Midtown Brews Conversation Transcription Thursday November 6, 2008 “Branding Stories of Humanity: Art, Advocacy and Global Networks”

Illustration: “advocacy,” by Illustrator, Ralph Solonitz Links: http://www.livestream.com/midtownbrews/video?clipId=flv_b019737c3dcc-40c6-bfd7-bbca9f2a37d7 http://www.livestream.com/midtownbrews/video?clipId=flv_be9150a85201-4831-9e00-723772d9d8e5 http://www.livestream.com/midtownbrews/video?clipId=flv_35196360 86345409931 Gloria Ferris: I want to welcome everybody to Midtown Brews conversation. There is somebody missing tonight and that’s George with his pod casting equipment so this one will not be pod cast tonight he is working late on a project for his day job. So, we’re going to go strictly with video tonight which is good, but you need to make sure to project so that, remember Speech 101? Or your Drama classes, or whatever, so that we can project. And before we start and talk about our topic tonight we usually talk a little bit about Midtown Brews and I’m going to ask Dennis Coughlin, one of the Founders of I-Open to
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explain a little bit about why I-Open became a partner with Midtown Brews and how we’re all here tonight. Dennis Coughlin: Good evening I’m Dennis Coughlin from I-Open. IOpen’s corporate name is Institute for Open Economic Networks. We’re a non-profit corporation begun in 2005. And we started because we believe there is a need for new behaviors in economic development in Cleveland, in particular and in the United States in general. So, we are actually working across the United States teaching new behaviors such as collaborative behavior, talking with each other and being open and honest and the like. But, we do teach what’s known as Open Source Economic Development, which is based on sharing best practices, and open and honest communication with each other. Midtown Brews began and it grew out of a program called Midtown Mornings. We were working with entrepreneurs in the Midtown area of Cleveland, which is Midtown-St Clair-Superior, so we are sort of a parent of it, but actually its on its own and does whatever it wants to do. Again, my analogy is it’s like a child, but actually its grown into something wonderful – a grownup that does whatever it wants to do. We’re still associated with it and we still think it’s one of our…and so anyway that’s what we do and we do work across the United States in Open Source Economic Development and helping entrepreneurs get started. Gloria Ferris: Okay, well, thank you all for coming and this has been kind of a stressful, hectic kind of week for a lot of people, in fact even our featured guest tonight is coming off a one hundred page program review so we’re going to give her a little bit of rest, but all of you, introduce yourselves as we always do. Now, the teacher in me, but our topic tonight is “Branding Stories of Humanity: Art, Advocacy and Global Networks.” So, I have three questions, you can answer any one of them or just say, “Hi, I’m so and so…” and move on to the next person. There’s no pressure here. So, the first question is, think of an example of a piece of art that has spoken to you, something that has really spoken to you and has an moral issue, or just a beauty issue, or however that would be. The other one was, “Why did this Midtown Brews intrigue you and why did you come tonight?” – well, that’s the
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third question – “Who are you and why did you come to the Midtown Brews?” So, we’re going to start with our host, Andy Halko, the founder of Insivia and whom we always thank for hosting this Midtown Brews. Andy Halko: Well, all right, you’re putting me on the spot, thank you everybody for coming to Midtown Brews. The topic…I think it’s an interesting one, I’m not necessarily an expert in it, but obviously we do marketing and branding, so I understand that part, but I think that we’re dealing with advocacy and social issues that branding is hugely important because it can shape what that issue is. I don’t know, I think our recent election is a pretty good example of a good brand and those sorts of issues so, that’s really all I have to say. Gloria Ferris: That’s a good point. [Unintelligible open discussion] Ralph? To you, Sir. Well, wait a minute, I want to do a little intro to Ralph because Ralph is a cartoonist who, if you go to the Midtown Brews site you will often see the social commentary that he puts there through his art works. I’m interested to hear what you have to say Ralph. Ralph Solonitz: Well, I love doing the political cartoons but what you call a branding or logo I have found to come up with an identity for an event or an issue is very powerful and I have done a few of them where I don’t think everybody remembers, “Till They All Come Home”? During the Gulf war? With a double ribbon on that. But that to me is a military support group button in front sort of symbolizes that. When the Browns left Cleveland I had “Dog Gone” - that came out of it. It seems like if you can come up with a visual…after doing a lot of the Kent State commemorations…so, like the May 4th Task Force comes up with a theme and then I’ll design something that goes with that theme. But the visual is something everybody identifies with and I find that if you put it on a button, people put it on their chest, they say, “This is how I feel about this issue.” Dennis Althar: And, if you feel strongly you can get a tattoo.
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Ralph Solonitz: Exactly. Dennis Althar: It’s just a permanent button. Gloria Ferris: Okay, Dennis, now would you like to introduce yourself? Dennis Althar: My art piece is my speakers…Virtual reality speakers. Gloria Ferris: This is Dennis Althar, the inventor of the Copernicus Speaker System. Dennis Althar: Reach out, it’s real. Reach out and touch them. I came because of the pizza. Gloria Ferris: Okay. Sir? Mark Kohn: My turn? Mark Kohn, with Hiram College and I cofounded…I talked to you? The Center for Literature, Medicine and Biomedical Humanities. So, I live here, I live in Shaker Heights, in town and interested in hearing what folks are doing, if anybody heard WCPN, the last two Friday nights, Radio Play was my most recent project. Kurt Vonnegut play called, “Fortitude” …that’s some of the work I’m doing. I’m particularly interested in the intersection of the arts, bioethics and citizen engagement in terms of envisioning out biotech and bioscience future. Gloria Ferris: MaryBeth, I’m going to hop over to you. MaryBeth Mathews: I’m MaryBeth Matthews…one of the things I do, I’m a teacher for the Cleveland School District, I teach at Max Hayes Vocational High School, which is an industrial trade school in Cleveland. I’ve been teaching forever and something else I’m also involved in and partner in a small manufacturing company called Work Holding Tools and Work Holding Tools for C&C machines. Let’s see art…I think the most moved I’ve ever been by any work of art
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was the Viet Nam Memorial. That moved me to tears and I could not stop. Gloria Ferris: Laura? Laura Wright: Hi, I’m Laura Wright and I’m a web designer here at Insivia and my brain’s been kind of going non stop since I started thinking about this topic…but I’d say that art that particularly moves me and its usually situated in a particular context so, right now I’m thinking of listening to this one song driving through Ithaca…and it was just really pleasant, so it’s the relationship between where you are and place and where it is you are observing something and taking part in something. Gloria Ferris: Okay. Dennis, now I’m going to come back to you and now you’re speaking as Dennis, an individual. Dennis Coughlin: Hi, I’m Dennis Coughlin and I’m actually a seventh generation Clevelander and so I grew up living in the University Circle area, so all the museums and all of that wonderful landscaping and buildings and everything else, sculpture, so there isn’t anyone thing that I find…but I do like everything that goes on in University Circle, Parade the Circle is just such a wonderful thing to see. All the things that are created there and the involvement of people and its that civic engagement piece in art that I find really quite moving. Gloria Ferris: Susan? Susan Altshuler: I’m Susan Altshuler and I’m also a Director of IOpen. I’m here because, well, I’m here because I’m part of the program but I think, well we started this program to bring people together to talk about creative industries, technology and energy, that was our first focus and since we began we get some many wonderful programs and so many great people here and I think this is such a wonderful place to learn new information and everyone’s been so generous to inform us about things they’re working on and we would like people to continue coming to these programs but working outside
