Thursday, July 15, 2010

Who We Are & What We Do - The SHORT Version

Today I was asked to give an explanation of the Tryst, but the short version.  After Michele and I slaved away and yammered on with drawn out explanations of who we are and what we do, I realized that we do indeed need a short version. So here's the response I gave:

Mission Statement-
The Tryst fosters a process of social change for artists of all kinds that eradicates the current "feast or famine" system and gives way to a creative middle class through which artists can completely earn a livelihood. 

I'm an MSW, of the social justice kind, so naturally the Tryst is based on community organizing principles. We were founded in 2009 and our members have shown continued interest since our inaugural event last summer. We have events for two reasons 1) networking/exposure and 2) building membership. Once we have a more solid membership then we can sit down and say, "Ok, the creative community is facing this and this and this social justice issue. For instance, we have trouble obtaining healthcare, income and affordable housing. There is little middle class in the arts. How are we going to address this all? How are we going to change the system?" And then we will create campaigns to address these issues.

The events we have planned are shows revolving around topics like the BP oil spill and dependence on oil, defining Womynhood, addressing food injustice and agribusiness, sharing the community's experiences with mental health and substance abuse, and using found objects and rubbage to make statements (and art) about the state of the environment. 

Most likely the shows will include musicians and visual artists, but we are open to other disciplines as well. It just seems that the setting is most conducive to these disciplines. But we will figure out, as we go along, how to be as inclusive as possible.

Photo credit: Tiago Ribeiro

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