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The Purpose of Art Day, by Becky Mate

Becky MateThere are a lot of arts events around the world, and this is fantastic. Our culture is the richer for it.

Art Day is special, like icing on the cake of other events. It is not designed to help a cause. It is not designed to make someone rich or do fundraising for a group. Although people have fun at Art Day, it is not a trifle pastime.

Art Day gives the reins of the culture to artists and says, “I trust you to create from your heart and soul. Our world counts on you doing YOUR art. Your unique viewpoint and perspective and voice and skills are desperately needed by our civilization.”

It is generally understood that the arts educate, enlighten, enrich and entertain us. Add LEAD us. I would encourage artists to recognize their role as leaders who have in their hands to take the culture where they want it to go. LEAD THE WAY! The styles of Hollywood show up all over the world. Scientists and engineers use fiction work to devise technology only dreamed of by a writer. The better side of Mankind can be viewed in galleries and on stages throughout the world.

As Cass Warner says, “I do believe that everybody has an opportunity to make change in their own way, and if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more and become more, then, you’re an excellent leader.”

It is a happy coincidence that doing something so profound as celebrating Art Day is also so much fun!

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AFABW Interview with 2x Grammy-Winning Record Producer, Robin Hogarth

RobinHogarthsmRobin Hogarth has been the Director of the St. Hill International Arts Festival in England since 1997, and the Executive Producer of the South African Arts Festival, in Johannesburg, since 2000. The purpose of these arts festivals is to help rehabilitate art ability, and to help forward the dream of a brighter future through the arts. Robin has also been a record producer for over 20 years, specializing in indigenous South African music, world music, and music for film and television. Robin was born in England, and resides in Johannesburg, South Africa as well as outside of London. Robin was interviewed, via email, from his studio in Johannesburg, South Africa in March 2004, by Artists For A Better World (AFABW) President, George Alger.

AFABW: What role do you believe the artist has in the world today?

Robin: The artist plays a crucial role, I believe. The truth of it is, as L Ron Hubbard says, “A culture is only as great as its dreams, and its dreams are dreamed by artists.” Think about that. Is it really true? Sometimes one has the image of an artist alone in an ivory tower or garret, feverishly creating his art on a very self-absorbed basis. And certainly there is the element of very individualistic creation in great art. But the truth is, I believe, that art contains the crucial element of quality of communication—does it reach people? And great art does and always has. So now you move into the area of the impact it has on others, and we know this can be huge. Britney Spears bares her belly button, and a world of young girls do the same. On a more spiritual level, the Beatles get interested in Eastern philosophy, and there is sudden wide interest in this area.

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AFABW Interview With Multi-Platinum Singer/Songwriter, David Pomeranz

DavidPomeranz153David Pomeranz’s multi-platinum selling songs, recordings and concert performances have delighted and inspired millions all over the world. He has written hit songs for the likes of Barry Manilow, Bette Midler, Kenny Rogers, Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi and scores of others. David was interviewed, via telephone, from his home in Clearwater, Florida on Feb. 7, 2004, by Artists For A Better World International (AFABW) President, George Alger.

AFABW: David, any advice you have for artists, of any genre, who wish to create a better world through aesthetics?

DAVID: Create from the place that is really big and encompassing and spiritual and beautiful. Write from the “you” that you really are, as much as possible. I know I risk sounding like some kind of cockamamie “New Age” guy when I talk like this. But really – I’ve found to really make a better world – one which is mired in complexity, losses, sadness, anger, apathy and worse, “you”, as the artist, need to stand there as the world, and communicate as the full-blown God-like person that you are and most have forgotten they are. We are spiritual beings and it’s something the Media doesn’t usually like to promote. Why not create from that place that is natural. It’s not natural to be cynical.

Television and Newspapers pump tons of glib, jaded, flip, “been-there-done-that”, “seen-it-all-before” viewpoints into our homes. Some of it might be entertaining, but it doesn’t make the world better. It’s just more part of the “problem” instead of the “solution”. In my opinion, an artist’s job is to be part of the solution! That doesn’t mean that you have to write only about “great”, lofty ideas. You could write about burnt toast or coconut ice cream. But you just do it from this loving beingness that you are. People are basically good: bright and playful and kind and appreciative of beautiful things. We are extraordinarily powerful and vital creations. For thousands of years the major religions have been telling us we are made in God’s image. Well, that ‘s us – made in God’s image, so why not get on with it.

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“Poetry’s Future: The Medicine of Choice?” by Tracy Lynn Repchuk

Tracy RepchukIt seems in a day and age of technology, data streams and portable entertainment, it is no wonder how the quiet, speculative words of poetry fail to penetrate the public and awaken the passion within.

In a society where war, violence, crime, hate, insanity, and aberrations consume the airwaves, it is a miracle that we ever pick up a book. Especially those that are tucked away in the far reaches of a store and invite you to enter worlds filled with fantasy, love, romance, delights, and dreams.

As the Canadian Federation of Poets President and Founder, I have personally watched a trend that pushed poetry back to the coffee houses and educational institutions where clusters gather, from the global and national cohesive cord that it should be. From this unnerving discovery I put into motion a campaign that would eliminate the misconceptions of this enlightening medium, and return it to prominence. While on this journey I made some observations that poetry could remedy with the proper education and execution.

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“Your Art and Your Day Job” by Harriet Schock

It’s almost a joke line, “Don’t give up your day job.” It usually means “Whatever you’re trying to do, you’re not good enough at it to make a living, so don’t give up your day job.” First of all, Charles Bukowski kept his day job at the post office even after he was highly respected and making money as a poet. There is a case to be made for day jobs, like having money for demos, not having to give up your publishing, not having to make creative compromises, etc. And just because someone keeps it, that doesn’t mean he’s not good enough at a creative endeavor. He could just be smart. But this article isn’t about how keeping your day job could benefit your career. It’s about the converse of that.

I believe it’s important FOR your day job, as well as the rest of your life, not to give up your art and your dreams. I’ve had a number of students tell me that they wanted to write songs but their day job required so much time that between work and their families, they gave up the writing. Of course, that usually happened ten years ago — during which time they aged about twenty years. They then come dragging in knowing there’s something terribly wrong and wondering if it could be a good idea to start writing songs again. Not only is it a good idea, they should have never stopped in the first place. As I said in my article (now a chapter in my book), “WRITING IN SPACE,” songs are not written in time but in space, so you can’t use the old excuse that you have no ime. That won’t fly.

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