Welcome! Login | Register

Subscribe Now: Free Daily EBlast

 
 

Guest MINDSETTER™ Raymond Two Hawks Watson: Art vs Culture

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

 

So I’ll be honest.  The City of Providence does a tremendous job with promoting arts in the City. No one can take away from the tremendous work that the City of Providence Arts, Culture & Tourism (PACT) Department has done over the past decade to make Providence the “Creative Capitol of New England” and beyond.  Waterfire, Art Gallery nights, and more recently the 1st Providence International Arts Festival are just a few of the tremendous initiatives that help to promote the artistic vibe that justifies Providence’s reputation in this regard.  Like I said, the City does an excellent job with art… but what about the culture?

As a Providence resident, born and raised, I'm extremely concerned and disappointed that in a City with a majority population of people of color, coming from a diverse array of cultural backgrounds, and with the past two Mayors being of Latino heritage, that PACT continues to focus mainly on arts and artists of European heritage. In fact, for the most part only Eurocentric artwork is considered "Art". Everything else that's not Eurocentric is pretty much considered folk or cultural, which is foolishness in my opinion.  Am I to somehow believe that in this whole wide world, European culture is the only culture that has created anything that is worthy of the title of being called and treated as real “art”?  I mean honestly; it’s insulting.

Not only is PACT aware of these issues, but they made an attempt to address them last year by collaborating with AS220 to convene a discussion with cultural groups with the intent of developing a better relationship to better support their efforts and work.  This initiative was highly unsuccessful, in my opinion, as it was held in downtown, and as the majority of the attendees were older, more affluent white residents of downtown.  Not the best focus group for PACT to be getting feedback from on how to better engage more culturally diverse populations and organizations, in my opinion.

After voicing my concerns at this and a number of other community meetings, I was personally invited to discuss my concerns in this regard with PACT.  The discussion not only addressed my previously expressed issues, but also PACT’s need to support more initiatives directly in the City’s neighborhoods, where the culture already exists and is vibrant. Ultimately this discussion resulted in a request to assist PACT in connecting and working with cultural groups in this regard.  As I am always eager to make something positive happen for the City, I reached out to a number of my own personal cultural contacts and developed a list which I sent to PACT, with the understanding and commitment that we would collaborate to set an agenda to inform and assist the Department in this regard. Long story short, my contacts got taken, there was never any follow up from PACT, and yet we have just witnessed another "Arts" festival with mainly European artists, artwork and performers being held in Downtown.  What was the point in meeting?

Not only that, but PACT didn't even have the respect to acknowledge Donald King, former Director of the Providence Black Repertory Company, as the visionary behind everything that they're currently doing with the International Art Festival.  I mean, let’s just get to the truth of the matter; were it not for Donald King and the fantastic weeklong, groundbreaking cultural festival called SoundSession that he developed, there would be no framework or history upon which to build a Providence International Arts Festival in the first place… and that’s just the truth of the matter.  So to add insult to injury, not only does PACT not wish to concretely address any of the cultural concerns that are raised, they also prefer to cut out the cultural foundation of their current efforts, which is why we have another “Arts” festival being held in downtown that apparently everyone, but Donald King, had a hand in shaping.  SMH.

You know… it’s one thing to lie to me and take advantage of my willingness to support... but to not acknowledge Donald King and the impact he has had and continues to have on the artistic development of this City? That's unacceptable, in opinion. Where's the integrity or respect?  Oh that's right. Unless your artwork is Eurocentric in nature, PACT doesn’t feel the need to.

In the end, it seems that once again, we will have to organize ourselves and present an agenda for how we, as cultural groups, would like OUR PACT to support us, because apparently being a tax payer in the City doesn’t matter and apparently one on one discussions seem to fall on deaf ears.  Fortunately the City of Providence has fantastic individuals like Shea Rivera from AS220 and Elena Patino-Calderon from RISCA, who have not only been proactively working to address these concerns in our City, but who are also willing to collaborate directly with the cultural groups to better support their “non-traditional forms” of art work.  (How absurd that Native American culture is considered non-traditional or “folk” in the art world?  We were here first!  Who’s artwork could possibly be more traditional than ours in our own land?!?!?)  It’s because of individuals like this that I am confident that in some form or fashion, we will get this situation rectified. 

