Hello friends! This blog will be the home for a project I will be starting on Friday, January 20, 2017. I am going to try and post something I played, wrote, recorded, or made every day for the next 4 years–the length of a US Presidential term. This is mildly bonkers. That’s kind of the point.
My goal is to use this platform to promote unity, equity, and solidarity with artists, and to use creative engagement to ground myself when the future seems uncertain. I have other plans as well, but I will talk about those in the future.
I’m sure you have questions. I hope I can give you answers. And look for my first post on Friday!
Who are you?
My name is Kelly. I am a musician, educator, and amateur writer from New York State. You might know my other blog, Let the Song Protest.
What is the Street Corner Project?
The Street Corner Project is a pledge that I will share something I played, recorded, wrote, or otherwise made every day for 1461 days, or the next 4 years. It is intended to be a quiet, thoughtful protest against the current oppressive, impulsive climate in US politics. My goal is to promote unity and equity for everyone, and to encourage solidarity with other artists.
I am also inviting all artists, musicians, writers, and other creators to participate! (see below) And I have future plans that are in motion but I cannot discuss them at this time.
Why are you doing this?
Making music has always been the thing that comes most naturally to me. I have used it before to support and to inspire. Some people march in rallies; I play for fundraisers.
I, like many people I know, was upset by the results of the 2016 US Presidential election. It wasn’t just “my candidate lost” upset, it was “no one knows what is going to happen and we’re scared” upset. For several days after Election Day, the only thing that made sense to me was playing my cello. I have many friends and family who feel anxious, scared, or uncertain about–or even threatened by–the new administration and current political climate. I have seen many people I don’t know personally who feel the same. I care very much about all of them. Therefore, I cannot stand by and be silent. I must stand up for myself, and I must stand up for them. This is the best way I know how.
Additionally, art provides joy for a lot of people. Art can be respite. Art can be distraction. Art can be love. I want to give people that too.
Where did the name “The Street Corner Project” come from?
When talking to my mother about this project, I expressed to her that I wanted to be the proverbial musician on the street corner, playing for the people. She said that would be a great name. I agreed.
Artists should just stick to making art. Why are you making this political?
Artists are whole people with thoughts, beliefs, and feelings. My beliefs include the idea that art can unite, comfort, and promote important conversations. I’m sure there are many people, even many artists, who think that I should keep my art and my politics separate. I respectfully disagree.
It sounds like you’re making things only for a specific group of people. Why are you excluding people?
My performances, writing, and other posts are free for everyone. I am not doing this “forI am hoping to promote unity, caring, equity, and solidarity with other artists. These ideas have become politicized, but it is not my intention to divide or exclude.
I’m a creator too and I want to participate!
Great! Post your creations on social media with the hashtags #streetcornerproject, #scproject1461 or #scp1461, or tag me (@thestreetcornerproject on Instagram and Tumblr, @scproject1461 on Twitter and Facebook). I might feature some of you on my blog! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to be listed on our forthcoming “participants” page, or if you have any questions.
…but I didn’t start on January 20, 2017.
That’s okay! If you start later, just keep it going until January 19, 2021.
…but I can’t do something every day.
That’s okay too! You can post one thing every week, or every month. The idea is to be creatively engaged for 4 years. It can be a work already in progress, one massive work culminating in 2021, smaller works over the course of a few weeks, or, indeed, one new small work every day. I will probably have weeks where I have to play “catchup” or post small amounts of progress each day. Do whatever you can handle.
I want to participate but I don’t have any creative talents 😦
I doubt that’s true. As Bob Ross once said (or so the internet tells me), talent is a pursued interest. Now might be a great time to start pursuing that interest. But if you’re not comfortable sharing your own things, help spread the word by sharing others’! And follow my updates on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, or right here on WordPress.
Also, there may be other ways to contribute in the future. This is part of those “plans” I can’t talk about yet. Stay tuned!