Monday, August 22, 2011

"What if there was a World without Art?"

This video features some members of one on my current favorite local bands.  I helped these kids into the winner's circle of the 2011 Battle of The Bands at The Space in Hamden.  Interstellar Elevators are from the tiny little town of Weston, CT and are in and of themselves a tribe.  Seven musicians and nine instruments, all under the age of 18 that are creating some of the most amazing musical art in our state.

This video was made to promote the Westport Arts Center, a facility I had no knowledge of until I was searching for material for another article on IE I was writing.  Of course, the next most obvious step was to visit the website and do some research.

Westport Arts Center is on the banks of the Saugatuck River.  It is about a mile and a half from the Westport train station and is easily accessible by train and city bus.  However, the venues the organization utilizes are scattered throughout Westport, Fairfield and Norwalk.  There are schools, churches, theaters and libraries.  WAC supports all arts; performing, fine and literary and offers not only opportunities for artists to share their creations with audiences but also educational programs for artists themselves.  WAC serves all age groups from toddlers to seniors.  There are workshops, birthday parties, summer camps, scout outings and programs for schools.

WAC seems to be really doing its part for building a tribe in lower Fairfield County.  For more information visit

Monday, August 8, 2011

Loud light to drown out the dark

Last night, again, I was thinking about the lightbearers, the revolutionaries and the rebels.  For those who are not familiar with my feelings on the current socio-political situation in this country...I grow more fearful each day with how loud the darkness is getting.  People who claim to be "children of the light" and lovers of a benevolent Divine Being spew hate, fear and hypocrisy with greater regularity.  One of their battle cries is that socialism will overtake us and we will all become prisoners of the state.  However, they also preach a message of enslavement to their 'god'.

Then I looked at The Tribes, especially those that are not only creating art and encouraging new artists but using their art to send messages, build communities, build buildings, grow new businesses and preach a message of individuality within a communal group.  These are visionaries.  These are the hope to save the Republic.  These are the lightbearers.

So I call to the Tribes to turn up your light and shine it proud.  Make your voices and colors heard over the darkness.  Drown it out with beauty, conservation, fair trade, home-grown businesses, and a true concern for your fellow man.

This blog/zine is here to spread your voices.  To help you connect with each other and turn up the volume.  If you are aware of a story that needs to be told, a person or community that needs to be in the spotlight or a gathering that needs promotion, please email me.  I feel in my spirit that this is where I am supposed to focus most of my energy now.  In an effort to make this a place of real information and to aid the cause (along with self-discipline) I am making a set schedule:
Monday - coverage of the Northeastern US
Tuesday - Southeast
Wednesday - Midwest
Thursday - Southwest
Friday - West Coast
Weekends will be for special features and OpEd.
The site will be updated by 10 a.m. ET every day.

Deadline for submissions will be 5 business days prior to publish.  Example: if you have information pertinent to the West Coast, it must be to me by the previous Friday.  If you submit any actual art including photos, graphics, literary pieces, include credits and copyright information.  I will accept guest posts for the weekend additions.

I ask that you do what you can to promote this publication.  Subscribe and share as much as possible.  It is your voice as well as mine.

Light the fires
Beat the drums
Sing the song of a new revolution
Paint the walls
Sculpt the totems
We are the children of the Tribe

Saturday, August 6, 2011

AYYA design youself - where fashion meets fine art and sustainability


AYYA is what happens when a few designers with similar aesthetics and personalities come together in Bali and decide to create and sell their wares.  This particular group was very environmentally savvy so sustainability was high on the list of requirements for their project.  In a one room workshop with nothing more than a sewing machine their first products were their spin on ‘tabi’, those wicked cool split-toed shoes worn by ninjas.

But how did this blogger in a tiny town in New England find out about this company?  Google? Nope!  It was a tip from one of the latest designers to add their work to AYYA’s line - Hans Haveron.  Haveron has shared some of his drawings and paintings to be inked on the 100% cotton t-shirts AYYA sells and included a little bit of leatherwork he’s done.  The “Haveron Glove” may look a bit familiar to fans of a friend of his, Adam Lambert, who sported a similar design during the Glamnation Tour last year.  

The next question was, how did Haveron connect with a company so far from Los Angeles?  Hans met the owner in L.A. about three and a half years ago through a mutual friend.  He’d seen Haveron’s work and wanted to do a signature line.  Last year, Hans made the trip to Bali and spent two months creating the line.  

Reading company’s story stirred appreciation and anger.  Appreciation for their commitment to environmental impact and sustainability, anger that we are not seeing more collectives or cooperatives in the U.S. like this.  AYYA has sought out tanneries that only use non-toxic processes and dyes.  They hope to get to the point of using fabric woven of organically grown cotton.

Let us hope that environmentally conscious artists here will team up with manufacturers and suppliers of the same mind here in the near future.  But in the meantime, please visit AYYA.  Besides Hans’ work there are a number of very talented artists and designers’ included in this store.  AYYA has a warehouse in the U.S. they ship from and they accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover and PayPal.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Minnesota Festival of the Performing Arts - Aug. 4-14

Minnesota Fringe 2011

In my search for "tribal arts" events today, first I discovered Yahoo Directories.  Then I found the above link.  Reading the "About Us" section this event seemed to fit into the vibe of a community gathering.

The way this event works is that all interested parties or groups submit their applications to perform in February. There are no judges or "picking committees".  Each application gets assigned a number which is followed by having a ping-pong ball with the same number deposited into a mixing machine.  After the deadline date, the folks who run this event, fire up the machine and start picking out numbers at random.

The belief that all people are capable of creating art drives the confidence of the organizers that there will be sufficient levels of creativity to attract an audience and keep them interested enough to stay the day and experience multiple performances.  To me this seems like a great way to encourage artists and to help them grow.  It also provides an organic environment for community building both with the artists and audiences.

Tickets: $12 plus $4 admission button; kids’ tickets (12 and under) are $5 and don’t require a button; discounts and multi-show passes available. Tickets on sale July 1 from OvationTix at (866) 811-4111 or at and at the box office 30 minutes before performance.  The event will include 168 performances on 18 stages.

So if you happen to be wandering through Minneapolis this week, check this out.  If you do go, please leave a comment with your experience.  Thanks.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

LA Vs. WAR - September 9-11

Kickstarter project for L.A. vs War

It's been a long time since the U.S. has seen a good protest against the unnecessary violence of war.  The artists of Los Angeles are putting together a massive art exhibition to voice their protest and to call for peace.  Selecting the 10th Anniversary of 9-11 seemed to be timing for anti-war and political artists to assemble this multi-media event to voice their cry for peace throughout the world.

This event will not only consist of the display of fine art but will include music, teach-ins and sponsor the creation of peace murals around Los Angeles.  It is currated by Yo! Peace, Center for the Study of Political Graphics, Political Gridlock and Ad Hoc Art.  It is the hope of the developers to take this show on the road after 9-11 and share the message of peace with the rest of the U.S.

Of course a project such as this can not be done for free.  L.A. Vs War has set up a Kickstarter page.  Their minimum goal is $5000.  There are various award levels for giving that come with thank you gifts such as t-shirs, limited edition prints and "peace books".  Peace is probably the most righteous cause we can support today to please do what you can to help this venture.