Truth? It’s hard to write about the arts, as I intended, when Hurricane Dorian is pummeling toward the east coast of Florida, where a bunch of my loved ones live (and about which I wrote in Issue 2 of this newsletter). On the other hand, it’s getting to the point where the arts are all we’ve got left, it seems, and maybe they’ll help us move forward in new and exciting ways. They are needed now more than ever (and, in fact, I think we’re about to enter a true Golden Age of the arts). Here’s why:
Artists help us see things differently;
They help us imagine a better world;
They foster empathy;
They open minds;
They provide alternative platforms for expression, that can then lead to needed action.
And if there are things we need right now, it’s that. All of that.
I’ve been away from my arts for a bit this year, I miss them, and it’s time for the life-affirming joy of creating again. That’s why I’m back to writing books in the dark of early morning (fiction this time). (See my published books here.)
I think I’ll just show you some street photography of artists, ok? And we’ll end with a little poem from a few years ago, instead of sticking to this newsletter’s headlines. I’m not in the mood to write about how Jakarta is sinking into the sea and the entire city is going to be relocated (and how Miami, New Orleans, and other coastal biggies may not be far behind); or that 65.6 million people have now been forcibly displaced around the world (with only about 1% of them ever permanently resettled), including about 40 girls between the ages of 11-18 at The Global Village Project, which is the only school specifically for refugee girls in the world (and where I just attended a 4-hour volunteer orientation and training, including a session on trauma because of what these children have been through). Yes, creativity is needed to deal with these issues, but today they just feel heavy.
So, that’s that (or as my mom always said, “period, amen, end of story” when she was trying to shut sh*t down). This is our eighth and final issue. I originally created this newsletter in case I got the Peace Corps Jamaica thing so I would have a concise way to do monthly updates over the next two and a half years while abroad in service. Since that's not a go (heartbreak!), there's no reason to continue it (since I already have a blog). But we covered a lot of ground, and it was fun. As usual, I’m always evaluating quality corporate, nonprofit, and editorial writing opportunities.
Thank you for joining me on this journey, especially to those who subscribed (this newsletter enjoyed a 65% Open Rate; FYI, a good Click to Open Rate is considered to be 37%, so maybe we were onto something here). I mostly liked designing the covers, if you want to know the truth. Here’s the alternative one I designed for this week. (Pssst: I actually don’t know why hope endures, but it does, and I do continue to be hopeful. David Byrne, who has a new website called Reasons to Be Cheerful, and I hope you are, too.)
Trust the journey,
* I didn’t get to write about busking, as I intended on the cover of this week’s issue. See here and here for a couple of little posts about that. You may also enjoy my 10-Step Plan to Put Paint on a Public Wall. Bottom line: watch out for overly-restrictive noise ordinances and previously-public space that’s now private as both of those are leading to the death of public expression of artists (and everyone). Also, keep your eye on “gentrification by art.” We’ll talk about that more another time, somewhere else . . .