San Diego Artists Offer Creative Fix for Country

author: 
Sheryl Oring

Sheryl Oring invited artists and creative thinkers to offer a solution to fix the country. Their suggestions ranged from the practical to the sublime.

In my new project, “Creative Fix,” I'm asking other artists and creative thinkers what they would do to fix the country if they could do anything at all. Answers at the first events, held recently in San Diego, ranged from the serious to the sublime.

Artist Walter Cameron stressed the importance of arts education in the schools. Musician James Gordon Williams suggested restructuring the way public schools are funded so that kids in poorer neighborhoods get the same resources as those in wealthier neighborhoods. And artist Suzanne Wright suggested that the new stimulus package include a provision to send a disco ball to each home so that people could dance in their living rooms.

But my all-time favorite to date was by tattooist Michael Clift, who suggested charging a dollar every time someone leaves or returns to the country, and taking all this money to make sure no one is living on the streets in this country.

These and other videos maybe seen at: http://www.youtube.com/iwishtosay.

The idea for “Creative Fix” grew out of my most recent past work, a public art project called “I Wish to Say.” For this, I set out to gather public opinion during the 2008 presidential election by setting up an “office” – complete with a manual typewriter – in public places and inviting passersby to dictate postcards to the next president. Many people spoke out for change, and I feel the challenges facing this nation demand attention from more than just the usual suspects. Artists, I believe, can offer a fresh perspective on many of the most pressing issues of the day.

In other parts of the world, artists play a legitimate role in politics and political debate. In the U.S., however, artists are seen as suspect. I’d like to do one small thing to change this and bring more creativity to American politics.

Anyone who would like to participate in the project is encouraged to post a text or video response on the YouTube channel, or contact me about hosting a "Creative Fix" event.

http://www.youtube.com/iwishtosay