42 Commerce Street 3f
155 West Granite Ave.
I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Century and Millennium and to let you know the plans for School of Living Arts in the year 2000. First, though, I'd like to give the background for my decisions:
The significance of our new era struck me very strongly when, on New Year's Eve, 1999, for the first time in the history this planet, the Earth celebrated the same event together. The global 24 hour celebration for the New Millennium was the first Global Art Event! With the media tracking it all and bringing the world wide events into everyone's living room, we truly passed a milestone in Earth history-- planetary consciousness is awakening. I know many who watched those events are still "glowing from the outpouring of good will and positive vision" as one friend put it. We seem to be having a glimpse of our true role as members of the Earth Community; as cultural historian Thomas Berry asserts, our role is to celebrate, to enhance the Universe's impulse to express itself through greater and greater diversity and to surpass all previous moments of beauty.
This spontaneous outpouring — spontaneous in the sense that no one engineered the whole event — has shown us how the arts and media working together can lift consciousness. Too often we are fed what's lowest in human nature by the media, instead of what is highest in the human spirit. The partnership of the media and the arts is powerful, as these recent events have shown us. The arts are the creative element of this partnership, injecting new images of hope, beauty and unity in to human consciousness, while the media mirrors back what the unaided eye cannot see -- images from far away, drawing our planet closer together, as it must as we enter this new era.
"We need to be retaught our loveliness," Sharon Salzberg says in her book on Lovingkindness Meditation. As artists, we can teach, uplift, illuminate and exhilirate. We can heal false concepts of who we are as a species and a planet. Through our creations, we can also open the floodgates to action -- we can motivate through our ability to evoke emotion in our work. In these early days of the Third Millennium, whether we know it or not, the foundation is being laid for the next thousand years. As Bishop Tutu said before the New Year's celebrants in Washington D.C., "Now we have before us and unspoiled time." What will we create? What will we make of this blank canvas of unspoiled time?
Ultimately, as is the case for all humans, our true medium is life itself and it must be understood that the creative process requires being both active and receptive. Both spontaneous and conceptual forms of art need the receptive, contemplative element in order to bring through the best and healthiest expression an individual can offer. Besides being an artist and iconographer, my role as founder and director of The School of Living Arts for Creativity and Ecological Culture has also been an important form of expression for me, another way of coaxing our culture to embrace life-affirming values and learn ways to put these values to work. This long-range vision for the School is nowhere near its realization, but time is most clearly a very essential part of our medium. Being a very active artist, I have had to juggle my need and desire to make art with my equal desire to bring the extraordinary teachers and concepts I myself have benefitted from to the public.
As I was recently making the final schedule for the coming year, I found somthing else calling me instead to leave space, to CULTIVATE EMPTINESS to allow what is asking to be born through me to enter. I don't know all of what this will be, but I have a strong sense that it is significant for myself as well as the culture. It is too early to speak about it, as another step in the creative process is gestation, a time when incipient ideas and desires are cultivated in secret, in the depths of one's heart, just as a fetus needs the darkness of the womb to grow. Despite my desire for community and stimulation, I know I must go to this dark empty place inside for new light and life to shine forth from within.
Thus, I am postponing all School activities for one year. I know this will disappoint some of you who have enjoyed the programs in recent times. I too will miss the learning, comraderie, depth and inspiration that these workshops and lectures have given us all. I welcome hearing from all of you and how you're doing in this wonderful symbolic year of new beginnings or pre-beginnings ('00, not '01). I would very much like to continue being in touch, to hear from you what programs you would enjoy in the future.
In deference to the spontaneity of the creative process, there may be a few impromptu, and very intereting events this year. I will be happy to keep you informed if you email me that you would like to be put on our mailing list.
So for now, I want to leave you with two visions
for the Third Millennium from two of my most important teachers:
The latter is Thomas Berry's vision for the emerging Ecological Age. May this new era give us the capacity to hear what the Earth is telling us, and the courage to make her dreams a reality. We are ultimately only one being, and her health, her truth, her beauty and her goodness is ours.
BOARD OF ADVISORS
DR EWERT COUSINS
CASSANDRA SKOURAS M.S.
ALISON SHORE GAINES
.WHAT'S IN A NAME?
"We think in secret, and it comes to pass -Our environment is but our looking glass."
CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTES PH.D..
End of the Millennium
Plein Air Landscape Painting Workshop
An Evening Talk
with Fordham Theology Professor Ewert Cousins, co-sponsored by
the Spiritual Life Institute
Personal Story Telling
with performance artist, counselor and Story Teller, Marcie Telander
Together We Can Make It: Communities That Work
with Diana Christian
Three Day Rejuvenating Juice Fast and Retreat
with Allison Shore Gaines
Weekend Intensive in Batik as a Fine Art
with Angela Manno
The Architecture of the Soul
an evening talk with poet and environmentalist
ART & SOUL
an ongoing changing exhibition by internationally acclaimed
artist Angela Manno
Copyright © 1998 - 2002 by Angela Manno