No Colour Barred

I was in London to see  The Edge Fund two weeks ago for my work as a Program Officer for The Heinz Endowments (I’ve written about the Edge Fund before) and was taken by the fierce Isis Amlak, the chair of Edge, to this art exhibit No Colour Bar: Black British Art In Action at a place called the Guildhall Art Gallery. Now, I don’t always get amped upon hearing “We’re going to a museum” partly because of their general formality and I’ve resisted that part of the arts world since I was a youth, but largely because I associate it with a whiteness and class orientation that has left me feeling othered. So, sometimes the lights in my mind even dim nocolour,jpgas the generator slows preparing me to feel like an outsider to the style & context of the art. But even more so than the art, it’s actually many museums themselves that send an “othering” message as I approach. And, according to the headlines of the National Endowment for the Arts’ 2015 publication on arts participation, as a person of African descent, as a man, and as an American, I am probably pretty typical in this way. African Americans visit museums in numbers much lower than our numbers in general pop and we are even less likely to be on the curatorial staff. To complete the picture, men attend in lower rates than women and Americans are thought to be going less and less. Great. I am average.

But “no colour bar” was different. I got all wrapped into so much of the show, including a recreation of the Walter Rodney Bookstore, and this artist, Keith Piper, who I learned was at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University teaching from 2000-2003. After seeing his work, I went home to read about him and then watched a 30 minute video he produced

TamJoseph

Tam Joseph’s “UK School Report”

called Pathways to the 1980s about the Black Art Group 1979-1984. Piper had this one video/photographic piece, “Go West Young Man” simulating his father talking to him that I had to get right up on to explore whether my own father wanted me to understand this message. Then there was this painting from Tam Joseph called “UK School Report” that perfectly sums up what “good” Black boys are supposed to look like.  We should be ashamed that so many beautiful, intelligent Black boys that look the like picture of the Black boy on the right continue to meet the standard of “Needs Surveillance” from white controlled structures of power.

I would not be thinking about my relationship to museums were it not for the work of a number of dope Pittsburgh & non-Pittsburgh cultural instigators. For the last year or so, Kilolo Luckett, D.S. Kinsel & BOOM Concepts (a project supported in part by The Heinz Endowments) have been pushing into my consciousness the need to rethink the relationship of Black people to museums and museums to Black people. Separately & together they’ve been hosting visits, silent dance parties and talks in Pittsburgh Museums & Libraries. In doing so I hear “What public cultural spaces aren’t ours? What spaces shouldn’t welcome us?” Then this point was driven further home by this article in the NY Times article in November “Black Artists and the March into the Museum” Finally, this past week, my good colleague from the National Guild for Community Arts Education, Robyne Walker-Murphy, focused her monthly twitter chat #flychat featuring Ravon Ashley, Aleia Brown,& Stephanie Cunningham  on “#BlackGirlMagic on Museums” and had this super interesting dialogue in response to questions like “How do we make museums revolutionary spaces?” So, in what is the continued evolution of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, things are heating up for museums, which is exciting and good for museums and audiences. #NoColourBarred.

 

 

 

 

Habari Gani?! In Defense of Kwanzaa!

Habari Gani?!

Ujima! “To build and maintain our community together and to make our brother’s and sister’s problems our problems and to solve them together.” That said, I wrote this post on the day of Kujichagulia – Self Determination, to define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves and so I am going to stay on Kujichagulia today as the issue on my mind -Twitter and social media slander of Kwanzaa- will, unfortunately, stay with us throughout the holiday. The crux of Kujichagulia i.e. self -determination through self- definition, is, for me, about building Pan African power that allows us to have spaces that are free from police brutality and murder, gun violence, to have work spaces where we are using the best of what we know to make change rather than constantly dealing with a system that clearly does not want to produce health & prosperity for Black people.  Spaces, as J-Cole says in Be Free, where we take the chains off.

Two nights ago, on the day of Umoja (ironic, right?) – I saw some Twitter slander of Kwanzaa that totally frustrated me. First off, I honestly don’t find how celebrating principles of principled unity (Umoja), creativity (Kuumbaa), self-determination (Kujichagulia) is at all objectionable? What positive or liberatory movement cannot speak of its work in those terms? But Kwanzaa has another project and that is what I suspect is at what drives a lot of the slander and that is to offer these principles in the context of a synthesis of African cultural traditions. I saw a lot of misinformed folks who simply didn’t understand Kwanzaa and had a great deal of anti-African ideas which were behind their criticisms (if you follow me on Twitter @LilGarvey, and scroll down my TL you will see some conversations). So in response, and in the Kwanzaa spirit, I decided to write and contribute on the night of Kujichagulia and add to the discourse on how we can further define, name, create and speak for ourselves.

