Wednesday, September 19, 2007

taking the blog off the back burner

this blog has definitely been on my back burner... there is so much that i want to say & document, but it's suddenly getting harder to find time. which sucks. because i've been going through the past few days with all of these crazy big thoughts in my head, and what i need most is to sit down and process it all.

yesterday was a big day for me.

i went back to roland park with my cap class for the implementation stage. in response to our first visit (and our interest in the schools there in particular) we developed a project titled: "a neighborhood called baltimore." i was so excited... a chance for me to create something from the ground up in a totally new place & actually put it in motion and see what happens. it's the closest thing i've got right now to what being part of avondale student leadership last year was for me. i'm talking project planning, fun design stuff like logos & t-shirts. totally up my alley. but doing it here at mica has forced me to reevaluate it all. here i was shoving project planning and "smart" goals down everyone's throats. maybe it's the overall idea of those tools that needs to guide me. the project planning piece is a comfort zone for me. in high school it allowed me to be independent and anal and a perfectionist. understandably, the community arts mentality is more organic. good. i shouldn't lock myself into a structure. i should let go. (i love how that keeps coming back up. such a good guiding philosophy for me right now. it definitely helped me in drawing last monday when fabienne told me to "let go.") what happens when i shove those methods out the window and allow something to develop naturally? i guess i'll see.

the best part about the roland park trip was having one on one time with fletcher. i love that man. it was the first time since i've been here where i've had someone be completely honest with me about baltimore and mica. i sat soaking it all in until the mica shuttle came back and we had to leave. the conversation started with the latest baltimore newspaper report of six people being shot & killed over the weekend. add that to the number of homicides in the city since january 1, and you get a whopping total of 223. (i've been here for more than a month and it's the first time i've heard that number. the power of the mica bubble. and the ability of people to filter what they want to know. i thought it was interesting that the naacp is asking people to post the number on a note card in their windows.) it's understood that the crimes are mostly drug related involving black youth. (there was a kid at the gatehouse monday night who was curious about why we were cutting out cardboard houses. he was genuinely interested. and expressed how important he thinks cap is. he's a baltimore native... and frankly stated that he considers baltimore to be a third world country. he'd been to colombia and seen the drug trade there. and he said it was hard not to see similarities in the two locations. yes, it's extreme... but at least he wasn't so wrapped up in making art that he became completely apathetic to what is around him. i want to talk to that kid again.) how does it get to this point? fletcher explained it simply... as a perpetual frustration & complete lack of hope. hope doesn't fit into the hip hop culture. how do we fix this? i know it's not an easy question at all... that's why i'm still bothered by the conversation and my mind's still racing. (i'm frustrated that assignments are getting in my way. i hope it still means something when i actually have time this weekend. why is it always that i get going on stuff like this and something pulls me back? like having to study like crazy for calc after meeting jennifer granholm.) but the most promising thing to come out of the conversation was the realization of the power that art has. the only thing is it needs to connect with other realities. fletcher was honest in saying that he has no faith in the political machine. but he does have faith in community. which reinforces my hope that community arts has the potential to be a powerful tool for impact in baltimore.

by the way (if you couldn't tell from the picture above) i'm still drowning in post it notes. and it's still a good thing.

1 comment:

jessica swanson said...

Becky- I love your blog. Seriously I've never met anyone here who is like you...ya know, inspiring and stuff...and it sounds like you're having an amazing time at MICA. I started my own- you should check it out. Yesterday i posted my first photos..

cant wait to see you.

also- check your mailbox in days coming up :)