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of these programs to get things going where they’re interested and find out what other people are interested in so they can start getting projects going so they can start building Northeast Ohio. So, I feel that this is an important platform to have. Gloria Ferris: Kevin? Kevin Cronin: Kevin Cronin, lawyer in Midtown and active in theater as well as Cleveland Bikes, a small non-profit that works on promoting cycling in Northeast Ohio as effective transportation, healthy recreation, as well as sports. For my art, I’ll choose, Picasso and his Bull; which, if you’ve ever seen, all it is, is a bicycle seat and the handlebars turned up from the horns and it was remarkable feat of creativity to look at something so mundane and simple as a bicycle seat and decide that what it really is a bull’s head, but he – anybody who looks at it afterward realizes that he is obviously correct. So I was always amazed by that simple leap of creativity and think that that creativity that we’re all very capable of is a very beautiful thing. Gloria Ferris: Thank you. Toni? Toni Chanakas: Toni Chanakas. Graphic design. So, for me when you are talking about logo – that’s what I love to do and that’s what identifies people with a certain look. And I think of, go back to the computer, the Apple, the Mac, and FedEx – are great logos. Artwork that moves me…again, I think that Picasso, but I like the La Vie, the blue, the big blue…because there are so many things, concepts within that piece. That’s what I like. Gloria Ferris: The man sitting beside her? Mark Batson: Mark Batson, I am a life long Clevelander, but I’ve been engaged with I-Open since it first started about three, four years ago. I’ve been working in health care for the past four or five years, health care and technology. Right now I am Executive Director of the Policy Bridge, a local public policy and think tank. When I think about art though, I think, in response to your questions about art, I think
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Renaissance artists…a friend and I just on Election Day, you can really get some neat shots of Cleveland with 70 degree weather, fall colors, t-shirt, sunshine. So, those were my treasure shots. You may not get shots of people in shorts and all, but… Gloria Ferris: Frank? Frank Mills: Hi, I’m Frank Mills and I want to apologize for leaving early but I have a meeting I have to go to. I’m an urban psychologist slash psycho-geographer turned organizing. I’m here because a certain young lady bugged me over there behind the camera. Actually, when I walked in – the art – it was interesting, because you asked the question, I was drawn to the picture up there of celebration – for a number of weeks, I’ve just kind of been in that kind of mood all week so that just kind of… Gloria Ferris: Jon? Jon Eckerle: My name’s Jon Eckerle and I’m first a realtor part of the day and the other part I work on the Observer Project which manifests itself in the Heights Observer, Lakewood Observer. And, it’s really not a newspaper, its about some things that have been influenced, this meeting itself…Valdis Krebs, Ed Morrison, Hunter Morrison, Richard Florida… about developing communities through social networking software and developing platforms and infrastructure for people to interact on a hyper level and the passion is developing a sense of community, fighting sprawl and the tension that draws us all wonderfully in our world, makes it so that you don’t know that name on the street. And so what it’s all about is trying to use the facility of the local infrastructure on the web to influence real life, communication, face-to-face things that are happening. Getting out from behind the computer. And it’s just a fascinating concept that is really just happening here. It’s like an advertising agent target and it’s just growing and growing to the point where we’re going to be able to need a lot of input to be able to pull it off. But, about art…what I want to say, you know like developing the artists XX17:46 tends to be fragmented …the art community, it’s the same thing, but what I
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particularly enjoy is, art like at Millennium Park in Chicago, they have great public works art, that you see kids running through water and they have a giant, I’m sorry the name escapes me, this giant egg that – the Bean – just a mere bean, looks like a mirrored brain that’s about two stories tall, and everyone who comes there they’re playing with it but they’re also interacting with the person next to them. I think we need to develop lots of different kinds of structures because the art that comes between two people is really what’s a lot times what’s precious and what’s missing in our local life. Gloria Ferris: Bill? Bill MacDermott: My name’s Bill MacDermott, I’m an alternative energy ‘crazy’ whose also interested in solar and wind. Art moves me. I don’t know to XX because I don’t know how to answer, because I don’t know where good design stops and art begins. Do we need artwork? Well? Do we need the computer? Well? Do we do graphic design? Well? All of it becomes art, and, I’ve seen my share of artwork. One of the ones that was most moving was when I was recently at Kentucky Knob, and that’s famous and just a drive from here. It’s one of the houses that my friend Lloyd Wight. The person who owns it - and I don’t know exactly who he is – but he is a gentleman, a person with some money, who lives, artistic, XX the gentleman who owns it XXX20:05 acquired a bunch of pieces of art – large art – and put them in the XX so that when you come down from seeing this XX you come down through the woods and there’s some pieces of artwork along the way and then there is artwork up in that XX. Some of the things I saw there were most of your XX so how things work is just as interesting as the fact that they are there. One of the most interesting is the Rips sculpture, small XX and they go up about six feet and they kind of touch each other because they’re anchored in they’re own special concrete, the resonance sets up, the tapping, the noise, sends a resonance like a sitar where you have all those strings that resonate as the originals apply and you get this whole humm from the fact that some of these are touching. There’s also a piece of the Berlin Wall there – that wasn’t just a piece thrown in, [mbrews nov pt2] XX because I have pictures of but the actual
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piece that XX and graffiti XX here’s this that was part of the Berlin Wall, now let’s display this piece XX design, taking one thing that had one function and turning it into another function. So, I was also thinking that the art that was back in the 60’s XX whole bunch of public art there, and coming down here tonight I passed XX and to get on a soap box and XX art has a habit of pushing technology XX various things and what I would love to see XX but you really need to see something XX I’ll sponsor a competition, I’ll give XX a number of students XX – It’s just a suggestion. Gloria: Tim? Tim Ferris: Well, what a group. It’s amazing, the depth and breadth we have here. I’m Tim Ferris and I’m married to Gloria. By profession, I’m a broker and a planner, I’m in the ultimate liberal art profession in that I have to go with that and take money and life style and health and integrate everything, connect everybody. And, it’s not just about money anymore, it’s not just about planning – it’s about what you’re talking about. And I get so much out of these sessions and everybody’s been so good the last two, just kind of blew me away I want to keep the rift going. I don’t really know any art in particular that moves me but all art moves me I love graphic art. I remember in 2005 before we were in competition, I was carrying around the Blue Robot card – the fabulous Blue Robot card – and just in awe of the little dots that made this robot. How long did I carry it around? Half a year? The same thing: “Look at this!” “Look at this!” I love the XX stuff. Regular commercial graph card. And Bill brings up a good point: Where does the commercial stuff end and the true art start? I think it’s interesting. When you talk about Dennis’s story with the speakers, those huge seven-foot speakers and actual take the sound – and I’m not a music or sound person, but they put the sound in the middle of your head somewhere. But, as I said, what a bunch. Dennis Althar: You know the best compliment they can make in electronics? Is if your stuff is the “state of the art.”