I think a starting point of Kujichagulia is the restoration of the word Hotep. Black Twitter slander has taken anti-Africanity to a new level by changing Hotep’s Kemetian meaning of “peace” or positive energy and evoking a divine presence (in all honesty Hotep cannot be fully translated in English) to “shallow, fake deep, oppressive woman hating misogynist.” This change in meaning has been so powerful if you google “Hotep” the first page is full of negative Black Twitter references. In many ways, this is the anti-Kujichagulia, we’ve unnamed ourselves and taken a Kemetian word of divinity and used it to represent folks who are expressing harmful misogynistic ideas and thus not peaceful or divine. The Kwanzaa slander followed a similar theme, where people objected to the use of Swahili and argued Kwanzaa was “fake-African,” not widely celebrated, “Hotepian,” and “made up.” First, what holiday isn’t “made up?” Secondly, if all year we argue that we are opposed to divisive homophobic and misogynistic people in the Black Lives Matter movement, aren’t we arguing for Umoja – unity in the family, community, nation and race? We say we want space free of state violence where blackness is not under attack are we not fighting for Kujichagulia? I could go on and do this for each principle, the larger point is let’s not fight for Black liberation in America while rejecting our Africanity.

For more on the importance of language and the health and liberation of African people I highly suggest reading Ngigui Wa Thiong’o’s “Something Torn and Something New,” in which he explains the importance of African language and the liberation of African people.

Bonnie’s Red Curry Vegetables Over Brown Rice

CurryCooking

Vegetables cooking before coconut milk has been added

The Black Panther Greens were a big pretty hit, so in the spirit of Ujima, to build and maintain our community together and to make our brother’s and sister’s problems our problems own  to solve them together, here is another dish for folks with the problem of looking to have another vegan cooking trick in their culinary bag–Bonnie’s Red Curry Vegetables (pronounced Ve-je-tah-bulls) over Brown Rice named after …my wife, Bonnie! Curries are a pretty easy and flexible dish, particularly when you use curry powder or paste, in that you can use the base in many, many ways i.e. chicken, shrimp, lamb, different vegetables & tofu, etc. so you can change this up pretty easily. This recipe makes the curry from scratch, so it requires a little more preparation, if you don’t already have all the spices. This recipe’s selection of vegetables really worked well and were the choice of Bonnie. However, as I said above, once you have the base of spices, onions and garlic, anything else can follow.

Ingredients: 

1 good sized tomato, chopped

1 good sized yellow onion, diced

3 clumps of garlic from a jar or 8-10 cloves

2 carrots, diced

1 sweet potato, diced

2 red skinned potatoes, diced

1 red pepper diced

2 shakes of a bag of peas

1 lb of spinach, use whole leaves

 

1 can of coconut milk

1/4 tsp of cayenne

1 tbs of cumin

2 tsps of chili powder

2-3  tsps of coriander

1 tbs of turmeric

1 tbs of paprika

3 tbs of olive oil

1 1/2 cups of brown rice

Directions 

Cook onions and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes or so and then add spices and cook for another couple of minutes. Don’t put the heat to high or CurryFinishedyou’ll burn the garlic. Then add the rest of the vegetables and cook for 15-20 minutes and then add coconut milk and cook for another 30-40 minutes on a medium heat & until they are level of softness you like. (My kids have never liked their vegetables too crunchy. Of course this would be healthier, but it’s all vegetables already, so you’re already kind of winning.) Meanwhile, boil the brown rice with a couple pinches of salt and cook it for 45 minutes. I haven’t cooked with brown rice for a while and I forgot how much better brown rice keeps itself as separate kernels, rather than merging into one pretty sticky rice clump. When the curry is ready, spoon it over the rice and serve.

Ok, so there’s another vegan dish you can bring to a Kwanzaa event or make for your own Kwanzaa event at home or make anytime during the year. As I said before, once you get a hang of the curry base, you can curry anything!

