Creative community action
There have been numerous times when a creative community has coalesced around an issue and taken action. Big or small, temporary or sustained, it’s good.
Sense of community starts when one extends the initial sense of self to others in similar situations and context. Through working on one’s self and one’s own art, one becomes connected with others in the same endeavor and environment. Examples can be found in the S.F. DJs and ravers banding together to control their own collective futures, L.A. artists forming collectives around live-in studio space, ShangHai artists forming an association to promote their modernist populism, social networks of painters grouping together to share ideas, energies, show-space and sales mechanisms.
On the other hand, there is the story of the selfish actor, who wanted to promote himself in the group, didn’t want to share his efforts nor support any of his network when they have something on. His career had been ascendant, not spectacularly, but going well. After he made it clear to everyone that he was all take and no give, his career nosedived, momentum and moment were lost. He became lower than a bit player in backwaters of the normally fast-moving entertainment world of the entertainment capital, all because he was too selfish to share, too short-sighted to do for others exactly what he had already asked them to do for him!
We can learn just as much, but in a positive way, from the story of the hard- working actor who stepped behind the camera, gave up the spotlight to the on-camera talent, collaborated, facilitated and excelled. Actually, he was a very fine actor, but something was calling him to get on the other side of the story-telling situation, and we are lucky she did – oh yeah, I was keeping that as a surprise, it was a woman, not a man, and that is even more remarkable in the male-dominated film world.
Creativity thrives in community. Community must be kept alive through constant giving, participating, regenerating, supporting, mentoring and fostering.