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Gloria Ferris: Yes, that’s true. How interesting. Technology, creative industries, kind of come together…“state of the art.” I mean to ask Michael whom he is and then I’m going to introduce our guest for tonight. And, she is going to introduce some of her students. But, I think Michael is a good segue into Pat, because he is a Professor at CIA, the Cleveland Institute of Art. Michael Lehto: Thank you. My name is Michael Lehto. I teach at the Institute of Art and I do teach communications now but one of my interests in actually in fine art and particularly how I think some of the XX considerations are how art and advocacy really works because there are so much subtleties that came out of really the kind of interface art but also the subtle stuff that happen too and I think that that interplay between that of what is sort of shocking versus what is so subtle of XX for instance, a very subtle piece that, but an amazing template piece that you can enjoy on many levels. And that’s where I find myself a lot, thinking about those things and trying to work at that zone. A particular piece that really spoke to me was the Carl Polk social XX that happened just this year, which was, if anybody remembers it, was these bulletin boards, forty foot bulletin boards all over the city and it was created from public input and so the public came and gave ten words to describe the city and he chose out of a random lottery he chose these things and he put the bulletin boards up all over the City for a pretty measly $50,000 – that’s how much the project cost – to do and he made an impact all over the City and had a web technology presence as a part of it. So there were many components that went into this thing to describe the City you need to live here and to create a certain art space for that to live in around the City. Gloria Ferris: You know what, Betsey; I’m sorry Pat I said I would go to you. Betsey, how about you stepping out from behind the camera and I am sure you have an example of art. You may have one very close to home to your heart. Betsey Merkel: Hi, I’m Betsey Merkel and I’m with I-Open. Let’s see, I’m also a trained harpist and working for quite a long time in a
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different form of art – performance art in music and did extensive work in working with small ensembles, touring. And so, my arts cape is really audio. But I’m really, really intrigued with and really awed at the awesome depth of knowledge, as Tim was saying, and diversity of knowledge that’s here. I think that our opportunity as a region is to invest in the exploration of the intersections of all of these different wonderful sectors that come together, whether it’s art and technology, or if it’s visual arts, audio arts, interactive technologies with civic engagement…to really more sharply and clearly define what community priorities are. What are they for a region? And I’m convinced that they’ll be transformative and that’s what we should all be investing in. Gloria Ferris: I’m going to bring this over to Pat very quickly, but there’s one thing I saw today on one of our – I think everybody here looks at REALNEO at one time or another, and Laura posted today that our City is listed as the fourteenth best literate City in America, of the top Cities. Tim Ferris: Is this Laura the librarian? Yes, but who posted it? Gloria Ferris: Norm, did…While, our library was rated number one and we had three libraries in Ohio in the count. Cleveland, was number one… Jon Eckerle: Lakewood? Gloria Ferris: No, this was another study. Literacy. How literate a city is. I think it was Cleveland – the copulation of all the libraries. Toledo was number three and Cincinnati was number five. So, and I think literacy comes – you can tell – the depth about knowledge about art. Because being a literate city does not mean you only read, you put it all in music, art, the visual arts and tonight we are very lucky to have Pat Fallon, the head of the Art Department, she’s the head of the Art Department at Ursuline College. And, our topic, as I said before is “Branding Stories of Humanity: Art, Advocacy and Global Networks.” And I believe that Pat would first like to introduce her students who
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came with her to join in this conversation. And then I would like her to talk about why art and advocacy is important to her. Pat Fallon: Well, I’m really going to talk about what I just heard and respond to you…Kristen [Baumlier], who spoke at the same conference I was at in New York is kind of a mover and shaker and I have with me some students who I hope will also do some of the talking. This is my mignon, my work study student, my advisee for years, Stephanie Kasza, she’s a big shot senior and next to her is Jaime Hall who is a print maker, a painter, she does ceramics as well. And then next to her is Susan Gibbs who is a phenomenal artist and also like myself a Grandmother, so, we run the gamut and we’re all doing advocacy in our work in some way or another. I am amazed at this group because one of the things that we’re really proud of at Ursuline is that we do not define a line between what we view as personal art, commercial art and fine art – it’s art, if it’s good it’s art and if it’s bad there’s nothing worse than bad art. So, we are very strong on that. I also believe, you were talking about literacy in Cleveland, I think our library is the third largest, especially as a research library – this is our downtown library. The next one is Boston, not New York, and then the next one is the Library of Congress. We have a phenomenal library system, but literacy for us is visual and so I understand the button concept of…I believe strongly that the image is extremely powerful. And I also believe that the image can be word and be as powerful. Margaret Cooper does incredible stuff with words that make you, that are juxtaposition, that make you think in a different way. I went to a conference of the College Arts Association in February in New York – I go to any conference in New York City – and they, a gentleman was speaking – we were supporting him with buttons, I’m sorry I didn’t wear mine, this is “Art is not Terrorism.” Did I pronounce “terrorism” right? A long story short, they were in California, and they were organic growers, they were trying to grow all of these plants to show that it is much better than having tomatoes that you make perfect in little glass houses or something, but anyway, on E-Bay he put all of this exotic equipment that he had in his house and his wife was working very late one night and they were doing this to get it out and he gets in, in
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the morning and he goes to wake her up, and she fell asleep, and she was a young woman and she was dead. And so he is shocked…he goes out…EMS comes and they all come in and they see all of these refrigerators with plants and they see all of these things going on and it was right after 9-11 and they have the FBI and everybody in there and they are still in Court. He still has not got his wife’s body back. And this is because nobody wants to admit that there was an error here – they were doing an art project of growing your own food to be organic and they had all of this…so, they were supporting themselves by going to conferences selling buttons to say “Art is Not Terrorism.” So, I should have worn my button or sold some. So words are powerful and scary and we put it in a degree in our school we have a BA with the requisite number of majors in design, art history and studio art and we put it in a BFA. We applied to the Ohio Regents for BFA Studio Art. And our gracious thing is that we’re within the confines of the liberal arts college and they came and they were seeing all of the advocacy, which we do. Well, our art department like most art departments in colleges and universities is way up and over the hill and as far away from the Dean’s office as possible, so, we were trying to keep our advocacy sort of quiet because Ursuline is a Catholic women’s college – we’re ladies – and so, we were trying to tip toe around and the Regents were just appalled. They said, “Well, look at what they are doing, this is terrific” and they asked us to do a course on art advocacy. So, I just XX when Susan and Betsey came to an exhibit and we were talking about this and that’s what became this engagement. All of these students have been in this course, I think it has run twice now and they can talk about it. What is interesting is they have been doing this with their work for some time. We do talk at Ursuline we have this mantra which is here all the time and that is voice and vision and most people have no XX15:51 but we do think it’s important to have voice, because we’re a women’s college, when our voice is heard. However, in the visual arts we think your voice is your product. It’s your art and that I put my art ‘in service of’- not all of the time - because when you do advocacy work it’s generally brown, grey or bloody. It’s not, the goal is not beauty. And every now and then, I’m a colorist – I’m from the Institute and color theory’s big there and so right now I’m doing