 

Black Panther Greens by Way of Soul Vegetarian

BPGreensDone

Black Panther Greens finished and ready to go

As part of our evolving Christmas tradition at my mom’s, sister and brother in law’s house in MD, I make Black Panther Greens. This is a dish we used to  vend in the 90’s in Pittsburgh at events like the Harambee Black Arts Festival when I worked for The Village 4 an Afrikan Cultural Center, an organization I helped to start and worked on coming out of Pitt’s Black Studies Dept with Kwame Ali, Bonnie Young Laing, Vanessa Liles, Erica Louison, Nzingha Uhuru, Ebony Lattimer, Darryl Wiley, Luqmon Salaam, Mary Martin, & MinNekHekh Thomas. In the spirit of reshaping this blog and in honor of upcoming Kwanzaas, New Year’s Day traditions and New Year’s resolutions, I thought a few folks might be interested in the recipe. This recipe belongs to another institution birthed in the 90’s (maybe late 80s?) Soul Vegetarian Restaurant of D.C.’s Georgia Ave. We added “Black Panthers” as Pitt Black Studies majors rescuing and restoring the Black Radical Tradition from the margins where both liberal and conservative political advocates are constantly trying to push it…and to brand the greens as being the bomb butter! As I am writing this it occurs to me that the colors of the tomatoes, eggplant, & greens, when put in the context of the Panther’s socialist critique of cultural nationalism and it’s Red, Black & Green flag as a bourgeois, avoidance agenda,  adds a touch of irony to the dish’s name.

Ingredients:IMG_2205

1 medium sized eggplant, diced

bunches of greens, shredded

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 good sized onion, cut into rings

4 cloves of garlic

A good amount of sea salt

Vegetable Oil

cayenne

Cayenne-No free advertising on Hillombo

A dash or two of cayenne pepper

4 pinches of beet sugar

Freshly ground black pepper

2-3 cups of water


Directions:

In a pot, boil eggplant, greens, sea salt to taste, maybe 2-3 tsp, 7 or 8 turns of your black pepper shaker, and the sugar for about 90 minutes to 2 hours. In a separate pan, cook onions, tomatoes, garlic until onions are translucent and tomatoes are almost boiled down. Then add onions and tomatoes to the greens and cook for another 1/2 to an hour, depending on how you like your greens.

image

Greens and eggplant 1/2 done

Ok, I know there are some food picture haters (TJ DaMilitant, I know you’re out there!), so hopefully the pics aren’t so bad as to gross you out, because this meal is a winner. For all you out there with weight loss resolutions, you may want to consider a vegan diet to give your system a jolt. I started out  2015 with my frat brother’s Chris Steel Edmunds’ health and exercise plan, combined with a January vegan diet, and lost 15 lbs in a month and managed to keep it off the whole year.

Expanding Hillombo

So, I am going to be expanding what I write about here at Hillombo. The Hill District has been my home for 20 + years as a place to be a part of a physical Black community and to bring to ground the ideas of Black Studies that captured my imagination at Pitt in the 90s. Ideas such as Black Power, revolution, art, cooperative economics, religion, family, food, ritual, rites of passage, in a word-culture. Interest in culture or “the way things get done around here” to resist white supremacy and create  alternative spaces, “Quilombos”, if you will. Because this interest is about imagination,  ideas, conversations and activities show up in other places  besides specific Hill  District cases and they need a place to hangout, connect, talk, be examined, criticized and enjoined by others, particularly family members with similar interests.

So, I will continue to write about the Hill (which could include plans to leave), but I’ll also include other things that hopefully have some spirit of Quilombos and thus will remain Hillombo.

Allegheny County Budget, Gun Violence and the Hill District. They Don’t Know?

Shootings as an ongoing epidemic and the ravaged lives it leaves in its wake, continues to be a festering, untreated, disease in the Hill District. Despite the fact that the Surgeon General has declared gun violence a public health issue, and Pittsburgh, like almost all American cities, continues to have an epidemic of gun violence in predominantly African American neighborhoods, there is no mention in the Health Department section of the  2016 Comprehensive Fiscal Plan proposed by County Executive, Rich Fitzgerald, of preventing gun violence. Homicide is the leading cause of death for African American men and boys 15-34 and that doesn’t even begin to describe the trauma, and mental health, economic, educational destruction it is wreaking. And. There. Is. No. Mention. Of. Preventing. Gun. Violence.  However, this is what is in the budget.

  • Allegheny County Jail-$75,933,931

    They don't know?

    They don’t know?

