The International Connection

A couple hundred years ago, news traveled slow. Families separated by space were separated by time, writing and receiving hand written and delivered letters. Speed up to my own childhood, when a call to Europe or South America was a long distance call that was a little costly, and a letter would still take at least a few days to arrive. Speed up to today. This morning I received e-mail from Heather Haley in Vancouver, Canada and Jorge Luiz Antonio from somewhere in Brazil within a minute of each of them hitting the virtual send button.
Continue reading “The International Connection”

Arts and Politics

I watched as much as I could stand of the presidential debate last night. I had to quit early anyway to host the weekly Listen & Be Heard Radio Hour. (You can listen to that show by clicking on “October 7” in blogtalkradio player in the right hand column of this page.) Of course Arts, Arts Education, Culture, these topics aren’t important enough to enter the discussion when everyone’s worried about their bank accounts and where in the world to shoot bullets. But it is the Arts that will sustain us even when the stock market fails and our sons and daughters die in foreign lands. It would save us all a lot of pain and sorrow if we would pay closer attention now to the world we are constantly creating around us. Continue reading “Arts and Politics”

Is this a letter or a journal entry?

Looking over my letters from the editor of the last few weeks and even months, I can see that much of it has been progress reports mixed with my musings about progress and motivations too. For a moment or two I questioned myself, and then I decided it was OK to be sharing some of the nitty gritty of what I’m doing from day to day. I figure that I’m somewhere in the middle in terms of technical know-how and understanding. For those who know more than me, I can be entertaining with my mishaps, and remind those with mastery how the rest of us perceive what’s happening as we learn. For those who know less than me, I can be encouraging. I am demonstrating how it is possible to continue to learn and apply new techniques toward manifesting creative goals. Technology of all kinds is becoming more available all the time, and can be a useful tool if we choose to use it.
Continue reading “Is this a letter or a journal entry?”

Learning to work with available tools.

Last night I hosted another live internet radio show. I thought I had my act together, but the reality was that I did not. Part of the broadcast was not being heard, because I had not properly thought through the sound input sources from my computer. When I was informed that nothing was really happening (by my husband listening in another room) I understood in a flash what was wrong. Live and learn. I’m uploading an edited version of the show as I write this column, which I will broadcast again later today. Mistakes and all, I’m having fun! Continue reading “Learning to work with available tools.”

A Listen and Be Heard Wish List

The greatest resource we have is ourselves. Our creativity is boundless. Even a little effort can go a long way. When we combine our energies there is often a synergistic reaction. Here at Listen & Be Heard Network Headquarters we’re looking for a few people to contribute some consistent and positive energy in a few different ways. It’s all for the cause of listening and being heard, so if you feel it, make it real by contacting me and moving forward.

  • Volunteer TV Camera Person(s) wanted for Cable Access production. Listen & Be Heard Network plans to record and air a weekly arts news program. Volunteer must live in the vicinity of Vallejo, CA, USA and be available for studio work one morning a week for two hours. If interested please send a cover letter and resume to Martha Mims at editor AT listenandbeheard DOT net.
  • Volunteer Weekly Arts news producer/announcer. This could be one person, or two or three working as a team. The video would be used in the Arts News TV show, and the audio would be extracted to use for the radio show as well. Content would be taken exclusively from the latest posts at Listen & Be Heard Network Arts News and summarized into brief announcements. This spot could be filled locally using the local tv studio, or it could be provided by someone anywhere with the tech knowledge/ability to share computer files to accomplish the task. The total running time for announcements will be about 10 minutes each week. If interested please send a cover letter and resume to Martha Mims at editor AT listenandbeheard DOT net.
  • Volunteer Columnists, Reviewers, Editors. I’m always looking for some good fresh content to amplify, illuminate, educate and entertain visitors who come to Listen & Be Heard Network for all things having to do with all the Arts. Whether it is the latest indie film review, a treatise on the state of the arts, a recipe or an artist profile, please go ahead an query me with your idea. If you’re looking for some editorial credits, this is a moderated site. That means that every article that gets published gets read first. If interested please send a cover letter and resume to Martha Mims at editor AT listenandbeheard DOT net.

