A New And Different Voice

Posted 4/14/2011 by smartblackboy in Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

I am not old yet – although I sometimes feel like it. I think that is what a freelance approach to life does for you. I never wanted to specialize in anything, but at a young age (15) I was taken with ideal of the “renaissance man” as presented by Baldassare Castiglione in his book The Courtier. I needed to be an Eagle Scout, hit an open jump shot, paint well, write well, lead people, date beautiful girls, go to church, have interesting friends, understand political debates, and know how to make a great cocktail. I fervently believed that like our patchwork country, my patchwork quilt of knowledge, experiences, and skill sets would lead me to some paradise of exceptionalism – a select club of interesting people where everyone knew just enough.

However, in the pursuit of broadness how can you mean anything? If you are always something or someone different – who are you? What is the true goal of the renaissance ideal?

The answers to these questions often change for me – but in the case of the Dallas Art Scene – the answer is quite clear. The goal is to act.

We shape meaning by what we do – the care we put into the planning, the success we have in executing. Recently a Creative Time report has the local arts community buzzing. Unfortunately those buzzing are the old, familiar (and desperately needed) voices and individuals who have gotten us this far.

What about the new and different voices – those needed to step up and take us to the next level? I believe they already exist – I have long been impressed with what I call the underground art scene of Dallas: those shows that exist in people’s homes and other alternative spaces. I have lived off of these shows – they give me life and hope. The young people are making art and dancing and drinking and having a pretty good time. Yet to be honest the kids aren’t quite alright.

The Metroplex breeds talent and I think this happens precisely because there isn’t a huge built up art-critical complex. An artist is more or less left alone to make their art and find their own way without any real pressure or expectation for instant success – and that can be a very good thing for a young artist. However once these same artists do find their way, and start making art that merits further consideration – then Dallas suddenly transforms into a cultural quicksand, slowly crushing the artists aspirations and passions until the only thing they want to do is leave Dallas as soon as possible.

It is not quite that dramatic, but some of the best young talents in Dallas do feel a need to leave this city in order to pursue their artistic lives, and that is not good for our art scene. Also a lot of these people are my friends (or could have been my friends) and so I take it personally. Plus, I don’t want to wake up one day and be like – forget Dallas I want to be where the people are.

So this idea of needing new and different voices in our creative dialogue is very personal to me – I want to hang out with other interesting and creative people. And the secret is most young creative people feel the same way. The hardest part is how do you get them to find each other?

We have a young creative extended happy hour. We have it on a Friday. It goes from 8-3 a.m. There is free alcohol. There are a couple DJs. There are places to sit. Walls with paper that you can write or paint on. We do it once a month. It can be sponsored by a major art organization each month (Nasher, DMA, SMU, UTD,etc). The key is that there is no agenda besides being a place where young creatives can meet each other – a place where you can have fun – have drinks – and know that everyone there is an artist. We would want it open to all genres of artists. Poets, musicians, visual artists, dancers, glassblowers, film folk, jugglers, etc. People could share if they wanted to share. Or not. It would be whatever people decided they needed. It would be home.

I am going to reach out to the DMA, Nasher, and SMU to see if anyone is interested in helping with this endeavor. Either way we will have our first Young Creative Meet Up in May at 1111 Gallery (unless other people get involved and have better resources and ideas). I have no problem investing my time, energy, in making this happen, because I believe only good things happen when young creative people consistently get together. I believe this is one of the top five things that can change the future of the arts in Dallas.

If you are interested in helping with this idea or have any feedback or suggestions feel free to leave a comment, facebook me, or shoot me an email (Darryl@greenbandanagroup.com).

Why You? Because there is no one better. Why Now? Because tomorrow isn’t good enough.

I hope you join us on our journey.

0 comment(s) to... “A New And Different Voice”


Free Blog Counter