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apples but they are becoming metaphoric so we are getting into advocating for some odd things. But this is what these women have been doing and so I would like them to talk about their work, I can talk forever. I would like that, so, this is Stephanie Kasza and this is Jaime Hall and this is Susan XX. Stephanie Kasza: All right, I’ll start off. Like she said, I’m a senior and I focus on painting and drawing and what I’m working on in my studio now is kind of like exposing the parallels of the hungry and the non hungry. And how those of us who are not hungry don’t even realize that the hungry are ten feet away from us. This past summer I was walking in a back alley with my brother and saw a man walking with groceries, with arms full of grocery bags and not even ten feet in front of him was a homeless man digging through a trash can. And I stopped and watched it just because that’s the world we live in. That man with the grocery bag, whether or not he was aware of it the man in thrash can, I don’t know, but it’s just, that struck me. So that’s what I’m focusing on in my studio. And I don’t know, at Ursuline College you’ll advocate without realizing your advocating because it’s an underlying theme in all the courses, not just the art courses but and you know the Ursuline study courses of all of the things we learn, “Use your voice, use your voice for those who cannot speak.” So, it’s kind of whether the College realizes it or not they are almost teaching everyone whether they are an art major to use your voice to speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves. So, this past year before I had this experience I was kind of struggling with, “Do I want to advocate something specific, what am I drawing to, what do I feel strongly about?” But then when I actually sat down and realized that I’ve been advocating all along in all my other art work and it was an amount of time before I realized that that was actually what I was doing and understanding where my art was going. Gloria Ferris: Jamie? Jamie: As far as advocating goes, I grew up in and doing my artwork for a very long time. We actually had a show back in the spring, it was called “Women’s Watch”- a freelance show and this painting, its one
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of my favorite paintings I’ve ever done in my life. It was actually a self-portrait, it wasn’t supposed to be a self-portrait but it turned out to be one. It has a little finger going like this, in the background of it, it had a bunch of little footprints on it and the message of the painting was ‘don’t tread on me.’ And what was so interesting about this painting was that the little footprints were actually like a tornado in the background to the point where it’s like all around us and you’ve got to be strong to be able to deflect things and I notice that in the art world a lot of people are very crewel and its very cut throat. We’re always able to pass off images as, “Oh, its garbage,’ or, ‘that’s really good.’ We find ourselves being extremely critical about something that someone is willing to put their entire lives into and that kind of what XX20: 13 speaking and talking about. But, as far as Ursuline College goes we do a lot of stuff with advocating we’ve got the XX the Women’s Watch, a Show and we also do a demonstration every year where we walk around with bodies of people that have actually passed away…[group comments and questions about the literal implication of carrying an actual dead body] …but, it’s like you are carrying a person and it actually has the name of a person who has died on it in the last year… Pat Fallon: These are all women, or children who have died by violence. And so we keep track and we make these cut outs, we’re up all night making red, sometimes large red, they used to stand, like the knight in the square, in Public Square. It started because one of our Nuns was murdered and raped by a man, a young boy who was sick, in our woods. At the same time a woman had died a very violent death in Cleveland, had been raped, but because this was a nun the papers had this all over and nothing was ever said about this other woman and the Nuns got very upset about it. My two full time colleagues are Ursuline Sisters and actually one of them wasn’t even there yet and was beside herself. We decided first we had to take back the woods because I used to take my classes there all the time we thought we had to get the women back in the woods, to feel safe there. And second, we needed to make some kind of statement and that’s where this began. And we just get these statistics every year.
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Gloria Ferris: If I could ask some questions, how many years have you been doing this, would you say? Pat Fallon: Last year, it was maybe twelve, fourteen years. Gloria Ferris: And how many bodies do you carry through the woods? Pat Fallon: I don’t know. Stephanie Kasza: This past year we did eighty-six. Pat Fallon: We do it every year. Gloria Ferris: Is it for the area? Stephanie Kasza: It’s for Cuyahoga County, and what we do is we get in touch with the Coroner’s Office and she gives us a list of women and children of the age of eighteen, male and female who have died a violent death. We do this the end of March every year. Tim Ferris: So, has it been more or less over the time you’ve been there? Stephanie Kasza: More. This past year was the most figures that we’ve painted and some people were carrying multiples. Pat Fallon: It follows economics, the increase in violence; a lot of desperate people out there. Women and children in any society are the most venerable. I remember sitting at a bar and I was really upset because they were talking about - this was Bosnia -and how they had the rape camps and that they went in, I said that was terrible and this very calm lawyer sat next to me and said, “Well, that’s what Armies do in war time they rape the women to show that they’re, and impregnate them to show since time and memorial and I thought well, that’s true. I just never looked at it that way. Gloria Ferris: Susan?
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Susan X: Hi, I’m Susan and well, I have to say that the advocacy class really opened my eyes, because I had been a homemaker for many years, and I escaped and came back to school. My goal right now is on women, not the general, but the roles that we play…the role as the wife, a mother, or a sister, or a daughter. And not only those roles but what we can be and that is where I’m trying to get to in my heart and that is very tiring, I have to say. But the advocacy class was really XX because it really made me realize how powerful art can be not only advocating for things community service but even inside your own heart. The other day I was given a hard time because he told me art was all I cared about and all I could do was agree. So, I love art, I love all forms of art and XX it is always right there in front of my mind. Gloria Ferris: So Susan, let me ask you a couple of questions, how did you get in touch with Pat at Ursuline College and the art program there that you said that she opened your heart to art? Pat Fallon: It’s a required course. Gloria Ferris: You mean advocacy? [discussion] Susan Gibbs: It was instructive after being so stuck in the house for so many years you just don’t think XX26:50 that you don’t know what’s going on… Gloria Ferris: Well, that’s…what brought you to Ursuline? The College? The art program? You were a homemaker for all those years and so how did you branch out and realize that art is everything you care about? Susan Gibbs: Well, it always was but you know in just raising kids and you have all of these responsibilities that really held me back and then I just decided that, I’m going to do it. And it was late, but better late than never. And when I walked into Ursuline, I was college shopping, I went to Tri-C, and it just felt right. Just being there was right, I could hear my Mother say, “You’re in the right place.” Okay,
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Mother – and then I met great instructors and it has been very, very inspiring. They are taking me to another level, breaking me out of a traditional style I’ve been in for so long and getting somewhere else and I really feel like I’m getting there. Pat Fallon: Susan is a very strong artist and she has a lot to say and one of the fun things and in fact most of you are probably aware, you remember Guernica, Picasso’s, Guernica? And that was his response to Franco’s fascist... And they had of course used blacks and grays and whites and the light was going out in Europe and there was the wonderful bull and all of this, and that came to the Metropolitan Museum of Art because he didn’t want it to go to Spain you know when he died because Franco could go back to Spain, till Franco was dead. So, I saw it and most of you saw it in New York City and in 1989 Ursuline gave the faculty money to go to Spain for two months XX and I wanted to go to Barcelona, which is the city of artists, and there it was because they were carting out Franco’s statues and making the streets all over again and Guernica was back home. And another powerful piece is the Viet Nam Memorial, one of the video’s we watch is Maya Lin’s video on how she came to do it she was a student and it was part of an assignment and she, but her process is what is so wonderful, she started by writing. She started by writing her thoughts and then I keep telling the students, artists are supposed to look stupid and lie under trees with their arms under their heads, because that is where you become creative. You don’t say from nine to five I’m going to be creative then I’ll blow out in front of the TV. Watch meritocracy, you have to have nothing to do for your mind to wander and things to happen and make the connection of the bull and the bicycle, so that’s where we get the reputation of looking stupid and what Susan is saying “I have to get rid of this” and what Stephanie XX because I’ve spent my entire life learning how not to multitask. And my entire life has been to focus and now I focus so I fall, I can’t find my car keys, I can’t find the front door, I can’t, but boy can I focus. It took almost a lifetime to unlearn that but they, and I pride myself on that and I pride myself on looking stupid and in my house you only get in trouble if you interrupt somebody when they are not talking because when people are not talking they’re thinking. And
