Statement by Josh Windmiller of The North Bay Hootenanny, read at the festival…
A couple weeks ago, we participated in a weekend of music, art, and poetry at the Arlene Francis Center in Santa Rosa. The event was hosted by 100 Thousand Poets for Change, an international organization that is based out of Sonoma County.
It was a great time – we had performances from Hootenanny favorites Andrew Maurer, Hannah Jern-Miller, Katie Phillips, Catfish Jack, and the Jon Gonzales Stringband. We ended with a great public jam session. Also, I (Josh Windmiller) read a statement from the Hootenanny that outlines some reasons why we were participating in the 100 Thousand Poets for Change movement. The text of this statement is below – take a look…!
The North Bay Hootenanny and 100 Thousand Poets for Change
I am very happy to bring the North Bay Hootenanny to the 100 Thousand Poets for Change event today. Thank you, Michael and Terri, for inviting my organization to this weekend or poetry, music, and much more.
Through the Hootenanny, I am trying to do my part to make the North Bay a place for music. We envision a community where people of any age can access the joys of music. These include the physical and experiential joy of witnessing live music within your community, the hands-on joy of picking up and instrument, as well as the intellectual joy of understanding how music works and the deep roots of music and music-making that run throughout all history.
I believe that projects such as 100 Thousand Poets for Change are gifts to our community, and we should recognize these gifts and thank the people who bring them into our lives. 100 Thousand Poets for Change represents a groundswell of grassroots movements comprised of passionate people working collectively to make changes in their world. I am glad to see this kind of organization in the North Bay.
Thank you, 100 Thousand Poets for Change, for giving the artists in this community an opportunity to come together and create a homegrown weekend of expression and merrymaking. The Hootenanny would like to recognize the work you are doing in our community, and state four areas where we particularly find resonance with your project:
· Music as an Integral Part of Community – I believe we both recognize that music, while entertaining, not just entertainment. The expression of emotions and ideas in music is important in combating alienation and in creating an atmosphere where people feel empowered and excited to engage in their own lives and the world around them. In this way, music is integral and should be found in all the corners of our communities. It should not simply be displayed in the areas where people traditionally go to find entertainment. With its important role as a tool for communication and inspiration, music should also be supported financially and otherwise by the greater community.
· Musical Communities are Built From the Grassroots – I believe we both recognize that the people can make their own musically active communities from the ground up, without waiting for permission or funding from corporations, governments, or other large-scale organizations. We can build an active music community on a local level through a combination of big projects and events, through everyday actions, and through ongoing use of the media.
· Solidarity Among Artists – We also appreciate 100TPC’s focus on the global. I think that both of our organizations seek connections and commonalities among the many musicians in the world who working in different communities. It benefits us all when we recognize that there are artists doing the same thing all over the world, and when we reach out to one another to show recognition and solidarity. This includes solidarity with the many artists out there that are suffering different consequences for their art. This can be through outright censorship or imprisonment of artists, or through the subtle pressures a society can put on its artists by eliminating funding and otherwise pushing artists to the often beer-soaked edges of the culture.
· Crossing Disciplines and Cultures – I believe that both of our groups share a focus on bringing more people into a common community of music-makers, often transcending traditional barriers to do so. Genre, language, and culture are important elements of music-making, and are not barriers between artists. We can create a community that encourages participation across disciplines and cultures. In fact, facilitating communication between artists can help create a more active musical scene through the artistic process.
I urge people connected to the North Bay Hootenanny to check out and participate in 100 Thousand Poets for Change in any way that feels right for them. I can assure that the North Bay Hootenanny will be working to get word out about their events, and we will participate whenever possible.
– Josh Windmiller and The North Bay Hootenanny
April 7th, 2013
Poet Jessica Wilson reports! Los Angeles visits Santa Rosa http://europawynd.blogspot.com/2013/04/los-angeles-at-100-thousand-poets-for.html
The Arlene Francis Center, Santa Rosa, California