On Saturday, September 20th, I attended a middle school gift to their neighborhood in what can be considered a challenged community. The gift was a mini comic book convention with plenty of books by various independent artists, as well as some by DC, and Archie Comics.
The artists who attended (myself included) were men and women, ranging in age from about 20 something up to those with snow white hair. We represented several races and cultures, including the US, parts of Latin America, and England. Most of us worked for some of the major comics, TV, film, and video game companies. Quite a smorgasbord.
We heard a lot of, “thanks,” and “this is fun,” and the kids enjoyed asking questions, drawing with us, and learning how comics are made. Near the end of the day one parent said, “We don’t usually have anything like this come to this neighborhood…” The obvious reason being that it’s a poor section of the city.
I could have said, underprivileged, or ghetto, but that isn’t considered PC. Or, perhaps I’m not using those terms because they instantly trigger images that might cause some individuals to shut down, or come to a conclusion about the populace before hearing the facts.
Whatever else might be in areas like this all over the country, there are also hearts and minds and souls yearning to discover, and grow, and perhaps even contribute to a better society. The creative arts is one path to lifting spirits, teaching life lessons, and expanding the human capacity to manifest what did not exist before. Or, sometimes, it is simply a way to maintain a little light and fresh air in our days.
If art is a meal on which we need to feast from time to time … than we have surely left far too many to starve – especially the children.
That is a condition that can be changed, simply by creating events like this, where a few good people can congregate and share and feel good about themselves and others.