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nobody in this culture right now hallows quiet thinking they think if you are sitting there not talking you’re available. Right? And people when they want your cell phone number why should I be available to the world? You know, once you leave your two year olds following your skirt so you walk into a swamp and then your life is over, nice as it was…you don’t want to be available to the world at large night and day, are they nuts? And that they call your work? To talk about XX how awful is that? Something about this society that feels that they see and yet we don’t communicate. So, advocacy has a lot of things it can do and a lot of bridges it can build and this conference in New York that I was talking to XX about was all about graphic designers. It was put on by the School of Visual Art and it is called the Liberal Arts and the Education of the Visual Artist. This was a twenty-second national conference. There were one hundred and ninety-nine people there representing every state and thirty-seven countries. They were graphic designers and a few art historians. And there were people who just came to listen, Steven Hiller, was the major speaker and I understand he is a graphic design God or something, he was speaking about branding a totalitarian state and I was asked to speak on how do you teach students meaning. I was trying to say you don’t teach them you give them the tools to de-cipher what we call ‘spectacle’ – the TV, the iPod, we all think that kids know everything because now they’re plugged in and they are just getting it totally unfiltered and they can’t cope with it, they’re killing themselves, they’re killing everybody else, with the news they’re frantic and they need the tools to how do you filter this stuff? How do you function within this? So, here’s another way this XX 33:44 and then I presided over a social responsibility, all I did was introduce graphic designers which is now visual communication design and one another and they were all into building community through branding and that was the big push. And it was amazing and it was at the Algonquin XX that was a very nice place to have a conference. It’s going on, I thought that we were like the little niche here and nobody knew it was going on and it’s going on all over. And they’re all talking about it. So, you’ve got the, is it ‘bull by the tail?’ – Tiger – A tiger by the tail. Ralph Solonitz: Handle bars.
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Pat Fallon: So what is going on here? You know, you are a newspaper, but it’s a connection and it’s going on through graphic design. Design is the 21st Century. Gloria Ferris: I would like to throw one of the thoughts that Pat had about, you know, don’t interrupt me; I’m quiet because that’s when I’m thinking. And I just wonder what do other people think about that? Because on the bus, I see a woman with little kids and she’s got the Blue Tooth and she’s on the phone. And I think to myself that I used to ride the bus with my daughters and that’s when we, “Look at this, look at that, there’s the bridge going downtown, and there’s just all this noise and I think they’re missing the best days with your child because very soon they’re going to say, “Don’t bother me I’m thinking.” And will have nothing to do with you. But, we’re multitasking and we’re so busy, but what are we really doing? And I guess, what do other people think about that? Do you think that sometimes…Jon? What do you think? Jon: I think a couple of things which one is important. Advertisers know how to overcome sensory overload. I have a degree in advertising and the thing you end up saying is that, ‘We know how to do this – you don’t have a chance.’ There’s a lot of money based in getting information into your head and I think the illustration of this is, of sensory overload at least, is that what happens when there is nothing, or the perception of nothing going on? How many times in your modern life is there that you hear that XX it’s an exception rather than the rule. There’s a lot more times whenever there was in anything necessarily jimmying and jammed in your head, or there was a special audio, we’re very visual now. The other thing I thought about based on your comments was the branding of community, which is something XX that is really interesting like in the city of Cleveland, where people are talking about XX we want to be part of our City, we want some sort of exchange going on and what I keep trying to argue with the people in the City is that they need to, in fact, brand neighborhoods in a way that is from the bottom up so successful neighborhoods are like Tremont, where people say “I’m from Tremont” but its almost based on geography. Ohio City, but
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there are other neighborhoods – W. 25th and Clark – it has a hard time coming up with what is the brand of this neighborhood? I think that branding is really important. I’m from … Tape Three. Jon Eckerle: …I’m from Ohio City, I’m from Lakewood, I’m from Tremont, you need to have, in order to establish that base, you need this concept of these are where my roots are, so that you have a reference point, so you can be proud of that. MaryBeth Matthews: One of the things that comes out branding the neighborhoods that are XX to brand is that they are evolving, they are changing or evolving into what you would think would be the wrong direction because they are becoming more impoverished or they are disappearing. And other neighborhoods that have already hit the bottom are coming back, Waterloo, for example. Or, because the demographic of the neighborhood is shifting. So, those are some of the, that’s where Cleveland’s neighborhoods are having difficulty in trying to find their brand because Midtown, fifteen years ago, what would this area have been branded? A neighborhood of empty ware houses and abandon factories whereas now it’s become Chinatown. Midtown is Chinatown. Midtown is the place where the new cutting edge businesses are moving to… Jon Eckerle: Without those words, Midtown, Midtown wouldn’t have happened, and I agree with you, what’s happening with where they are starting that new town, Collegetown, is that something they can develop into a brand? MaryBeth Matthews: But, is it always appropriate to brand – an outsider coming in and branding the neighborhood that because you want to gentrify it? That’s a question; I am not being critical, I’m asking. Tim Ferris: I have mixed emotions about branding because that means and we talked about branding before, I think Gains had the
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ultimate brand – you know one wears red and the other wears blue – and then they go ahead and get contentious and that’s a zero sum game for turf and territory. If one wins, the other one looses. And when I see the non profits in this town fighting for the same money from the Cleveland Foundation they try to go ahead and gerry their brand XX the best brand so we can go ahead and write a paper and get some money. Brands at that point become contentious and it’s not good, it doesn’t feel good. If they write from the bottom and percolate up and they come naturally out of the neighborhood then they may actually work, but the ones that are externally imposed – we don’t grow any B.S. MaryBeth Matthews: Well, but then there is something wrong with that. If you take a neighborhood that’s branded for its violence and poverty can you re-brand it and make it something else attractive? Attract something new? Something more? Tim Ferris: Well, are you talking about lipstick on a pig? I think we had this dialogue two months ago. Gloria Ferris: Ralph? What were you going to say? Ralph Solonitz: Change the name of East Cleveland to North Coast City. Bill MacDermott: Actually, I heard that for East Cleveland, it’s the portion closest to University Circle. Call it University Circle. Tim Ferris: I like East Cleveland myself. John D. Rockefeller loved East Cleveland. Gloria Ferris: What were you going to say Stephanie? Stephanie Kasza: We have this organization at Ursuline; it’s the Student Art Organization for Peace and Justice. I’m co-President of it this year and actually last year we went to Marion Sterling School, Elementary School, and I’m sure you have all heard of it, they have
