Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How to fight stereotypes

Set yourself apart. You don’t have to be like everyone else. Be different. Be bold. Be strong. Be courageous. Be informed. Be literate. Be progressive. Don’t let someone’s lower your bar. Keep your standards up high. Black people have a long history of winning through the most heinous of adversities.

Upon the celebration of Black History Month, it’s good to learn and reflect upon those that came before us and the trails that they blazed. There are examples all of progressive non stereotypical black people in every sector of business and life.

I am an artist. What motivates me is to be the best. To be different. I don’t want to what other artists have done. I want to do my own thing. I want to have my own style. My own voice. Yet I can learn from the past and present artists in various mediums.

I am Christian. I choose to be Christ like, of which is a driving force in my being. It’s is important that I adhere to the tenets of the faith wholeheartedly not passively.

I am a husband. I am a father. I am passionate about my family. I want to create a beautiful life for them. I want my children to be exposed to the very best that life has to offer. I want them to capitalize on every opportunity that fits their profile.

I am committed to growth. Everyday of my life, I want to grow. I want to become more. I want to become better. I want more out of life. And this is how I fight stereotypes.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Thou Shalt Keep Art in Thy Stimulus Package

We are all wondering if this 2009 stimulus bill will work. Who knows? Only time will tell. I’m offended that so many critics are making negative and disparaging comments about the National Endowments of the Arts being included in the bill. Personally, I know a few artists that make their complete livelihood based upon contracts that with arts programs in schools and theatres that are funded by the NEA.

I’ll call the people that I’m referring to…my friends. My friends pay taxes (sales, income, and quarterly business taxes). My friends make car notes, mortgage payments, and fulfill daycare expenses. If that is not enough, my friends buy groceries, and other things that they need or want.

To cut off funding for these contracts would hurt collaborating artists who are dedicated to the arts industry.

We can’t forget about the non-creative people who have jobs in a creative environment. These people, I’ll also call them…my friends; pay taxes, make car payments, buy groceries, etc.

In my most humble opinion, the people that suffer the most when unsupported, under funded, and non-stimulated arts programs are the recipients. I’ll refer to these recipients as…. friends, family, supporters, and young undeveloped minds that could create a new and improved marketplace based upon a creative idea shared from a professional artist.

With full-time, full fledged creative professionals, art is not merely a hobby nor an extra-curricular activity. It is a gift, a calling, honest work, a service, and a product.

In closing, I am thankful for every museum, gallery, theatre, coffee shop, school, library, hall, centre, and venue that I’ve even once stepped foot in. My life has be stimulated and enriched by artist from the past as well as those forging ahead in new uncharted grounds.

Art will and shall be important in America.