Monday, October 14, 2013
I have really been snowed under here, and so have not had a chance to write about all of the cool things that have been happening. I am going to try to catch up a bit here, starting with a couple of weeks ago.
Imagining America is a confederation of socially-engaged artist, community groups, and scholars that do really good work all over the country. This year the annual conference was in Syracuse, and I was able to do a workshop in the shop here at school. Four of us (two professors, a post-doc PhD, and the director of a not-for-profit in Chicago) spent some time in the shop, and everyone came out of it with a playable instrument! We made versions of what I am calling the "Ten Mile Banjo," the one that was the very first instrument that I made and that I played at the Kennedy Center with Dance Exchange. They are three-string instruments and are pretty easy to make. A little funky to play unti you get used to it, but a lot of fun once you do.
There are several ideas behind this for me: One is that we all need to spend more time making things. Another is that it is even better if we are making things out of stuff we find around us every day. A third is that when we do this kind of work together, it strengthens our own sense of being a part of a creative community.
I have done a couple of other workshops, which I will post here as time permits. Precious little time in the shop lately, a lot of time on the road. But it is all good stuff, in my book.