Friday, January 7, 2011

Big Projects to Watch 2011

Hey! It's 2011 and our fellow blogosphere denizens are putting big plans in motion -- and I'm going to tell you about them!

First up, RVCBard:
The second thing I'm working on is a Black womanist liberation poetics (or rather poiesis). If I'm honest with myself, this is more than likely a lifelong endeavor, but at the very least I'd like to make significant headway on the guiding principles. [...] The main idea is to start from one's own lived experience as the center then work outward from there.

I also want to avoid any dogmatic assertions about What Great Theatre Should Be and focus instead on what works and how.
Hooray! That last part was the part that made me really excited, because for the last year and a half I've been working on a theory of theories, basically built around that last clause: focusing on what works and how. But looking very specifically at what is or isn't effective in the realm of Black womanist liberation is, well, something completely outside my realm of background. So I'm eager to listen and learn.


Back when I talked about the inaugural New Black Fest, I noted the low attendance from non-minority theatre-makers. Immediately, the pushback came: "We didn't know about it! How could we come without an invitation?!? What are we, mind-readers?"

Horse Trade Theater Group (Erez Ziv, Managing Director, Heidi Grumelot, Artistic Director) will present THE FIRE THIS TIME FESTIVAL, a platform for talented early-career playwrights of African-American descent to explore new voices, styles and challenging new directions for 21st century performing arts, and move beyond common ideas of what is possible in "black theater."
Oh man, I so very much hope my calendar will allow for this to happen for me personally, but if not -- GO IN MY STEAD!

And lastly, Createquity:

Createquity.com, a blog and unique virtual think tank promoting next-generation ideas about the role of the arts in a creative society, is seeking talented arts policy writers and researchers for the inaugural Createquity Writing Fellowship.

[...]

Createquity Writing Fellows will hold the position for one semester (spring 2011), at the successful conclusion of which they will be welcome to continue writing for the site on an ad hoc basis. Fellows are expected to write two to three larger pieces and approximately two to five smaller pieces* during the course of their term. One of the larger pieces must be a write-up for the Arts Policy Library, a project that synthesizes important arts publications (research studies, books, etc.) for a lay audience.

Of all of the wonderful things that have happened to this blog, Ian Moss has been the greatest. Since we found each other on Twitter, and he first drove some traffic towards my site.

At the point when Ian Moss read my blog, I really felt I was just writing for nobody on this blog. There was nobody here, but I kept writing because I just wanted a space to develop my writing.

Then, having brought me into the conversation, where I've gotten to bandy words with all the other bloggers out there, he extended to me the chance to write an Arts Policy Library article for him. I leapt at the chance, and I'm happy I did.

The two pieces (one on The Search for Shining Eyes and one on Breakthroughs in Shared Measurement) are some of the finest pieces of writing that has my name on it. And for a large part, that's because of Ian's stringent eye as an editor.

To write at length, to have good and incisive feedback, and to have your trains of thought questioned during an editing process is not a luxury you get when blogging. Nor, for many young arts leaders, is it something available to them at work. Createquity is a space for that. I urge you to take advantage of it.

(And Ian -- I still have my notes for the third one I was writing... man I hope my life clears up a little so I can do more!)

There! Those are the big projects!

Unless you've got more I haven't spotted... I'd love to hear!

3 comments:

RVCBard said...

A theory of theories? Fascinating!

So is your approach going to be about which theories work and how?

CultureFuture said...

Basically, it's a response to the strain of post-modernsim that says, "Well if you can't know anything absolutely" (which I agree with) "then there's not really a way to value or judge art" (which I disagree with).

It's an approach to proposing, comparing, and (most importantly) validating ideas in the field, as well as an attempt to apply it to create a field guide to theater.

Oh and it's based on William James' 19th century philosophy of Pragmatism.

Ian David Moss said...

Thanks for the plug, dude. Would be happy to read more whenever you have the chance to work on it!