Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Anger as Agent of Creativity: A report from the “Art Not Hate” project by Bob Barancik

Some Buddhist sages have equated anger with insanity. I agree with that sentiment in many aspects of life…but not all.

Anger can be an agent of positive creative change and an impetus to the creation of profoundly unsettling but life-affirming art forms.

As part of my forthcoming “Art Not Hate: Creative Responses to Conflict” exhibit at the Florida Holocaust Museum, opening in March, I worked with young people from Community Tampa Bay and various other organizations in the metro area. In the workshops, students came to understand the anger they experienced in various situations, and then used that anger as a creative energy.

Here is a short video that conveys the flavor of the workshops:

I enjoyed working with the teenagers, but as a person on the brink of his 60th birthday, I have a compelling need to collaborate with both emerging and mature artists and performers. Together we can create art that might speak across generations.

I was especially interested in collaborating with Gen Y (under 30 adults) and fellow Boomers in projects that incorporate both traditional art forms and new electronic media.

As I see it, Tampa Bay’s future economic growth will be driven more by the silicon in computer chips than by our broad sandy beaches. Here is a link to a prescient column that I wrote for the Creative Tampa Bay Buzz a few years ago:

New Media vs. The Movies

The “Art Not Hate” project weaves together various strands of the creative economy ethos—the cultivation of diverse people and ideas, the humanization and monetization of digital technology, and the desire to foster genuine community (with all its conflicts, contradictions, and promises of creative human connectedness).

This short “Anatomy of Anger” video clip was written and performed by Aleshea Harris, accompanied on congas by Nery Arevalo, produced by Mark Maynor, and managed by Sarah Gerard.

The piece was inspired by a series of mixed media collages that are part of the “Art Not Hate” exhibit.

Please visit the exhibit website at and read the informative online press release.

The free public reception at the Florida Holocaust Museum is Sunday March 14th from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Piano jazz great Stan Hunter and classical piano virtuoso Judith Alstadter will be performing. RSVP required.

Email Amy Blake at to be put on the guest list. Spaces are limited.

The “Art Not Hate” exhibit runs from March 6th to March 30th.


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