KEEPING DETROIT A VIBRANT CITY
THE ARTS IN AMERICA
This week’s blog will be a plea to get authentic voices to enter into a conversation about the importance of art and jazz in our community. I have never been without art. I have been surrounded by beautiful designs and sounds. Everything I touch and buy has been designed to please me. Much of my life will be lived within plans designed by others. How my sight lines are broken and varied has been thought out by someone I don’t know. I can only hope that they have some some sense of design in their background.
THE ARTS IN DETROIT
ANTOINE DE LA MOTHE CADILLAC
“Cadillac returned to Quebec, then traveled to Montreal where he gathered canoes, farmers, traders, artisans, soldiers, and Native Americans to accompany him on his quest. The men set sail on June 4, 1701.” Wikipedia
Cadillac was in many ways a scoundrel. He made up his name to conceal his past. He was best known for selling booze to the Indians. On the plus side he did have an adventurous spirit and a sense of art which seems to have lasted in our imperfect city.
Detroit is not a blank canvas. Detroit has a rich history that started with its design. It was to be one half of a spoke wheel. It has a center and ways to get to the center It also has a large part of its boundary on a constantly changing river… pretty good design! Someone had Paris in mind which was our good luck. Detroit is a city with a lot to say, with a lot of planning to do and a lot of creative minds.. What we need to keep art/design in our lives are more paintbrushes, musical instruments, paid instructors and support for the arts.
TROUBLING TIMES FOR THE ARTS
Every few years Congress gets it in their heads that unnecessary programs need to be cut out of the federal budget. The first on their list usually is Public Broadcasting Corporation. This is smart because only PBS and NPR will generally inform us about who is on the list to be axed. Always mentioned second as the most unnecessary will be The National Endowment for the Arts Usually the arts and science programs that are selected have already been cut to the bone. Not only are the savings to the public negligible but most of the programs create revenues and add quality to our lives. These announcements are mostly symbolic and an appearance by Big Bird on the Senate floor eventually and thankfully shames the legislators into inaction. Even so…
THE ARTS MAY SOON BE GOING ON THE ENDANGERED SPECIES LIST
I have always been interested in the influence of the arts on society and the influence of society on the arts. Intertwined in all of this is how education is often affected by the arts and how the arts are dependent on education. The children are often the first to lose art and music programs.
The arts are like weeds growing up through the cracks in the sidewalks. The ones you sometimes step on. Some of these weeds flower and still we step on them. They are deemed unnecessary, until there are no more flowers. That is what Big Bird is telling us when he shows up in the Senate.
Even as creative types are streaming into Detroit we are shedding music and art programs in our schools. Just as the Chinese are adding arts programs to better compete we are told we can’t afford arts programs. The Chinese were tired of reproducing other folks’ ideas and began to get their creative juices flowing by including the arts in their curriculum.
LET ME KNOW HOW YOU FEEL
I would like to start a conversation to see if I am right to be concerned. Together we can seek out paths to assure that one of Detroit’s biggest assets, its creativity, is secure.
I know a lot of jazz artists are spending time with young musicians and many more would jump at the opportunity to teach the next generation. On this blog we can talk about what programs work and what still needs to be done. Let’s share good stories and pass them on. Join the conversation by leaving a comment or email me at email@example.com.
GRETCHEN VALADE AND THE DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFÉ WILL DO ALL THEY CAN TO KEEP THE ARTS IN DETROIT AND HELP DETROIT REMAIN A VIBRANT CITY
THIS WEEK AT THE DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFÉ
Skeeto Valdez returns this week after leading his Fun House Band at the Dirty Dog last week. He will bring his unabashed good nature and solid drumming to join up with Chris Codish and the Chris Codish Brothers Groove.
Call the roof repair guys!
CHRIS CODISH BROTHERS GROOVE
MARCH I – MARCH 2
Freddy will be under the new roof to calm you down.
MARCH 2 – MARCH 3
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