  • Shuman Center-$10,514,615
  • Public Defender-$9,572,773
  • Juvenile Court Placement-$32,787,748

The Health Department’s budget is $17,790,632. Ice Cube’s character Dough Boy said in “Boys in the Hood” –“Either they don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care about what’s going on in the hood.” Of course Dough Boy knew what the budget makes explicit, they don’t care. Our communities do, though, deeply, and that needs to show up in the budget.

Talking To Ourselves Because We Are Our Own Consultants

This past Sunday I was able to catch the second half of a talk given by an artist named Rick Lowe at the Open Engagment Conference held here this past weekend. Mr. Lowe’s conversation was about his work around the country employing art as social change and his twenty year work called Project Row Houses (PRH). I’ve heard great things about Rick Lowe for a long time and particularly wanted to get some ideas and inspiration that could go into the Hill District Arts Plan.  However, I would’ve stayed in the family Sunday space and wouldn’t have made it if not for dope, new arts directer of the Hermera Foundation, Tatiana Hernandez checking on me, so thanks Tatiana!

I have never been to PRH and have only met Rick Lowe once and so this post should not be seen as anything like an authoritative account on that work. We actually have artists in Pittsburgh like Alisha Wormsley  who have worked with PRH and so look them up for a deeper Pittsburgher understanding.

One of the houses of Project Row Houses

Project Row Houses. Work featured: Sam Durant’s “We Are the People” 2003

In my case I have heard more of the excitement around the work than really know it (Rick Lowe won a $250,000 Heinz Award, somewhat akin to the MacArthur “Genius” Award), but I do know that he has done an incredible job attracting resources for art to the 3rd Ward of Houston, TX and I  love the mission statement that talks of employing African American culture in the development of the neighborhood. That’s right in line with Hill Master Plan’s 1st principle “Build Upon The African American Cultural Legacy”.  So, I am feeling that for sure. Shouts also to  Kilolo Lucket who is working with Alisha on  implementing an interpretation of Lowe’s ideas in Homewood in a project supported by the Advancing Black Arts Initiative.

Lyric from Lil Wayne's 6 Foot, 7 foot

Lyric from Lil Wayne’s “6 Foot, 7 foot”

I left the talk inspired, but it wasn’t all simply “rah rah Project Row Houses” and, much to his credit, Lowe wasn’t looking to convey this message and I appreciated this as well. There were some obvious tensions that Mr. Lowe is wrestling with around art, funders, developers and justice in the ALAANA (African, Latino, Asian, Arab and Native American) communities he is often working in and a couple times he expressed concern that his work could become a pawn in the hands of developers. There was actually this very  interesting moment when Lowe was talking of art and revolution and he mentioned being criticized as a college student by activists further on the left for not being revolutionary enough as he was discussing the need for artists to continue to use the word revolution in their work. In this vein, Lowe ended the talk defining revolution as the “continual empowerment of the powerless”  and encouraging the audience to continue to also use the words justice  in their art work in communities. Here I didn’t agree. Can we turn revolution into a word that could co-exist inside of an oppressive state and economic system and never have to confront it? Is that just taking artistic license or co-opting the word to be something less threatening? I left thinking we have to add “capitalism” to the list of words we can talk about.

However, I don’t want to leave this post on that note because Lowe has accomplished so much of what he has imagined and there is a lot we could learn for the Hill District and the work we are doing on the arts plan. One of things he said that I dug the most was how he has looked for ways to pay community members for work that consultants would normally get paid to do in his residencies

Rick Lowe in front of Project Row Houses

Rick Lowe in front of Project Row Houses

as well as his stories of how PRH has created other avenues for community members to realize dreams inside of the 3rd Ward.  I like this because its the idea that art should develop community & community members, rather than be used as a tactic to draw outside capital and increase the dollars that developers can get for selling property in the neighborhood. This, again, is  raises the question of what and who is community development really developing? I say this because as someone who is paying a mortgage on two homes in the Hill, increasing the property value of our homes happens not to be our family’s first priority and yet we represent a population supposedly community development orgs and city governments want –professional class African Americans. Not having housing value as a first priority is unlike city government and city fathers /mothers which are much more narrowly focused on the property taxes of neighborhood, particularly African American neighborhoods with a lot of vacant property. Safety, enjoyment, a sense of community, things to do for my children. Those things matter more to me.