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problems with gangs, poverty and it was just so sad to go there and see these children going through it. But our group actually went in and painted a mural in the rotunda of their school and it was, we decided to focus on education, staying in school and the environment. Because we felt those were two things that were not necessarily being taught to the kids and important. So, this image was huge, it was forty something feet and just seeing the kid’s behavior change the week we were there was actually incredible. These kids were, in this little area we worked, which is where the suspended kids sit all day, or the kids who get kicked out of class go and they sit there, they sit there all day and they screw off with each other they’re kind of running around causing a ruckus. The week that we were there, they sat there and watched and we talked with them and they were interacting with us on a totally different level. I totally think you can almost change the branding of a bad neighborhood, maybe not necessarily that didn’t change the whole outlook of Marion Sterling but it helped make that week we were there XX and to those kids, it may not have helped every single one of them but maybe it helped this girl who sat there on her one day of suspension and talked to this other girl and just learn about painting. So, I definitely think you can start things, maybe not completely re-work it but you can definitely start things. Jamie Hall: But you don’t have to change the name of the city to actually get more people involved, you actually do projects and get involved with youth groups… Pat Fallon: The people will change things. Jamie Hall: Exactly. Working with the people will change it. Pat Fallon: One of the things I believe is that the only way you can advocate change is if you do it, if you do something. And I don’t mean like lead a parade down the street, just actually get up and do something. It’s amazing what one person doing something other people follow. They just…
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Ralph Solonitz: I’ve seen like a XX Pat Fallon: It reminds… people are just looking for someone to lead them, to start. There’s a school XX7:22 our chemistry teacher is on their Board, they have no hope in their economic condition of I guess going to College, their parents didn’t go to College, and they have no knowledge, of course, the secret of College is that everybody goes on financial aide. So, apply to Harvard because ninety percent of them at Harvard are on financial aide. We have Mark Lapos Day and we give them a college day they come and they spend half an hour those who want to take an art class and then we do the whole thing all over the campus. They can see what it’s like, they go to the school store, they have a strip and buy whatever the supplies they need for that class, and they play college for a day. But it is at college and it is with our classes. It’s a small thing, but you should see those students, they just come alive. Just to know someone cares. And I think that is what shocks me is that there is a level of uncaring. One of the wonderful things about New York City – I like New York City – is that when I was a student my first degree was from Antioch. And that was way in the dark ages. I had a XX8:54 in New York and in New York everyone looked like they ate babies but they would help you in a minute. When I came to Cleveland as a transferred wife, everyone had a smile on the street and no one would help you. And I was stunned. I came in 1973 and I thought this is a beautiful city it’s a secret. I discovered you could go from Shaker all the way to the West side by the lake, it was the most incredible city but I thought, “You know, it’s not people friendly.” I grew up in Washington, DC in the old days when it was a small Southern town – I’m a war baby – but New York after 9/11, who would have believed that the entire state went not smoking? Now in New York City you don’t smoke anywhere and everybody wears tennis shoes. And if you are lost, they’re all around you, “Can I help you?” The tenor of the city, I had friends there who were writing and sending me pictures, corporations were sending their people to shrinks because for months they were bringing in bodies – that stuff was all in the air – the whole state, to respond to that city, now that’s community. That’s community.
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Gloria Ferris: And that’s not branding that something that...but it becomes a brand and that’s what MaryBeth was talking about. Maybe what comes first, but I think the community itself sometimes decides its brand or a theme. I live in a city and we often talk, we live in Brooklyn Center, well, Ohio City has the oldest architecture in the city, Tremont has the restaurants and the beautiful park, so we kept thinking what do we have? Because we can’t compete with that, you’ve got to find your own thing. A bunch of us got together and said, we have more green space; we’ve got the Zoo, we have a huge cemetery, we’re a half-mile from the river, we’ve got the Big Creek Watershed, and we were the first suburb, we have garages and back alleys. So we decided, okay, we can be that, but the thing is we just kind of put it out there and we found all these people, we have somebody who was the head of the Audubon Society of Ohio who lives in our neighborhood, we have somebody who’s a National Wildlife Habitat Steward, so we didn’t really do anything, but what do we have? I think that, that is sometimes where branding brings, what are your assets? And that was the Zoo guy, the head architect, engineer, for the Zoo, for the Metro Parks. We had a meeting with him when they tore down the bridge in our neighborhood and he says, you know what? He says, you’re really a park neighborhood. Because both of the neighborhoods, Old Brooklyn and Brooklyn City, you’re the uplands to our park, you’re park neighborhood. So, we started percolating that, but I agree that sometimes branding, well, Andy, what do you think with your marketing, don’t you sometimes sit down with a client and ask them, “What are your strengths?” “What are your challenges?” “Where do you…?” and then that’s when the brand comes, it’s not this, let’s put lipstick on a pig…Cleveland’s a Plum! That went over like a lead balloon. Because again, it was somebody… [Group bantering] Mark Kohn: Cleveland’s the best location in the nation. I just saw that in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, there was a Downtown Alliance thing in the PD today…
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Andy Halko: Yeah, I think when we do branding we’re looking at what is driving people and what interests them, what is going to affect them emotionally. I think that, listening to what everybody was saying, I think that we’ve each got these badges, these things we believe in strongly and those are the kinds of things you talk about and get your heart behind. Depends what the neighborhoods are doing, they have this thing that affects them and that becomes their brand. There are these real internal drivers that everybody has, separate, and its from their environment, their past experiences that makes them develop their brand, develop their art and it’s the same thing in business; you have these internal drivers that drive that brand. That’s interesting because everybody has that very specific thing that they’re really focused on in conversations, it’s kind of…but I was more sitting here thinking, where do people come up with these things? Where does the drive…where does the experiences did they have that drove them to get into this art, the homeless, the hunger, or violence, or bikes, or whatever ideas, it’s interesting how everybody’s kind of got this thing that’s driving them, that’s how they see the world. Mark Kohn: It came back. They used the term, “best mid-sized city.” I’ve been using ‘middleweight champ.’ Which, we were a heavy weight champ, turn of the twentieth century, there’s nothing wrong with being a middle weight champ if you think of Floyd Paterson, Sugar Ray Leonard, or whatever. I like that better than ‘mid-sized city’ or… Ralph Solonitz: Or, midget wrestling… MaryBeth Matthews: I have my own little name I thought of for Cleveland, in manufacturing there’s a term called ‘lean manufacturing,’ where you get rid of the superfluous nonsense, well, Cleveland’s becoming a very lean city. It doesn’t mean that we’re less effective, it doesn’t mean we’re less of anything, we’re less populace, but we’ve become lean, production learn, we’re lean… Tim Ferris: Well, that’s good because we still have all the money here, we still have all the big houses and it’s just not as fat and now
