Open Letter to America's Artists: Calling all Filmmakers, Actors, Writers, Musicians, Dancers, Artists.
Now that America has voted for change, please consider your part in helping to show us how to do it – both on the national and on the local levels. You don't have to be a super-star. You just have to use your creative talents to bring out the best in our people.
America and the world need a new vision. I think that's why Barack Obama's win elicited such excitement around the world. The world is waiting for America to lead the way again, by living out our ideals and standing firm in the moral values that serve those high ideals.
Obama won't be able to make real changes on his own. Besides keeping our eye on the ball in Washington, we all have a responsibility to change our world. It won't be easy and it won't be quick. But we have to take responsibility for our part and change the way we do business and live our lives.
Artists have an even greater responsibility, because we are supposed to be the visionaries, memory-keepers and truth-speakers of our people. The 60s showed us that artists can change the world. Our music changed the way we saw ourselves, and it opened up iron curtains to create bonds with people who were our 'enemies'. It's time to do it again.
So don't strike the set yet, Steven Spielberg and friends. It's not enough to make a commercial to get people to vote. Don't walk away from the music now that Obama has won the election, Will.i.am and friends. Now please use your talents to inspire people around the world to think differently, believe differently, and act differently.
Why you? Because your ancient, archetypal purpose is to instruct, inspire, envision and yes, entertain. As C.G. Jung suggested, there are archetypes for all human endeavors, and one of the more important social or collective archetypes is the Archetypal Bard – the artist, storyteller and musician. This archetypal figure helps ground the group or tribe in a sense of place and purpose. All ancient cultures valued their storytellers as essential to the health of the tribe. The archetype of the Bard did not die with Shakespeare, but it did devolved into the stereotype of the entertainer. Now is the time to change that too.
All cultures had strong storytelling traditions before the invention of the corporate media. Storytellers and musicians entertained their listeners, but their role was to tell stories and sing songs to help their people understand the whys and wherefores of human life, as well as the life of the natural world around them. Stories and music educate the heart. Storytellers and musicians are meant to lead the way, to see what was, what is and what can be possible and then report back to the rest of us.