -

8PM
RANT-A-THON, FRIDAY OCTOBER 10TH, CALLING TO:
SHERMAN BECK, CELESTINE, "WOMBYKIND", BENYAMIN MACCABEE, NATHANIEL MCLIN, DEBRA MCLENDON, TAMASHA WILLIAMSON, $1 a minute to Rant


CHICAGO CALLING TO: OCT 10, 2008 10PM- MIDNIGHT
ALPHA BRUTON, ERIN OBRADOVICH, STAJAABU "STRAIGHT OUT SCRIBBE", CARYL HENRY ALEXANDER, JESSE ALEXANDER, YAYA PORRES, ALAN AMERSON HICKS, ANN WARD, ERIC REIDMAN, DOUGLAS EWART
$5 SUGGESTED DONATION

312.543.7027, http://www.chicagocalling.org/,