An art project at PRH. Haven't found name of artist

Project Row Houses: Andrea Bowers’ “Hope in Hindsight” 2010

So, how do we take these ideas of community development actually developing community into the art plan? A couple of nights ago Bonnie and I spent part of the evening working on the next step of the the planning process: artist focus groups. I won’t reveal the questions here because the streets is watching (of course they’re absolutely not watching, but apparently good focus group practice is to let the questions be responded to spontaneously), but I note from the PRH website that the idea came from a vision of artists, so I am starting to get excited about what could come out of these conversations. Not thinking we need to “replicate” PRH, but rather be inspired by it and create something that makes sense in our own space and time. For example, what would a mission focused on providing a voice and platform for Hill District artists look like in action? How might that deal with issues of justice, power, racism, markets and capitalism? What else might be needed?  What other visions might folks have for art and culture in the Hill? We’ll learn more next Tuesday at the Hill District artist focus group meeting starting at 6 pm. If you know folks who are Hill District artists please ask them to come out and for more information please call 412.697.4692 or email at info@hdcg.org.

Confidentiality, Community Development & Power

This post has been sitting for a second, but I’ve been a little distracted. It is written in protest of the confidentiality component of the recently launched (March 30th) Hill District Development Review Panel, the process developed by the Hill Community Development Corporation and the Hill District Consensus Group to facilitate the process by which new developments can be said to have community support. I was nominated to the DRP by the Hill District Consensus Group (where my wife is the co-director) and went to the December orientation meeting, but had real disagreement with both the actual power of the Panel, which appears limited, and process of the Panel. Maybe I will devote a future post to the power of the panel ( you can see some of my thoughts in the linked email below), but I want to call out a particular part of the process and that is its confidentiality. That is in order to participate on the Panel the participants must sign a confidentiality agreement, a confidentiality agreement so strong that the signers agree to not mention the agreement itself.  BradPittFightClubI sent an email to the signers of my initial  invitation to join the DRP in January, Ms. Marimba Milliones, Ms. Chloe Velasquez of the Hill District Community Development Corporation and Mr. Carl Redwood and Dr. Emma Lucas Darby of the Hill District Consensus Group saying that I would not sign the confidentiality agreement to which I did not receive a response. However, according to Mr. Redwood, chair of the HDCG, I am still one HDCG’s nominations to serve on the DRP which is cool because the idea of communities engaging development and developers is a good one. I will not recount the explanation I was given for this mandatory agreement as it I don’t fully understand it and I might get it wrong, but you can read my criticism of what I was told in my email to the parties saying I would not sign the agreement. I sent an email a couple of weeks ago to both organizations seeking to confirm that the confidentiality agreement was still in place and Mr. Redwood’ said the Panel has not actually been convened since it met in December.

Maybe the most important question in terms of community development work is how does confidentiality contribute to community? My view on the role that community planning processes should play in the development of community go back to Laing letter to Lavelle-Support the Planning Forum in 2012. Our community development leadership just doesn’t seem to see building collective power as being in our individual best interest. Were we to face any of these hateful acts of police murder, or even as we are traumatized by our young family members being murdered by other young people in the community we are not organized sufficiently yet to change these outcomes. This same logic applies to how the Penguins failed to meet our goals for community development, or how the Lower Hill is discussed as a critical location by the City and my employer, The Heinz Endowments,  do we have the collective power to make sure the Master Plan and its goals are our an important part of the conversation? If we take our recent inability to get the Penguins to honor our affordable housing goals as evidence of where this neighborhood’s ideas for itself sit in Pittsburgh’s economic, social and political thinking, the answer to that question is no.

Planning, Art & Identity in the Hill District

Jorge Myers, Born and Raised Hill District Artist

Jorge Meyers,  Hill District Artist

Very productive Arts Plan meeting sponsored by the Hill District Consensus Group last week, March 17th. I am on the steering committee along with Tanika Harris of the Hill CDC, Karen Abrams, resident, Suzie Sparks of the Hill House Association and my wife, Dr. Bonnie Young Laing, Hill District resident and Co-Director of the HDCG. The purpose of the meeting was to get us back on track after a slowing of momentum over the end of the 2014/beginning of 2015 and share the plan the steering committee had come up with to get us going again. The meeting had nice attendance with 15-20 ppl and a good representation of Hill District artists with that being the majority of folks there.  To see the meeting agenda, click here.