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what’s the matter with that? It’s better on the freeway, it’s better if you work at home, but the freeway’s not crowded… Gloria Ferris: Pat brought up a thing about coming here in the 70’s and it wasn’t a people friendly town. I came from a small town to this city and nobody was helpful and on the weekends I would hop on the rapid and spend my time in downtown Cleveland. And so one day I go to work and one of the gals says, “So, what did you do this weekend?” And I thought to myself, well, I didn’t spend it with you because nobody asked me to do anything but I said, “Oh, I went to spend the day downtown Cleveland.” And it was like, Oh, my God, by yourself?” and I said, “Well, I don’t know anybody here.” And I thought to myself, well, none of you ever reached out, none of you ever said, “Come to dinner” or anything. So, yeah, I go by myself and I’m here. But, I think we’re changing, I see people now in the city, you walk downtown and you’re looking at the buildings and people come up to you and say, “Could I help you find something?” And I think part of it is that we’re changing, I think that maybe we’re becoming a lean city. Ralph Solonitz: You remind me of me on Coventry in the 70’s. Gloria Ferris: Well, I did move over there and I did find a whole group of people. But it is a thing…MaryBeth, what were you going to say? MaryBeth Matthews: I just wanted to get back to the statement, and I forget what it is, when you were talking about art enabling people to have a voice, and you hoped that your advocacy would give a voice to those who have no voice, one of the things that I, for those of you who know me already know, but for those of you who don’t…I always said I was a teacher at Max Hayes High School, well, I’m also the head of the visual arts department, so I teach art. Because I’m teaching art to a group of students who have absolutely no interest because all going to be mechanics and machinists, construction workers and most of them don’t, they don’t want to be artists, they want to take my class because it’s a required course. But, I teach it as visual communication, visual problem solving and one of the things we talk about art as, and we don’t talk about good art versus
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bad art, we talk about art that is successful and art that is successful is when you have, it has a message. When you’ve communicated something. And if your message can be, if you’ve articulated that, that’s good art, that’s successful art. So, even if you draw like a five year old you can still have very successful art, as long as your message is strong. So, I think that it’s very important for artists in Cleveland, and anywhere, if you want, branding is about message. Neighborhoods in Cleveland that are looking to find their voice, find who they are and so the artists become very, very important, in that whole regard. So, you can link the idea of Cleveland, and branding, and art as advocacy and arts as visual communication and how the arts can help Cleveland give it a voice and find out and define for ourselves who we are. Par Fallon: I’d like to tag on to that…I had two thoughts, one, we talk about making the things that people don’t want to see visible, that’s one of the things; that, I did a sabbatical on the homeless and what I was trying to do was put this work in a gallery where people go because they sure weren’t going downtown and they were sure they were going to get killed, and to understand what the homeless situation was. And so making something visible that people don’t want to see is one thing. But there’s something else about that when you come, when I came to Cleveland and went through this, I loved downtown. I watched all these XX21:09 and the Plug and all that, and the buildings that keep going up, it struck me because I was doing a lot of work with NOVA at that time and having fun with an organization for artists down at fourteenth street at Playhouse Square, we painted the walls, and I couldn’t understand why Cleveland was letting the streets go. I had come as a transferred wife and I thought you’re not going to get anybody without schools. But that was still, that was the XX and Cleveland just never picked up. They let the schools go to hell. It’s just incredible. And they are still building big buildings that are empty. But they’re not fixing the schools; they have no textbooks and the rains coming in, in classes. To me that’s amazing, these are public schools. So there is a disconnect somewhere in terms of children.
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MaryBeth Matthews: Children don’t vote. Ralph Solonitz: Yeah, there’s an ‘us’ and a ‘them.’ Pat Fallon: Well, that’s the distain of, for women and children. I mean there is…XX23:34 Tim Ferris: Let me give you a …XX24:16 and it doesn’t take in the banks and the developers and the unions. That’s a hard background here, we’re a, our prior generations built things they could use for a long, long time and we wasted the assets because we want to move money and we want to do this… Gloria Ferris: But, you know what I think Pat speaks to and I think this is probably…we’re wasting our human capital. Dennis Althar: It’s not the bricks and mortars… Gloria Ferris: At the real root, we are not investing in our children. And it’s national. Ralph Solonitz: It’s a statement of our society. Gloria Ferris: Kids are difficult. Pat Fallon: I was born a, ‘glass is half full person’ and I’m hoping it’s passing. When I look at what happened with Wall Street, and Freddie, and I was part of that bubble. I was a single parent and I refinanced my house so I could go to school, I got myself more degrees and I knew my house wasn’t worth that much, if anybody knew. So, I was part of that bubble, but in a little tiny, tiny way. But there’s a whole group of people that went up and I remember sitting at tables with people explain to me the benefit of the trickle down and it used to make sense. I mean the very rich were the people that gave us the Guggenheim and the Museum of Modern Art. There was a give back.
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Ralph Solonitz: It never made sense to me. Pat Fallon: But there is a whole group of people up there with Enron and everybody else, and AIG, that did not give back. They just took more. But those people are going. One of the wonderful, there’s an organization the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and they put out these great statistics which tell everybody what all the teachers get XX 26:28 but one of those statistics is one of the largest growing groups is Studio Art all across the country. So, there is a rebellious group coming up that is not out there for the money...so it is going to shift again, there you go, but there’s going to be a shift, and you need to be ready for it…communicators. Because it is out there and these kids are growing up and they don’t like what we’re giving them to inherit. MaryBeth Matthews: Because we haven’t given them anything. We’ve given them a big problem… Gloria Ferris: But I also think that it used to be that people moved for a job, transferred for a job, now, our daughter is a case in point and she’s not like a lot of others in her school, her graduating class, they picked where they wanted to live and then that’s where they went and then they found they’re jobs and then they went to college but they didn’t choose based on a job they chose on a sense of place. I do believe you’re right, there’s a whole shift in the way people are thinking. Dennis Coughlin: One of the things we know, is we all move in the direction of our conversations and so the question we need to keep asking ourselves is how do we keep this conversation going in this group and in other groups we come in contact with and keep moving it forward? That is the thing we need to keep thinking about so that when we do have something we’re passionate about, is how do you keep those conversations going? In I-Open its not just talking heads and a video on the Internet it’s continuing conversations that are so important, the continuing advocacy in art is so important and that’s one of the things that the Midtown Brews website that is posted on
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and if you don’t have it we can make sure you do get a copy of it. It’s MidtownBrews.net. Keep going with the conversations. Gloria Ferris: Does anybody have any closing questions, comments? Tim Ferris: I just wanted to get an academic distinction. Is there a distinction between advocacy in art and propaganda? What perspective is there, there? Pat Fallon: Well, I suppose it depends on which side of the issue you stand. I advocate Obama, but if I were Bush or McCann, I would say she’s a propagandist. Steven Heller was doing a really nice talk, talking about branding the totalitarian states. From my point of view, I’m always telling the students they don’t like artists. You never want to be an artist for a revolution because they don’t like artists, they throw you in XX or they try to kill you, they can’t control artists they just show up and do their thing…Well, no, that’s not the same thing as a revolution. Once the state is established then they have their artists, then they get the branding. One of the horrible things, well, there are a lot of horrible things about Nazi Germany but, as an artist one of the terrible things is that art deco and the incredible architecture there and that was some of the most beautiful art and we lost it because it was such a damned political nightmare. And some really beautiful art was lost forever. So there’s a problem involved, you don’t want to take artists along, you don’t want to be used for the wrong thing… Tim Ferris: Is advocacy seen as more pure? Pat Fallon: Only if you think you’re a purist. One person’s advocacy is another person’s propaganda. Tim Ferris: But, isn’t propaganda perverting where you’re actually forcing something to do something you shouldn’t? Pat Fallon: Well, yes, and some people say advocacy is, it depends on how you advocate.
