Sunday, July 04, 2010

Think I mentioned some posts back that there is nothing more satisfying to me than to become incorporated in someone else's art ... .

It was so with the Shotgun Players when the opportunity arose to assist young playwright, Marcus Gardley, in the development of a new play, "This World in a Woman's Hands" ...  and I got to piggyback on the artistic achievement of an important young playwright of an exciting theater experience.  It was so when the Richmond Art Center's program of community arts made possible a multimedia-event that allowed me to work with a young high school male student; or with author Summer Brenner's presentation of "Where I'm From", a visual arts exhibit that placed elders with teens in a show that is still traveling about after two years.  It was so when I was invited to participate as one of the subjects for 4 young women from Richmond High who produced a wonderful video while learning their craft and -- in some cases -- forging a potential career path. And it was so when Director Kathy McCarty cast Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues with those remarkable local actors and moi earlier in this year of surprising adventures in the Arts.

There have been other times; but none more rewarding than a leisurely Sunday morning spent with muralist, UCLA Professor Judy Baca, who has been commissioned to create an important work for the City of Richmond.  

The video below is an example of her work which is boldly exciting with an appeal that transcends boundaries and enters some realm that unites us all in her experience.

Professor Baca was in town meeting with community people in order to find some direction from which to create what promises to be a work of national import.  She invited me to the Richmond Arts Center one morning last October to talk about what that focus might be.  We talked for what turned out to be 4 videotaped parts of a conversation that is now available online in several places.  During that talk the concept emerged of "extraordinary ordinary people" (my description of that heroic generation of Richmond's migrant workers of WWII) -- has been adopted as the theme of the work.  I've not yet figured out how to add the link so that it is accessible here.  Meanwhile, you might try Judy Baca Betty Reid Soskin Vimeo which may bring it up if you're interested.  Maybe www.richmondmuralproject will work as well.

I learned only a day or so ago that the conversation had been posted online; though it has been many months since it occurred.

Meanwhile, I'm going to run this Danza de la Tierra video again just to bask in reflected glory!

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