of idealistic artists, students and community activists travel
to communities across New England with the popular folk artist,
Sidewalk Sam, on a special mission - to giant, temporary artworks
and community symbols on the ground in the center of towns with
the enthusiastic participation of thousands of
local townspeople. These art events, which have had a record
of success in small communities across the Northeast, rally
enthusiasm for regional artistic expression and fortify an appreciation
of the arts that is shared across communities.
The ART AMERICA TOUR
shows how the arts provide a basis for shared American values.
The tour is a symbolic event binding together many communities
in trust and good spirit. It involves regional arts organizations
and cultural groups
interested in creating a more civil society. It draws heightened
attention to regional artists and arts institutions, presenting
them as important resources for resolving America's social and
political differences. Because it can bring people together
despite regional differences, the ART AMERICA TOUR declares
that the arts must be supported because they have the ability
to speak out to diverse people and
regions and provide a solacing influence during contentious
Artists are concerned about talk of Red States and Blue States
dividing America into two disputing camps that have no common
interests. They have seen prejudices become inflamed for states
that are either "Democrat" or "Republican,"
regions that are "cultured" or "non-cultured,"
citizens that are "moral" or "immoral,"
areas claiming a lock on "informed opinion," groups
claiming a lock on "family values" and so forth.
are divisive times, such divisive periods have occurred before
in America (after the Revolutionary War, around the Civil War
and the First World War, for example) when ungoverned political
feelings began to take
precedent over sensible discourse. American's unity became seriously
threaten.For such times there always arises a moderating voice.
is to be found among creative artists who speak out in support
of tolerance, respect and appreciation among all Americans.
It is a time for the arts to provide symbols of unity and respect
for Americans everywhere, independent of regional differences.
The arts must now rally Americans in
support of noble values that are common to us all. People must
be reminded of a
higher cause that binds all Americans together. The ART AMERICA
TOUR provides an opportunity for all America to come together;
it allows the arts to take a leadership role in uniting America.
The ART AMERICA TOUR promotes the arts as an organizational
resource that can bring Americans together around issues that
are more basic and profound than any that divide us.
The ART AMERICA TOUR
lets tens of thousands of Americans work on a unifying art project
together. As they gather to make art and share experiences they
will tell their personal stories in taped interviews, describe
the effect the arts have upon them and their families and provide
samples of the way the arts
add character and meaning to their lives. The ART AMERICA TOUR
and the stories about the value of personal expression in people's
lives will be presented in a videotaped program intended to
be aired nationally on PBS.
Presently we are
seeking interested community leaders, churches, civic organizations,
cultural non-profits, college groups, students, people in the
arts and active people in communities everywhere who would like
to discuss this tour.
can get involved by filling out this form.