Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Fire- Mexican Cultural Mural

Photo by Jack Ramsdale

One of my (many) favorite murals in Philadelphia is by my friend and colleague Cesar Viveros-Herrera. This project is one of more than 3000 beautiful works of art created through the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. His mural New Fire- Mexican Cultural Mural located at 223 W. Girard Avenue. The mural includes cement elements, horticulture and extentions. Its one of those works you have to see it in person to fully enjoy.

danza azteca philadelphia

This video that animates the mural, and connects it to place, culture and history. I think this project operates on many levels, using a multi-disciplinary approach to mural making. Yet another great example of the power and need for murals as we investigate how the arts play a role in revitilizing communities.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Imagining a National Artists Corps

We stayed up way too late last night, enjoying the static air, dancing, speeches, cheers, students running by shouting “Happy Obama Day”, strangers hugging.

Today the work started, for me it was making advocacy calls for a National Artists Corps as outlined in the Obama Biden Arts Platform.

What is exciting about this proposal is that the structures needed to administer a National Artists Corps/ Community Artists Corps are in place. The passion, desire and talent exists to facilitate local multi disciplinary arts programs that pack a punch. We have a president-elect that understands the value and power of the arts.

I feel our greatest challenge will be to demonstrate how our
proposals can be integrated into the calls for a Conservation Corps and the creation of Green Job Training Centers. Artists are natural holistic thinkers, seeing the interconnection between all things. If necessity is the mother of invention, we in the arts are her midwifes. Community based artists in the trenches have much to contribute to this discussion and I hope many of us will be called upon as this program takes form.

I encourage readers to write their elected representatives in support of a National Artists Corps.

LOTS more to come on this subject....