Bonnie got us started by sharing slides of the data from more than 250 surveys and for those slides that are a work in progress click here. A few highlights of the data:

Kim El-Born and Raised, Hill District Artist

Kim El-Hill District Playwright and Actor

  • 65% of the respondents identified as Hill District residents;
  • 85% identified as African American
  • Most commonly used word to define art?–“Expression”
  • When asked about preferred art words most commonly used were “Children” “African/Black” “Music” & “Dance”;
  • There’s a broad set of tastes in the neighborhood with lots of arts mentioned when asked about preferences;
  • An influence from international travel;
  • A desire for opportunities for youth;
  • “Festivals” was the most frequently mentioned method by which people got art and the Three Rivers Arts Festival, specifically;

There was a good conversation that followed about how the data showed there was an interest inarts & experiences in the neighborhood and a willingness to spend $, but a lack of venues. Folks also talked about how more options need to be given to the community because we don’t know what we don’t know when it comes to art choices. An idea that stood out to me came from visual artist, Kaceem Barnett, about the Hill having an “Art all Night” experience like Bloomfield. What would that look like??

Conversation then moved to the definition of what a Hill District artist might be (see previous post) and folks were good with the definition we were using with the amendment that there should be space for artists who have lived here a “significant” period of time, but no longer live here in addition to the space for artists who were born here and no longer live here. The main issue here is that if we are going to advocate for Hill District artists to support their work and enliven the neighborhood and build on its cultural legacy, then the definition of

Mark Southers, Hill District Artist, Born, Raised and Current Resident. Executive Producer of Pgh Playwrights Theater

Mark Southers, Hill District Executive Producer of Pgh Playwrights Theater

who is a Hill District artist is needed. This then brought up a spicy question and a missing part of the definition: the geographic boundaries of the Hill District we would use. This hole was revealed in the question someone posed–“Is Uptown in the Hill?” This got some murmurs and multiple comments from the room that could be summed up in “It depends. Sometimes Uptown wants to be in. Sometimes they don’t.”

The question of Uptown brings up that little issue of race and community identity. When the Hill District was working  on the Hill District Master Plan and my wife, Bonnie, was writing up the history section talking about the Hill as a neighborhood predominantly shaped by African Americans, there were white residents of Uptown who talked to her and were insistent that this legacy be reshaped in the Master Plan to speak in multi-racial terms. Terms that she thought (and I agreed) gave disproportionate voice to the multi-racial history in comparison to what we had lived and heard  (Bonnie living here her almost entire life and a mom born and raised here and my working and living here about 25 years). Ironically, when you enter Uptown from Oakland, you see it marketing itself as it’s own neighborhood and selling its real estate in the same manner with no reference to the Hill District.

A meeting participant shared a history of the Hill District that included a certain section of Uptown as African American called Soho and we discussed including that section in the definition of a Hill District artist. The thinking being that if white representatives of Uptown are not going to be consistent in their identification as being a part of the Hill District, and when they do identify they

Hill District artist, Kaceem Barnett

Hill District visual artist, Kaceem Barnett

want their participation to be recognized as white contributors to the history of the neighborhood,  then we should not include them in this definition of the Hill, while not penalizing African Americans

in Uptown who have long identified as members of the Hill. It may be that Soho no longer exists in this same way, but it was a way of defining a Hill District Artist using the first principle of the Master Plan and that is “Build Upon The African American Cultural Legacy.” If we took a vote today, mine would be to not include Uptown because I think it would lead to disparate benefit to artists who I have not seen as general participants in Hill District and because Uptown arts activities like the Gist St. Reading Series never seemed to me to see folks on the other side of fifth ave as part of their audience, but this will be a subject taken up a later point. Maybe some kind of positive, NAFTA-like, cross 5th Ave Trade Agreement?

The next step will be a convening of artists in mid April to share the data and conduct focus groups that seek to find out how the neighborhood can better support the creation of art by Hill District artists in general and how we can support more of it being made and made visible in the neighborhood. Can’t wait to see what folks come up with.

Still thinking of a Master (Arts) Plan

Rolling again on the Hill District Consensus Group Arts Plan! Meeting this Tuesday at 6 pm at the Hill House Kaufmann Program Center. One of the things we’ll discuss is what defines a Hill District artist i.e. musician, actor, dancer, craftsperson, painter, doll-maker, filmmaker, photographer, quilter, rapper, choreographer and infinity plus 1. The idea being that the plan should serve Hill District artist and so this category needs to be defined. Additionally on the agenda will be reviewing the data we’ve collected from more than 200 surveys and planning an artist focus group to be held in April.

We’ll propose this definition of a Hill District Artist:

She or he has always lived here
Was born here but raised elsewhere;
Was born elsewhere but raised here;
Lives here now;
Works for an arts org/company based in the Hill;

Looking forward to the discussion.