Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The one thing I liked about the DNC

Well, technically, there were two things: Our editors generously bought food for reporters, so I saved money on meals. But I'm thinking of the artists who came from thousands of miles away to make their points.

Local artists were everywhere, as you'd expect, and their work at Legacy Village grabbed the eye. Yet people came from across America to try to be heard over the din of protesters and politicos.

I'm talking about Julie Winokur, a Montclair, N.J., documentary-maker who interviewed people throughout the  RNC and DNC for "Bring it to the Table." She wants that piece, which will be accompanied by Webisodes, a participatory online platform and a community campaign, to "bridge America's political divide and inspire civic engagement." (Details:

Or Andrew Purchin, an artist and psychotherapist from Santa Cruz, Cal., who hopes that "on Inauguration Day on the Washington Mall, 1,000 or more people in white jumpsuits and orange hats will be quietly making art, no matter who is president and no matter what the weather is. These artists will neither be attacking nor defending. They will be...reflecting, innovating and creating." (Details: )

Or the pair from West Los Angeles, one of whom dressed up as a gopher to speak for a project that has been years in the making: to persuade the federal government that land donated in 1888 specifically to house and assist U.S. veterans should indeed be used for that purpose now. Metabolic Studio has linked political activism and art in ways too numerous to mention here; see for details.

Two things strike me about these and similar projects I encountered. First, they're non-partisan: They want to get members of both parties behind what they perceive as useful goals.

Second, these folks are filled with hope and want to share it. That, too, has been in short supply in a political arena filled with bickering, degradation, dirty tactics and obstructionism. But these artists understand what America is supposed to be about: optimism and a search for common ground. More power to them.


Anonymous said...

The one thing I liked about the DNC.....when the liberals left this town!