Sunday, December 7, 2008


I love this! My friend Akbar posted this on Facebook. It is such a good example of people making art that is modern and edgy without being cynical. In fact, it's freakin' uplifting and inspirational.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hey 52% of CA, You Can't Stop the Beat!

This is one of my favorite theater songs of all time. God Bless Hairspray. Let me not fake like I am cool. This is one of my favorite songs period.

And, in the wake of the devastation of Prop 8, I believe that the 52% of folks in CA who voted yes on this horrendous proposition need to check out these lyrics. They need to know that, no matter what they think they have accomplished this week, that ultimately, they "can't stop an avalanche as it races down the hill..."

Friday, October 31, 2008

Growing Real Food is Genius

Will Allen, Founder and CEO of Growing Power, has just won the MacArthur Genius Grant. This man is my new favorite hero. Talk about creative. Sometimes, creativity comes from going back to basics.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pain in Happiness | Happiness in Pain

Sometimes I listen to this podcast from the Meditation Society of Australia. It's actually pretty helpful because each podcast comes in both lecture format and in guided meditation. So, it appeals to both my head and my heart.

Given my post yesterday about the sickness of the world, this podcast REALLY helped me today. One of the themes was about how happiness is not without pain. With Jennifer Hudson deep in my thoughts these days, I am hoping that she will eventually be able to connect to a spiritual place that will allow her to continue to celebrate her life's successes. Even be even more creative and powerful as a result of so much pain. Let's all keep her in our prayers. And let's support her new film...a spiritual story about transformation from what I remember reading the book.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tears for Jennifer Hudson | Tears for America

I don't know Jennifer but I wept for her today. I, for one, am grateful that Obama took some time out of campaigning to send his thoughts to her and her family. Of course, the anti-Obama folks thinks that he is just trying to get more exposure by doing this. That's just ridiculous. He may not be the president, yet, but he is a national leader and this is a national tragedy that he has to address.

This is not a national tragedy because Jennifer Hudson is a celebrity. This is a national tragedy because it is just one more sign that American society is imploding. I am not the doom and gloom type. I identify as a proud optimist and have supported Obama from the primaries because of his message of hope. I believe hope is a key ingredient for creativity and that creativity makes real change. But change is only possible if we, as a society, recognize that we are sick, why we are sick, and that we need to get better.

Check out what Jared Diamond says about societies collapsing on For some reason it is not letting me imbed the video here so check out the link.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Arts & Youth Development in Action | Young Men and Mosaics

As I have written and spoken about many times before, youth development is a simple concept to understand but, for some reason, it is very difficult to fully integrate its practices at a program or organizational level. I think it's because it requires that we as adults really look at our own stuff and work through our blocks around what young people are capable of. We have to not be afraid to let them go out there and do real work that has a real effect on the world. At the same time, we have to set very clear boundaries with very high standards for them to operate in. This balance of freedom and structures is hard for us to implement with young people because we often struggle to find this balance in our own lives.

I love when I see dead on examples of what positive youth development really looks like in practice. I often find that the most effective programs are related to arts. And it's not just my bias. Check out this video. It's about a community arts project involving young men creating mosaics in juvenile hall in Baltimore. It runs about 12 minutes...