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Ralph Solonitz: Or advertising… Pat Fallon: Well, yeah. Gloria Ferris: Bill? Bill MacDermott: There’s a thread that runs through all of this from the comments made about advertising, the marketers knowing where we are to how to manipulate us, to the fact that you said something about waking up the TV to mediocrity. I had a deprived childhood, my parents got sick of hearing children fighting over the television so they broke it so we couldn’t fix it. So my family had to grow up communicating with each other, my siblings learned musical instruments, we learned how to play games, we learned how to communicate and we learned how to deal with each other. It was a soapbox, but I know people who have said, “Oh, such and such was on last night and that’s the episode I absolutely hate and it was on and I hated that!” Excuse me, but XX32:03 The people that have that constantly thrown on, it’s a waste of electrons, we could be polluting the air with better things than the noise, you’re asking, “How will we find time to think?” “Why we’re not allowed to think.” My problem is with that ‘idiot box’ – its an old term, brand, when that idiot box is on, I can’t think. So, I turn it on for the news twice a day, I read and I blog, I get involved in things, I draw, I do my little design art work… Mark Kohn: Of course the purpose of television is not the shows it’s the selling… Bill MacDermott: That’s where it’s going, okay? George XX was right; we are taught how to think by the television. We are manipulated, we are taught, we are told we’re inferior, this morning a great thing about Obama, I was watching the news…but there are people saying, now you no longer have the excuse you are the way you are and you are not good because you didn’t come XX32:26 Pat Fallon: Yes, I caught that, and do you know one of the things the TV has changed is magazines and newspapers? They have short
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sound bites, I mean some, and they’re all doing it. They’re all short but we’re not on Ritalin, they are used to that three or four-minute time, classes at school forty minutes, thirty kids in a class for forty minutes? For a hands on class? How can you possibly teach? How can you possibly teach? Tim Ferris: I’ve been spending hours on those Architectural Digests, we’re actually getting five and six page articles, it’s getting better. Gloria Ferris: They’re changing. Dennis, you had something to say… Dennis Althar: Just an observation about branding, you were talking about branding. Branding, you think of the word and its when somebody used to take a hot iron and make it a part of their property, and have fear in you to where you obey them cause they own you. As opposed to branding - submission in branding – exactly. Its part of the propaganda, so it’s the proper word but the wrong use. So there’s branding and there’s part of a community, I’d like to submit too that back in the seventies I used to live here. I think if you seek out you’ll always find community; I believe we’re the same everywhere on the planet. You go to the Phillapeans, you go to New York, I remember spending a month in New York City and for being an outsider and getting on the trains and its just totally covered from top to bottom with graffiti and you felt like you had your life in your hands, but this was like just solid layers of graffiti and it was dirty and nasty and I remember, and the same in Washington, but if you see it everyday, you kind of get blinders to it because you are used to seeing it. I remember being in Manhattan, at the big conference center and seven cops sitting at the door and some guy leaning in the doorway passed out and the cops two feet away from him. People are walking over the top of this guy and going into a trade show and I’m just telling you looking at the other side. The two days I was there I saw a total of eight people pissing down stairways, middle of the day with people in suits and ties walking by but to me…but I really believe that if you seek out people are the same everywhere.

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Gloria Ferris: We need to wrap up our conversation. But yeah it’s a good, I also think that’s the difference in perception that’s art, what one person sees in a piece of art may mean something totally different than someone else and what they see. And so with that I’m going to thank Pat and the students for coming and sharing their evening with us, it was very informative, it was very enlightening and again thank you Brews crowd, I too, am a little overwhelmed at the depth of comments as we go around, I just think it was really great. And we are starting to see some new faces and good; I’m glad that is happening. I’m going to let Susan close our program and tell you what’s up next for the Midtown Brews crowd and some of the other things we have going for us. Susan Altshuler: Look for updates on our MidtownBrew.net site. Betsey’s going to start something called ‘Community Watch’ and its going to be news feeds from the Northeast Ohio Blogs and Midtown Brews News based around technology, creative industries and energy. And the people who participated in our last month Midtown Brews on advocacy. That goes into our next update about the NEO Next book, the idea is to take, and it came from last month’s wonderful program on advocacy and all of the wonderful conversations that developed out of that, but taking those conversations every month and publishing it and then over the year we’ll have twelve chapters and we can produce a book about all the wonderful conversations about how people think and feel and what they’d like to see for the future. And it is for the future and it is about the future of Northeast Ohio and moving Northeast Ohio forward. Tim Ferris: Is it a print book or is it an online book? Susan Altshuler: Yeah, and e-book, right? Betsey Merkel: A community generated e-book. Laura’s going to help some with it too – and if anyone else has any ideas about what kind of format it could take.

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Susan Altshuler: That brings us to November 19th where we’re going to bring everybody together that was at the October program to follow up with learning about social software technology and moving their ideas into projects. So, anybody’s welcome, we’d love to have you it’s November 19th at the Cleveland Heights Library from 6:30 to 8:30 and Betsey will send you an email with all the details. The December topic is with Bruce Missig and Friends, they will be discussing how small steps from everyone of us can begin to reduce our carbon footprint and revitalize our communities, and he is going to be focusing on the quality of water. We have a lot of new programs already scheduled for 2009, if you know of anybody who would like to host a Midtown Brews please let us know, any topics you would like to discuss just call Betsey, Me, Gloria – post to the Midtown Brews.net blog – just tell us what you are interested in and also join the Midtown Brews and go into the Midtown Brews and start posting to the blog, start giving us all of your wonderful ideas and your information and with that we’ll use that to plan our next year. Gloria Ferris: It’s MidtownBrews.net and if everybody says oh, I don’t have time to write, you can’t think, can’t write, a lot of us read. If you see an article that you think pertains to something we’ve done here, please post it, call us, we’ll help you post it, just start adding to our knowledge base through that site. Susan Altshuler: We encourage all people to go on it and just read the information people put on it and this way we’ll start coalescing people and getting the interests in each of the sectors that we’re pushing forward so that people can say, “Oh, I want to work on that.” And I’m going to call this person. Gloria Ferris: We’re starting to see that happen, we’ve had a little bit of bubbling up that people are working on projects outside of the monthly meetings and starting on projects and starting to move forward. A group of us from last month are going to start on transportation. So, if anybody wants to work with us on that and I hear that the new Transportation Secretary may be someone who bicycles to work everyday. So that will be new and different. First of
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all, thank you for coming. And, we’re done for this month’s Brews and we’re off line.

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