Lately I have been posting stories about the adventures in the art world, particularly the virgin birth of High Performance magazine and the emergence of Highways Performance Space. You can find them by clicking on “Writings” in the tool bar.
Here’s a link to a 1990 essay I wrote about the birth of Highways Performance Space for the University of Kansas Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism. Highways is a performance art space in Santa Monica, Calif., that I founded with artist Tim Miller in 1989. This story is full of idealism and highflown rhetoric about how we were going to change the world. And, in some little ways, we did. I left in 1993, but Highways still thrives at the 18th Street Arts Center. Long may she wave.
At the end of December 2011, I asked a few friends and colleagues to send me stories and links that prove we can heal the earth, our society and our lives. I invited people who keep track of things like this — signs of a paradigm shift away from destruction. I was inspired by Arlene Goldbard‘s writing, and lately her link to Lessons of the Loess Plateau, which is a documentary about the regeneration of a huge ecologically devastated area in China, accomplished by the people who live there. Both Arlene and I hunger for people with what she calls “a disinclination toward doom.”
Steven Durland and I have just published another in our series of eBooks about the most significant jobs program affecting artists in the past 70 years: CETA (Comprehensive Employment and Training Act), a federal employment program active from 1973 to 1981.
This new eBook, CETA and the Arts II: Fifteen Case Studies, is a supplement to the eBook we published in October: CETA and the Arts: Analyzing the Results of a Groundbreaking Federal Job Program. This book, CETA and the Arts II, offers details on 15 case studies that were summarized in the first book.
Both of these eBooks were excerpted from a report that was prepared in 1981 for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) by Morgan Management Systems, Inc., Columbia, Maryland.
CETA and the Arts II provides exhaustive details on 15 case studies of CETA projects conducted across the U.S. in 1978 and 1981. This supplement was designed to assist readers who have particular interest in the development and operation of specific programs and projects. Readers may access in-depth information on the project sites, including a profile of each organization involved, a review of the history of its CETA involvement, a detailed description of its CETA activities, placement results and any programming aspects that were unique to the subgrantees/contractors.
To create these eBooks, we restored the text by applying optical character recognition to a PDF of a photocopy of the original study and converted it to the digital, searchable document you see here. We hope the amount of historical detail in these two eBooks will inspire arts critics and policymakers to consider the value of the CETA program and its impact on the cultural life of the U.S., especially in light of the current discussion around jobs programs for artists.
Both eBooks are available from the Amazon Kindle Store for $2.99 each. Buyers do not need a Kindle device to read them; you can download a free Kindle Reader app from Amazon and read them on your computer or iPhone.
We hope artists who were employed through the CETA program will visit the CETA and the Arts Facebook page and write about their experiences.