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“To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is a bad dream.”
― Sylvia PlathThe Bell Jar

The minnows in that trap were having a good day, I think. Then, the trap. And the extra fishing of the bird grabbing at his captured feast.

I’ve been thinking about this image.

Thinking about my journey.

Puzzling that I have a phone interview with a small newspaper in one hour.

Captured.

It’s so difficult to talk about this. I quickly become the villain of my own story. How to talk about being a part of an arts district when it’s been five years since I’ve had any discussion whatever about this?

Last I heard the city was finally forming a committee. Which is good because you can’t really even fill out the form for the state until this piece is in place.

Sometimes I feel like one of those minnows. I’m just swimming along, having a good day. And then comes the trap. And above the trap the opportunistic creatures ready to feed on me and my kind.

It’s a challenge to not become vicious in that trap. But the minnows, they just keep swimming.

Talking points:

-Have at least five pillars of established arts organizations. If you gather start up people and beginning ideas of want-to-be organizations without their own structure you will have entered the Wild West of Egos.

-Be sure the established organizations WANT to be a part of a coalition. They may be just fine with things the way they are. There must be a benefit to forming a coalition FOR THE ORGANIZATIONS operating as the pillars holding the whole structure together.

-It always comes back to leadership. Be sure the leadership has vision with clarity, purpose with the ability to execute the goals established. Communication skills that are inclusive and informed.

-Management. Arts management is a field of study that some get degrees in and then go out looking for a job to match. It’s not a hobbyists game. Find one of those qualified people. In-house/volunteer run initiatives may have the best intentions and begin with good energy but without a qualified and trained professional in a primary leadership position it really is a waste of everyone’s time. Except maybe the people getting paid to have volunteers do the work. I guess it’s a good use of their time.

-In the case of the pillars deciding to come together: Define commercial art from independent art. Define amatuer organizations from professional organizations. This is not to establish an hierarchy rather to build a very strong foundation based on the truth of the district so that the best support system may be structured around that.

The world really needs art now. It needs to be everywhere. But swimming into traps and becoming the voluntary meal of a lazy opportunist doesn’t serve anyone. Creativity requires a structure that facilitates exploration and growth within itself.

Open seas and calm trapless waters to you all, friends.

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