We are at a crossroads here in Vallejo. While our city council deliberates whether to declare bankruptcy, or not, I can tell you one thing for certain, the state of the arts remains in the hands of the people who create.
Whether we are in an official bankrupt state or not, the arts are never first in line for the cash, and are first to get cut from the budget when it gets trimmed. Don’t get me wrong. Listen and Be Heard Weekly nor Listen & Be Heard Poetry Cafe applies for or receives any money from the City of Vallejo. Of course city policies effect our business and our ability to produce arts events, but at this juncture the City Council would do well to look for ways to be as creative as the most ingenious artists amongst us to find solutions to our common problems.
Here are some basics worth understanding:
The only person who can get something out of nothing is the one who has the ability to create something new.
The only way to create something new without spending any money is with labor and the materials at hand.
We all have materials at hand, no matter how humble they may appear to be.
To put things in a different perspective consider this. We have complaints about the conditions of the schools that our children are compelled to attend. Conditions could be better. But our children, here in Vallejo, are not compelled to work in gold mines for a pittance of food, or to carry machine guns, or to perform sexual favors. In some other parts of the world, these are the things that parents fret and cry over.
But nothing stays the same. A sure way to see a change for the worse is to act as though nothing will change, to complain and cast blame without creating anything at all. There is no universal law preventing the disintegration of our own society or city.
So my advice is Communicate! Get Busy! Create something New and Contribute to the neighborhood, the community, the city, the country, the World, simply by making the decision to be a part of progress.
Here at Listen & Be Heard Poetry Cafe we work hard to Create an atmosphere where you can Listen and Be Heard, Contemplate and Create and come away with a new attitude about tomorrow. This Friday will be celebrating the African roots of culture and society with poetry, comedy and the beat of the drum, the dream, the drum, the dream.
I hope that you will join us.