It’s just supremely frustrating that for a Department titled Arts, CULTURE and Tourism, in a city of predominately people of color, and with an expressed mission of ensuring “the continued development of a vibrant and creative city by integrating arts and culture into community life while showcasing Providence as an international cultural destination.” somehow, someway communities of color and cultural organizations still seem to get left out in the cold.

 

Related Slideshow: 31 Things to Do Every Sunday Until Football Season Starts Again

Prev Next

February 8

In case you missed it, the Boston Bruins are on fire. 

No better way to spend your first Sunday away from football than catching a historic NHL rivalry in-person or on television.

Montreal Canadians @ Boston Bruins 7:30 P.M. 

Prev Next

February 15

Head over to the Dunkin' Donuts Center to check out the future of the Boston Bruins. 

The P-Bruins host one of the top teams in the AHL in the Manchester Monarchs 

Providence Bruins vs Manchester Monarchs, 3:05 P.M.

Prev Next

February 22

Although both teams are absolutely terrible this year, the Celtics are looking like they can top their all-time rivals this Sunday. 

Brad Stevens is filling holes with rookies and it's paying dividends as the Celtics are in contention for a playoff spot. 

Boston Celtics @ Los Angeles Lakers - 9:30 P.M.

Prev Next

March 1

Check out Providence's newest professional basketball team, the Providence Sky Chiefs of the ABA. 

The Sky Chiefs host the Steel City Yellow Jackets

Steel City Yellow Jackets @ Providence Sky Chiefs 6 P.M. 

Prev Next

March 8

The Providence Bruins host the Worcester Sharks at 3 p.m. at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence. 

Watch the future of the Bruins as they make their push toward the AHL playoffs. 

Worcester Sharks vs. Providence Bruins 3 P.M.

Prev Next

March 15

Who's going to the big dance? The Friars? Rams? Could Bryant get in?

 The 68 teams that are going to the NCAA March Madness Tournament will be selected this Sunday.

NCAA March Madness Selection Sunday

(ESPN)

Prev Next

March 22

Meet just before the Jamesstown bridge and hop on board the brew bus and head to Newport Storm Brewery for a fun filled day of trying new beer.

For wine lovers, the tour also will make stops at the local wineries as well.  

Newport Brewery Bus Tour

Prev Next

March 29

The Sweet Sixteen teams are down to the Elite 8. Winners of these games go on to the Final Four next weekend.

NCAA March Madness Elite 8 Games (East and South Regions)

South Regional: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas

East Regional: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, New York

(CBS, TBS) 

Prev Next

April 5

The Cardinals will head to the newly refurbished Wrigley Field to take on the Chicago Cubs in MLB's Season Opener.

2015 Major League Baseball Opening Night -St. Louis Cardinals @ Chicago Cubs - 8:00 PM on ESPN2

Prev Next

April 12

Hello, Friends. 

It's the Final Round of the Masters at Augusta National. One of the single greatest days in golf.

Who will put on the green jacket?

2015 Masters Final Round - Coverage Time: 2 PM to 7PM

(CBS)

Prev Next

April 19

The Red Sox take on the defending A.L. East champion Orioles at Fenway park as part of their first home stand of the 2015 season. This is the final game of a three-game series before the Sox take off to Tampa to play the Rays.

Baltimore Orioles @ Boston Red Sox- 1:35 PM 

Prev Next

April 26

Head to PPAC to see the stage adaptation of Dirty Dancing. 

The play tells the classic story of Baby and Johnny, two fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds, who come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives.

Dirty Dancing at PPAC

Prev Next

May 3

For the first time in a decade The Edwards Twins back at the Greenwich Odeum. 

The Edwards Twins At Greenwich Odeum

Prev Next

May 10

Godsmack and Papa Roach at Mohegan Sun 

For Tickets: Mohegan Sun

8 PM

1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard, Uncasville, CT 

Prev Next

May 17

Enjoy an incredible trip along the restored Providence Riverwalk on one of the authentic Venetian gondolas.

