18 Mar Indio Trifecta, redux…
I knew it was going to be a good day, but I couldn’t have guessed just how good. Back on September 8th, 2014, at the very beginning of Crisalida, I posted a blog called Indio TriFecta where I described going to the SCRAP Gallery, the Indio Performing Arts Center, and the Coachella Valley Art Center. It was a terrific day, and some of those initial meetings have lead to fantastic collaborations, especially with CVAC, and more recently with IPAC.
This past Wednesday, March 16th, 2016 was another Indio Trifecta, but a very different kind of day. Instead of exploring the possibility of relationship, this day was exclusively devoted to collaborative art-making.
First stop was a talk to Jacalyn Lopez-Garcia’s “Intro to Art” class at College of the Desert – Indio. I’m not gonna lie, the first few minutes were tough, after all these students are required to take this class, and art isn’t on high on their priority list. And their suspicions are justified…what passes as art is often artifice, or mind-numbing entertainment. The first thing was to examine the critical difference between art and entertainment. I drew on my mentor Maxine Greene’s brilliant use of the notion of “wide-awakeness”, and they got it. I played guitar, read poetry, told stories, talked about Crisalida, and even showed them Butoh on Youtube as a way to recognize that the simply “weird” may contain something surprisingly compelling if you allow yourself to bracket out preconceived ideas and to let the artwork work on you.
Next stop was the Indio Senior Center for a rehearsal with Los Vigilantes del Desierto – a newly formed band of spirited retirees specializing in original boleros that deal with social issues. Look for Los Vigilantes at the May 14th East Valley Voices OUT LOUD concert at the McCallum Theater (buy tickets HERE)
The last leg of this Trifecta was the Indio Teen Center where I co-taught a rap workshop with RowLow (aka Roland Akinduro). We worked on new lyrics, on cultivating confidence onstage, on performance technique, on teamwork. Pure energy, pure joy. Then I asked RowLow to perform for the kids and the place BLEW UP!