Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dancing Crazily for the Man

At this afternoon's council meeting, Councilmember Regina Romero named me Artist-in-Residence for the Ward One City Council Office. Yikes, sounds official and governmental. How am I supposed to be a literary activist when I have the blessing of The Man?

Happily, Councilmember Romero ain't the man. She's got wisdom and foresight, not to mention cojones: she hasn't read the manuscript. She didn't ask and I didn't offer. All she knows is that it's political and "racy" and controversial. She gives her support to the project and hands me a fancy-sounding title under the simple conviction that the artist deserves the freedom to make her art in the public sphere.

Coincidentally, tonight's meeting featured two other artists, both performing on behalf of TPAC's Arts Advocacy Network. It was great to have members of my tribe in the room tonight.

So, I did it. I read my Artist's Statement and launched the project. The line about the thing taking six years got a big laugh. As I suppose it should, because this idea is crazy. But half the people testifying at Call to the Audience are certifiable. There's that crazy hater Joe Sweeney; there's the sweet and befuddled crazy homeless guy who rambles nonsensically except for tiny moments of breathtaking clarity and intelligence; there's the self-appointed crazy preacher dude with a wig made of soda can tabs who talks about peace and love; and then there's me, the chick who's spending the next six years reading her novel three minutes at a time. Maybe I've found another tribe. 

I'm grateful for all the "liking" and "following" going on around here already. Thanks, everybody.

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