Trips last approximately 40 minutes. 

 

Gondola Ride along the River Walk

Prev Next

May 24

Memorial Day Weekend- No better way to spend your weekend then to rock out to some great bands in Boston. This Sunday be sure to check out My Morning Jacket, Ben Harper, Tenacious D, and many others!

This is the final day of a 3-day event.

Boston Calling Outdoor Concert at City Hall Plaza in Boston

Prev Next

May 31

Get a different view of the city by taking a tour of the Providence river and Harbor. Captain Tom will point out historical landmarks and other points of interest. 

 

Providence River and Harbor Tours

Prev Next

June 7

Final Day of French Open 

"The French Open may be the most demanding of tennis' Grand Slam events. The famed red clay courts of Roland Garros Stadium in Paris slow even the most aggressive players, making for unpredictable and exciting tournaments."

(NBC)

Prev Next

June 14

KINKY BOOTS this inspirational story follows a struggling shoe factory owner who works to turn his business around with help from Lola, a fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos.

The play has won 6 Tony Awards including Best Musical. 

Kinky Boots at PPAC

Prev Next

June 21

Final Round of the USGA  U.S. Open

Live from Chambers Bay, University Place, Washington.

(FOX)

For more information, check USGA.com

Prev Next

June 28

For comic book collectors and fans, a trip short trip Worcester would be well worth it for a chance to bolster your collection. 

MASSive Comic Con

"Massive Comic Con will be coming to Worcester, MA, at the DCU Center, on June 27-28, 2015! Don't miss out on seeing a variety of pop culture, comic, and cosplay guests, as well as panels, contests, parties, gaming tournaments, artists, vendors and more!"

For tickets, checkout Massivecomicon.com.

Prev Next

July 5

Celebrate the day after Independence Day on your couch cheering on the U.S. Women's Soccer team (hopefully) in the World Cup Championship.

Championship Game of the Women's World Cup

(FOX Sports)

Prev Next

July 12

Final Day of Wimbledon Championship

Live from London, England

For more information, check out: tennistours.com

Prev Next

July 19

Final Round of the PGA British Open Championship

$9.2 million purse

St. Andrew's 

For more information, click here: The Open Championship

(ESPN)

Prev Next

July 26

Newport Folk Festival

An outdoor concert experience you will never forget!

For more information, click here: Newport Folk Festival

*Performances Not Announced Yet

Prev Next

August 2

Boston Comic Con

http://www.bostoncomiccon.com/

"The Boston Comic Con returns to the Seaport World Trade Center for a three-day show fromFriday July 31 to Sunday August 2, 2015. We're excited to announce our first confirmed guests: Brian Azzarello, Frank Brunner, Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Humberto Ramos, Don Rosa, and Robin Lord Taylor!"

To purchase tickets, click here: Boston Comic Con Tickets

Prev Next

August 9

Rhode Island International Film Festival

Providence, RI

http://www.film-festival.org/index07A.htm

"One of the top 10 Short Film Festivals and Top 10 International Film Festivals in the United States. The RIIFF provides the kind of intimate festival experience that will change your life. Don’t miss it. "
- Chris Gore, author of The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide, 2nd edition

Prev Next

August 16

Final Day of U.S. PGA Championship

The final major of the season.

Live from Kohler, Wisconsin

Whistling Straits-Straits Course

(CBS)

Prev Next

August 23

The Boston Red Sox will host the defending American League Champion Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park.

Royals @ Red Sox- 1:35 PM

Prev Next

August 30

From the creators of the record-breaking Broadway sensation The Producers comes this monster new musical comedy Young Frankenstein, playing August 19 thru September 6.

 

Young Frankenstein at Theatre by the Sea

Prev Next

September 6

Labor Day Weekend- No Work Tomorrow!

Spend the day however you please. 

The next 17 plus Sundays are dedicated to NFL Football.

 
 

Related Articles

 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

 

X

Stay Connected — Free
Daily Email
 
:!