15 August 2006

i'm seething.

for those of you who are expecting to see me and my art in a booth at the 39th street art festival on the 20th, i regret to inform you that i won't be there. in all honesty, there was some question as to how long i'd actually be able to be there that day as is - bebe's naptime, lunch, etc. but after today's events, i just don't feel right participating. and i won't.

here's the deal. a month or so ago, will was approached to sign a petition to close off the street for the festival, which he did. of course. he asked the coordinator of this event, who was working on behalf of the 39th street CID, if the bookstore could also feature live music, as we have the honor of knowing SO many truly talented music makers. the coordinator, bob, was excited. as the goal of the festival is to get people to come check out our lovely neck of the woods, right? and to support our local talent, right?

(i need to say here - there are two things that you need to know about will):

1) he lives and breathes music and literature and art - specifically our very own home-grown talent. he is the biggest supporter of local artists and musicians that you will every find. there is live music most every weekend at the bookstore. he founded the 39th street artwalk that we know and love today (that the CID is taking credit for now in the press - and when i told will about it, he said he didn't care as long as it HELPS THE STREET). he publishes local poets. he walks the talk. period.

2) he loves 39th street and wants nothing more than to see it become the booming area that it almost is and can be. he has poured his heart and soul into the bookstore over the many years. everything that he has done has been in support of our neighborhood and 39th street.

so - will tells bob that he prefers to work with local artists and would it be ok to have live music at prospero's as well? sure! prospero's will provide their own tent, do their own press and footwork at no cost to the CID. sure! it's all set. will asks several musicians if they will play over the span of the day. he gets a set list together of some of the finest musicians in kansas city. all of these groups are playing out regularly and have recorded. they are each fantastic in their own right.

today, he gets a call from the unelected president of the 39th street CID, lucie klemovec. she says, "what are you trying to do? the CID (buisness association) is spending good money to hire REAL musicians."

WHA!!?? REAL musicians?!?!?

when will told her that he'd already cleared it with bob - she said that he didn't ask her, and it didn't matter. they are moving the REAL musician's stage closer to the bookstore. with the PA that they will be using, the musicians playing at prospero's will be drowned out. ergo, will has had to cancel the music planned for the bookstore. five days out from the event.

so here's the deal. there is apparently enough funds, paid in by all the business merchants of 39th street, to hire a promoter to book REAL musicians for an event, when 39th street is already literally crawling with real musicians that take their work very seriously and can rival any "mainstream band" talent/songwriting wise ANY day. not to knock who *they've* booked, but i'm just saying. this is crap.

and to all the artists that i contacted that will be showing there on the 20th as per my prodding, i'm sorry that i'm bowing out now, but i just can't do it with a clear conscience. these musicians and artists are responsible for breathing life into this street for years now. without them, this area woild've shriveled up and dies long ago. i can not, will not, take part in a festival that is completely ignoring this, and being thouroughly insulting to my friends that make music.

do know this. prospero's will continue to support each and every local musician and artist and writer in this community. you are REAL to them.

do with this what you will. i'am not pleased.


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