Monday, April 27, 2009

Visioning tonight, Regenesis/KKG withdrew, plus Art & Politics

The icon to the left belongs to popsicles+handgrenades, a blog by political artists, Jorge Arrieta and Dominique Arrieta.

Dear People:
Council will be meeting tonight in a joint meeting with the Miami Township trustees to begin the next steps of our visioning process with the finalist firm ACP, based in Columbus. The meeting will be tonight at 7 pm in the Bryan Center

Originally, this was to be a discussion to decide which of the two finalist firms we should hire to help us complete our visioning, but late last week, Regenesis/KKG wrote us a letter explaining that they were voluntarily withdrawing from consideration. They did not feel they could do the work we wanted given the constraints of our budget.

This may be a very short meeting, but the process is very important. Please plan to attend.

I have received a lot of useful feedback regarding the banner issue after the article from this week's Yellow Springs News. I am thankful we live in a town that attracts and nurtures serious artists (whose actual art may, of course, be whimsical!), and that there's passion to defend the arts, and freedom of artistic expression.

Thank you for keeping me mindful of this critical value, and for offering constructive help on how best to ensure that freedom.

Here's a poem about arts and politics, by the Polish Nobel Prize winner, Wislawa Szymborska:

"Children of Our Era"
by Wislawa Szymborska
Translated by Joanna Trzeciak

We are children of our era;
our era is political.

All affairs, day and night,
yours, ours, theirs,
are political affairs.

Like it or not,
your genes have a political past,
your skin a political cast,
your eyes a political aspect.

What you say has a resonance;
what you are silent about is telling.
Either way, it's political.

Even when you head for the hills
you're taking political steps
on political ground.

Even apolitical poems are political,
and above us shines the moon,
by now no longer lunar.
To be or not to be, that is the question.
Question? What question? Dear, here's a suggestion:
a political question.

You don't even have to be a human being
to gain political significance.
Crude oil will do,
or concentrated feed, or any raw material.

Or even a conference table whose shape
was disputed for months:
should we negotiate life and death
at a round table or a square one?

Meanwhile people were dying,
animals perishing,
houses burning,
and fields growing wild,
just as in times most remote
and less political.


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