Do you make a living doing that?

Last night I hosted a radio show about the state of the arts. (Listen & Be Heard Network Radio, every Tuesday night at 8pm.) I mentioned an experience I had recently when I went to a party and someone asked me “what do you do?” My answer to that question tends to be different every time I give it a whirl. So this time around I said I was a writer, a poet. The next question was inevitable. It doesn’t seem to change no matter what my answer to the first question is: “do you make a living doing that?”
Continue reading “Do you make a living doing that?”

ode to poetry

in the space

of twenty four hours

murder and mayhem

starvation and deprivation

slavery and struggle

compete for glory

as the world turns. Continue reading “ode to poetry”

Communication and Concentration of Creative Construction

None of us created the world we were born into. We didn’t get to decide what kind of talents we were born with either. You could argue that those of us who have chosen to create art in all its myriad forms, were destined to be creative artists. Or you could argue that anyone who spends the majority of their time “working” on things that don’t generally turn a profit, is not fulfilling their destiny, just crazy. What’s the point? Why do you put enormous energy into pulling off yet another theatre production? Why do you shell out more money for more paint supplies? Why do you keep going to poetry open mics or writing books that never make it to the New York Times bestseller list? Surely it’s not for the money.

I’ve been thinking about money lately. Who doesn’t think about money whether they want to or not? Those printed pieces of paper that are only worth something because we are told they represent worth, they cause a lot of heartache either way. If you have too much it transforms the people around you. If you don’t have enough your life can become a tragedy. This system that we were all born into here in America dictates that if you are ambitious about producing and presenting big arts projects you will have to go out with your hat out and ask people, companies, corporations and governments for money, because your work will not have any dollar value on its own. It’s time to get away from all that and find a different way to manifest what must be expressed.
Back in the nineties I wrote a few grant applications for a not-for-profit that required many hours of preparation, and gave no assurance that there would be a reward at the end. Many not-for-profits operate solely on budgets with strings attached to foundations and other charitable entities. The arts are nothing but a charity in the United States. Few public school children get any kind of arts education these days. Even less people even seem to care. But I care. And if you’ve read this far, you care too. It occurred to me that one thing we can do as a group is begin to think about ways to operate without money, or beyond money or even in spite of money.
Last week I brought up the idea of an international event on the scale of the Olympics, for the Arts. Now I know this is a far stretch, but can you imagine if it could be mounted without any corporate funding? Could it be done without asking anyone for money? Maybe, maybe not. I do know that it would take cooperation and creativity. When we talk about a concentration of power, we are usually referring to a concentration of resources which a few people have control over. They’re the ones who get the lion’s share of the money that’s in circulation. What do artists have? The power of creativity. Creativity is a great resource or renewable energy. It’s also the thing that can get us out from under the boot, and elevate the artist to an appropriate stature in society.
What do you think? Should the government solve our problems? Should corporations solve our problems? Can we communicate with each other and create new avenues for freedom of expression? Please join me on Tuesday, September 9 at 8pm PST, for a call in radio show discussing the arts and arts professionals in today’s world. You can also start a new topic or join one of the existing ones on our bulletin board. I will refer to suggestions and ideas posted on the bulletin board during the radio show, and use the bulletin board as a tool to continue the discussion between each second Tuesday of the month radio show.
Wishing you Peace and Poetry
Martha Cinader Mims

ode to authority

most everyone

 

 

has the authority

 

 

 

to do

 

 

whatever they can get away with Continue reading “ode to authority”

Changing and Changing Again

The internet has only been around for about ten years. I didn’t grow up with a cell phone or a laptop. I still wrote my essay assignments in high school by hand. I still have a writer’s bump on my right middle finger to prove that I wrote some long essays. I read books, old books, new books, used books, trashy books, great books. I listened to records and spent time looking at album covers. Sometimes I went to the library. Being into artistic type things, dreaming of being a writer, I was warned that I wasn’t likely to make much of a living like that. The same was true for teens like me, definitely not jocks, or physicists either, all across the country. Continue reading “Changing and Changing Again”