"End of the Line"
"Hi, again--I think artists have had to take on the community-based agenda as an outgrowth of the thinking of the 60s, where art was supposed to be revolutionary and socially oriented. Then the Marxist critics, who de-emphasized the art object and emphasized the social context, and so on.
But another reason for community-based art has to do with the availability of funds, and the fact that if you can show community impact as a result of your project--that is, involvement of citizens, or economic impact...
The point is that granting agencies love this because they can go to the politicians and say "here are the numbers proving this was worthwhile," and for a long time, politicians had no good way to deal with this other than to renew funding.
This of course is my opinion; I haven't really researched this. I have filled out enough grant forms to know that they look for this, and I got myself a 501(c)3 and held it for 10 years, and had to provide the IRS with all kinds of community impact stuff. Taxes and financial law have a lot to do with this stuff.
The whole movement to get art off the wall, begun in the early years of this century, contained in it the notion that art could change the world. I think the community-based art movement is a manifestation of that impulse."
--Fred Truck, July 6, 1997----------------------
"Congratulations for The End of The Line project. I took a look at the Web Site. You did a great job in recruiting people to participate. The workshops and talks were very well-thought-of. What about the impact on the community? I have seen some comments (3) under "neighborhood voices", how the community as whole is responding? What about having a space in the site for people to post their comments? A billboard kind of thing. I think it is important not, only, to make public art, but to involve the public... As you both did when people started to share their ideas/experiences. I am sure the project took surprising directions after it got started: learning for both sides (artists and community)! The business of interaction is so powerful...!
By the way, have you read the special report in Business Week, May 5, 1997: Internet Communities. Interesting stuff!"
--Petronio Bendito, June 7, 1997-------------------
"Dear Lisa and Carolyn-
All the best,
--Nancy Ward Balderose, June, 1997----------------------
"I went to Planning school at Pitt GSPIA. I think your project is great. I found it on the Pittsburgh net site on Yahoo! I hope you will have a museum exhibition as well."
-- PGHTOFTP@MSN.COM, Ft. Pierce, Florida, May 23, 1997-------------------
"Had my first end of the Line sighting earlier today when driving
students between MCG [Manchester Craftsmen's Guild] and Pittsburgh Children's
Festival. The poster we saw featured Betty Rosfeld (?) who distributed ration
coupons to her neighbor's in Beechview. One of the girls I was driving went
to elementary school in that neighborhood and made an immediate connection
with the piece through that personal history. Congratulations on a great
project. I'll keep my eyes on the busses."
"I write a column called 'on the bus with kat hy jo' i think buses are the last hope for humanity. where people, strangers, get to talk to each other. or at least try. my columns have to appeal to a smarmy intellectual readership but have been endeared (or maybe endured) by so many people. it's just that i see so much "art" in the interactions with people on the b us. i truly love my fellow bus riders. and I've yet to rip on a bus driver even though they can be brutal.
anyway. that's all about that.
i guess so many "artists" are usually so high freaking class, that to even ride a bus is a political act for them. I'm glad t o see normal people involved. But the poetry on the bus project was so full of p poetry that no one on the bus would understand or even care about, that it's insulting. So, as far as the impact of art on my life, I've seen none. NONE. because you can tell for the most part, that it's done for the artists' benefit, to put on a resume or some shit, and not for the people it supposedly is to serve. "
--Kathy Jo Kramer, May 13,1997-------------------