How Artists can take the Occupy Movement to Main Street
The great mystic William Blake said, "Artists will be the priests and priestesses of the new age'.
One way to creatively grow the
Occupy Movement is for Artists to Occupy Main Street -- not with sit-ins and
protests, but by occupying the minds and hearts of people back home with the
real stories of our times. These stories
can counter the corporate media's stories of fear and divisiveness by showing
us how to create a possible future of peace, prosperity and community.
I'd like to call on all Artists to
unite and bring an inspiring vision of the future to our people. We can
no longer wait to get a spot on American Idol or to get our film shown
at Sundance. The time is now. We are being called upon to
make a difference.
Artists can play a vital role in the
Occupy Movement if we band together. More than others, artists must get
involved in bringing a new vision to our society. That's part of our archetypal job
description! But we have to do it together, as a tribe.
Our art can bring our progressive vision to our local communities,
to where people's lives are impacted. If artists can unite and work
together to inspire people, we might convince people that we can bring about
change on a systemic level, and then to educate people on how to do it.
We need to bring the Arts back from their exile from our collective life and bring people another story -- a true story that will wake them from the collective sleep of consumerism and work. Americans have been distracted by the "capitalist dream' of owning unlimited material possessions; and now that we can't afford them anymore, Americans need to re-discover what is really important to life. Artists can evoke that.
When artists Occupy Main Street by banding together, we can create a celebration, a "happening', a mystery play that will tell the story of our times and of our communities. This is our chance to focus our artistic vision on the local issues that reflect how our unfair economic system has impacted our towns. If we create a compelling story using dance, music, the visual arts and acting, and then take it "out on the road' during the summer, we stand a good chance of reaching more people and growing the revolution in a peaceful way.
The Occupy Movement has helped us band together all over the country. We've gone in front of the world to say "Shame on you" to Wall Street and corporations. Now it's time to bring home just how this imbalance in our economic system has deprived every one of their basic rights to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness'.
The Importance of the Right Story
Facts can horrify us and leave us hopeless. If we really understood the full import of the facts of climate change, we'd probably hide under the bed! We seem to have lost our directions on how to heal a planet. That's why we need stories and the Arts -- to give us ideas and inspiration about how to face what seems like insurmountable challenges so we can create something new.
Artists can create artful magical, mystery plays in our communities this summer. Our ancient myths and legends contain a lot of wisdom. They can help us tell the story of our times by relating what people did in the past when they had to stand up to tyrants, to disasters, to change. When we express what we believe through our Art, we speak in the heart's language about real issues. We are more likely to convince people to stand up if their hearts are in it.
The most important issue then becomes what stories to tell. Archetypal stories set out the patterns that can help us overcome obstacles. These "big stories' contain symbols that are like magic talismans -- they can open people's minds and hearts to understanding and transformation.
So the stories we choose as the basis for our artistic vision will shape what we create: stories about inequitable wealth and greed affecting freedom and equality, and creating homelessness and poverty; the strength of group endeavors; about toppling tyrants; about honoring our water, our Earth, our desire for Peace. The theme should revolve around what is happening in your community -- water issues, food issues, homelessness, pollution, foreclosures, education/ children. Find the issues and then find the archetypal stories that speak to that issue.
It's time for Artists to take up our
archetypal purpose -- to be the visionaries of the future. It's time
for artists with a vision to go into our local communities - performing
in libraries, at festivals, at artistic venues like First Fridays - to give our
people the chance to hear this alternative story of hope and possibilities and
to give them tools to create political change. Otherwise we leave them at
the mercy of our corporate media's story of fear and control.
We need to focus all the energy that we'd expend by occupying Wall Street and put it into creating this "happening', this mystery play, this traveling school for freedom. Let the Muses inspire us to tell our "one story' - the story of all of us together.
get our acts together and do it! Who knows? This might be our destiny this lifetime -- to wake
our people up from their collective slumber.
How to Structure Your Artistic Council
Here are a few ideas on how to get the ball rolling.
1. You need a council of 6 people -- 3 women/3men -- to create the structure. 6 is the number of balance and harmony between masculine and feminine energies. Two triangles intersecting and creating something greater. In Mathematics, Six is a unitary perfect number, a harmonic divisor number and a highly composite number, which means it's about balance and harmony.
2. Composition of Council needs to include: 1-2 Wise people as spiritual guide and group healer -- ritual needs to be part of this endeavor; an Archetypal storyteller/ mythologist; a Director to make sure the whole thing gets coordinated; representatives for dance, music, visual arts, acting, fire spinners, etc.; an activist who's been working on the issues.