Where Are The Adults In ArtPrize Kerfuffle? [Opinion]
Can we no longer sit down as adults and come to some sort of compromise? The issue between ArtPrize and Peter Meijer seemed easily solvable, but there seems to be no adult supervision.
ArtPrize project 1 debuts this weekend and one of the venues, the Tanglefoot Building on the West Side is slated for a myriad of events in a cleverly designed public space, but that building is owned by Peter Meijer, a candidate for the 3rd District Congressional seat next November.
Meijer had some objections to a scheduled event by DisArt at the venue, a drag show put on by a group of performers with Down Syndrome called 'Drag Syndrome'. So he sent DisArt a letter saying the venue could not be used for that specific show.
DisArt cried foul, scheduled a press conference to make everyone aware of their displeasure, and eventually found another venue, the Wealthy Theater, for their show this Saturday.
Yesterday, DisArt announced that they will file a complaint against Meijer for discrimination.
The jaded and cynical side of my brain saw this whole kerfuffle as a contrived load of bullcrap.
A conservative politician needs press, so he cancels a show, knowing full well there would be backlash, which would help to get his name out there in what will be a crowded race.
Meanwhile, ArtPrize, trying something new this year called 'Project 1', needs press too, and so they fire back back invective to ratchet up the publicity to get the word out on a show that might not have drawn as many people as it will now.
I almost drew a line to the DeVos family, who will probably back Meijer's campaign, AND who has a family member directly involved in ArtPrize.
How's that for cross promotion?
But let's get real here.
Meijer had some concerns about the performers in Drag Syndrome, particularly, were they able to give consent for this performance, and if not, was the group being exploited. In my humble opinion, as someone whose brother was mentally challenged, I thought they were legitimate concerns.
So why not write DisArt and ask some questions to clarify those concerns, rather than booting the show from his building? Why not ask to talk with the performers and get a grasp of their abilities to consent?
And DisArt, instead of knee jerking and going public with the letter, wouldn't it have been better to respond to it by asking for a sit down, so he could have his concerns answered instead of going public with it right away?
Have Meijer and DisArt representatives met face to face at all?
I guess civility and compromise don't go well in an age driven by social media likes and web hits.
Maybe it's time we stop being little toddlers and step up and talk to each other face to face, instead of sniping through letters and the press.
Recently Oprah Winfrey was in town for 60 Minutes and had demonstrated to Trump supporters and Trump opponents, that when we sit down and talk to each other, and see the humanity in each other, we can agree to disagree. When we snipe online, we no longer see humanity, and instead we demonize and dehumanize each other.
To quote Jack Johnson from the song 'Cookie Jar', 'We only receive what we demand,
If we want hell, then hell's what we'll have...'
I demand civility. How about you?