Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Today is Purple Day, started by the gorgeous girl, Cassidy Megan, in the photo. This young girl was incredibly brave and decided that instead of being shamed by her illness, she was going to claim it, talk about it, and make people realize how it impacts the lives of people.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Not my best photo--bleary, red eyes, overworked stare, and not exactly smiling into the camera, am I? I probably could brush my hair, too (oh, wait, you don't brush curly hair.) If I look like I am in another world...well, I am.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
A Proposed Job Swap To Save American Capitalism
By Liz Lerman
Do Wall Street executives deserve big bonuses during hard times? Does increased arts funding have a place in an economic stimulus package? I’ll leave it to others to debate these controversies. Meanwhile I’d like to make a modest proposal to solve some of our economic problems: Let’s do a job swap. We’ll put the corporate executives to work as artists while the artists run Wall Street.
Since their first task will be getting economic markets back on solid footing, I’m convinced that artists have the perfect resumès for their new jobs. Here’s why:
1. Artists work ridiculous hours for no pay. And most of the artists I know will keep working until they get the job done right.
2. Artists do not need fancy offices. In fact, they usually work in the worst part of town … until that part of town becomes fancy because the artists are there. Then they have to move because they haven’t paid themselves enough to afford the new rent.
3. Artists throw everything they earn back into the store – which is why they haven’t paid themselves enough. (I will admit that there was one time I didn’t do this. When I was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship back in 2002, I decided to open my first retirement account. I put the money in “very safe” stock market investments. I would have been better off putting it into my next dance.)
4. Artists do not need financial incentives. Artists do the work they do because they love it. Or because they believe in it. Or because they think it is a social necessity for our communities. Or because they know when people make poems or pictures or dances, our best human spirits emerge.
5. Artists do not expect to get anything if they do a bad job. Except maybe a bad review.
6. No artist gets a bonus because there is never enough money at the end of a project.
7. Artists keep very tight budgets. They know how to spend the same penny over and over (not by cooking the books, but by pinching, recycling, borrowing, bartering and plowing their economy-airline frequent-flyer miles back into the next project.)
8. Artists have a rightful reputation for fresh ideas combined with a capacity for self-evaluation that borders on recrimination.
9. Artists play well with others, having evolved highly efficient collaborative techniques in the service of their visions. But they are also very independent, delivering great things even when they work alone.
Meanwhile, in their new capacities as painters, poets, cellists and choreographers, our Wall Street executives might be experiencing a combination of culture shock therapy and ethical boot camp. Artistic practice may force them to discover what they really believe in, because the combination of introspection, discipline and craft that fuels an artist’s work (oh, and it is work) puts people in a very demanding state of truth. Doing what artists do every day, some might find themselves in overcrowded classrooms, excited to share their practices to help young people discover that they actually can learn. Others might be sparked to help communities solve problems by bridging differences through the unique power of their art forms. Those who have been lucky enough to get funded for their work will likely be staying up nights, filling out multiple forms to prove the exact use of the money they have been granted. All will find their moral compasses tested as they balance the demanding loyalties of pursuing personal vision and creating value for an audience.
The job swap I propose might have a final payoff: With artists in charge of Wall Street, you might even see people donate to the cause because artists know how to inspire others to participate together, to work for something that matters, to build on the intangibles of the human experience, to make a difference.
Imagine that kind of Wall Street.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
First the reviews: "Poignant and wise," Los Angeles Times.
Purple Day is meant to increase awareness about epilepsy worldwide. I'm honored to report that I am going to be joining other writers at a very special big deal Purple Day party at Dylan's Candy Bar in NYC on March 10th (many thanks to the incredible Jessica Keener for helping to organize this.)
Founded in 2008, by nine-year-old Cassidy Megan of Nova Scotia, Canada, Purple Day is an international grassroots effort d. On March 26, people from around the globe are asked to wear purple and spread the word about epilepsy.
Why? Epilepsy affects over 50 million people worldwide. That's more than multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and Parkinson's disease combined.
Why purple? Lavender is the international colour for epilepsy.
Getting involved is easy. Wear purple and encourage others to do the same. Host a Purple Day party or fundraising event at your home, school or business. And most importantly, get real facts about epilepsy by browsing this site and those of our partners.
Hi, my name is Cassidy Megan. I’m nine years old and I have epilepsy. I started Purple Day because I wanted to tell everyone about epilepsy, especially that all seizures are not the same and that people with epilepsy are ordinary people just like everyone else. I also wanted kids with epilepsy to know that they are not alone.
Before I started Purple Day, I was afraid to tell people about my epilepsy because I thought they would make fun of me. After the Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia did a presentation in my class, I started to talk with the other kids about my seizures. That is when I decided to become a spokesperson for kids with epilepsy.
Please visit the website http://www.purpleday.org for more details!
The photo of the handsome guy on the left is my friend Peter. I've know him for about 20 years now, and we have weathered together bad dates, divorces, deaths, critical illnesses, marriages, births, work woes and more. We spoke at each other's weddings and embarrassed each other on elevators and in fine restaurants. Every year, we make outrageous cards for each other's birthdays and we try to have lunch together whenever we can. I adore Peter.