Frame of Reference - Sauk County and Beyond

Ammendment through Arts: Part 2

June 23, 2022 Season 4 Episode 4
Frame of Reference - Sauk County and Beyond
Ammendment through Arts: Part 2
Show Notes Transcript

There’s a line in Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Sunday in the Park with George” where two characters are critiquing a work of art and one sings “Work is what you do for other people, Art is what you do for yourself”.  I USED to think that sounded very self absorbed and snooty, but I’ve come to realize in the past few years that it’s really not.  It’s a comment about art’s ability to provide self protection, self regeneration, self preservation.  From my perspective, as a LIFELONG advocate and practitioner of Arts, I have to ask what will it take for the majority of us to figure out how art can heal us?…

Haven’t we had our fill of ugly, angry hateful dialog between opposing political parties?  Reprehensible violence in our schools and even now, Grocery stores.  news casts and podcasts and social media posts that focus less on information and more on inflammation. our lack of common ground has us more polarized than we have been since the civil war.  How long before we all insist that something needs to change in how we behave?  

People use Europe and Canada as examples of places laws have curbed much of the violence that we regularly experience. BUT isn’t it interesting that in both Europe and Canada, they ALSO pay much more attention to the Arts in their schools and in their daily LIVES?  They spend much more money, time, and energy on educating people’s HEARTS as well as their minds.  They know that there is extensive therapeutic value in learning to appreciate and tap into our individual and collective creativity.  They understand that like the words of the old hymn “Bless be the Ties that bind” art is one of those ties that bind us together.  Arts bring people together. Like Lindsey's example of the Big Top Chautauqua.  Republicans, Democrats, the old and the young all attending, responding and enjoying the same event. All together without fighting. Hmmmm, what if we had more of that in our lives? 

Announcer:

Welcome to frame of reference informed intelligent conversations about the issues and challenges facing everyone in today's world, in depth interviews with salt counties, leaders and professionals to help you expand and inform your frame of reference, brought to you by the max FM digital network. Now, here's your host Rauel LaBreche.

Rauel LaBreche:

Welcome to another edition episode. That's an episode, isn't it? Of frame of reference. So my guest this week, last week, this week, for many weeks, it's a woman that I believe in, you're never she has glendo stat right here. So until we get it, right, it loosey goosey Lindsay giftees is the executive director of river arts Inc. And again, Lindsay, thanks for being with me. Thanks for having an extended conversation, which I don't think we ever have had like short conversations. Have we? Oh, it's impossible. Yeah. I think why if we were would have to, like start off the conversation by saying I only have two minutes. Okay. And then we would know, okay, we can do that. Yeah. So anyways, Lindsay, we talked last episode, Natalie about your favorite things, which was quite interesting. By the way, if you haven't heard those need to go back and listen to those favorite things, but then talked about the things that art has gone through artists have gone through arts organizations have gone through during the course of COVID. So let's, let's assume that we're pretty well through it. I don't want to jinx it. But at least we're to the point now where we're having to live in endemic phase, which is, it's always going to be there. How do we keep moving forward? Knowing that, okay, we're not going to like it, but we're hopefully going to learn to coexist with it. Right? Where is our today in that spectrum of living with it? And you know, what's going on in arts these days? That we're in a not a post? Post? Well, I guess we're post pandemic, I hope we are. Right. And you know,

Lindsey Giese:

it's starting to feel a little bit. Not normal, but like, there's a lot of stuff going on. Things are happening. Yeah.

Rauel LaBreche:

Summerfest is happening in Milwaukee that was like, Okay, so,

Lindsey Giese:

big events, but all kinds of events, and I'm seeing an uptick in live music in general, venues that maybe didn't even have it before. COVID are popping up with

Rauel LaBreche:

Brock fest is back in the Madison area. Right. So it's,

Lindsey Giese:

it's kind of those like, you want to pinch yourself a little bit like, is this real? Like, why are we doing this a little

Rauel LaBreche:

bit of our Is this safe, right? Because when you see numbers start to spike, as we've kind of rushed in, in some ways, right to some of the events, you wonder, okay, well, should we should really be you know, and I think there are people are still saying, ya know, too early for me, which is fine. You know, I think you kind of have to make those decisions, right? But then there are others who are like, Oh, God, I so want to get out and do something. So I want to have a beer and listen to some good jazz or whatever. So So those opportunities are happening, those opportunities are happening. are you what are what's the feel from the crowds and the artists and in general, is everyone like, Oh, my God, thank

Lindsey Giese:

you. Yes. And overwhelming. Oh, my God, thank you. Happy to be back. Just a great energy. It's good. And you know, what's kind of silly. I'm sure that this is going to come back soon. But the like, little complaints that maybe you laugh because, you know, like, it's too the sounds too loud or the sound like in the same night. That sounds too loud. That sounds too quiet. Always make me laugh. It's too hot. It's too cold, or just like some of the little like, I shouldn't call them. The feedback has changed. Yes. And it is more so are just like, thank you so much. This was a wonderful experience.

Rauel LaBreche:

My favorite store, I have to tell you this story. Jeff Porter, who is the sound engineer for some of our bigger events at the Union theater, when I worked there years ago, Porter would would have these huge analog sound boards. I mean, back in the day, there was no digital it was like 84 channels with 18 different knobs per channel kind of thing. So he would be sitting out there in the middle of how Sergei get a really good mix. And of course, this very impressive panel people would come up with him to him for all kinds of things. And this one elderly woman came up one performance and said sir, my app where I'm sitting it's awfully cold up there is there something that you can do about it? And he asked her which seat were you in ma'am and she said I'm up there and and balcony in the center in such and such seat and he went over to his board and took one little dial that was probably EQ or you know 4k sound or something and just do a little tweak on it and they every two they looked at it should be fine. No ma'am. So she went off happy isn't I thought boy you let some placebo effect for you know what things can cannot control. It

Lindsey Giese:

would have been even better if she came back after and said I think she did. She

Rauel LaBreche:

was So much better, you know, because somebody cared enough to actually do something. Instead of just saying, Man, I'm the sound guy. Okay, leave me alone. He was sensitive enough to say, oh, okay, it should be fine now. So partly because it makes a great story. But I think also, it's not a bad thing to do. Right. I love it. Yeah. So

Lindsey Giese:

you get all kinds of feedback. So yeah, overall, now, I'm not It's not gone. But this a lot better. And we know what I think I missed it. I missed those little.

Rauel LaBreche:

I don't know, we were talking a couple of weeks ago. And there was something that was complaining about something and you were like, still like so. Because sometimes,

Lindsey Giese:

I wanted me to call, you know, and I would never name names. And this was really important to them. But they wanted me to call another patron. And because that patron wasn't following the rules, and the show's already over. I'm like, There's not even know what I'm can't tattle on. Like, what I don't know what you want me to do. I felt like it just was

Rauel LaBreche:

I will do you one better man. I will call that person's mother. Okay, I will call their mom. Yeah, that's because then then you can really get them in trouble. So what were you doing at that event, so people

Lindsey Giese:

are funny. The other thing and this I would share, like, we just we ticket for other organizations. And we just finished ticketing for a local dance recital. And I, everybody, all of these, the parents were fantastic, I don't have they are amazing what they do for the kids is amazing. Those tickets sell so darn fast. So fast. And so it's like, when the tickets go on sale, it is like almost this like moment of panicky, like, I'm gonna get my tickets. So we'll get phone calls that it's like that energy. I'm like, I'm gonna help you out like that, like, I get it. This is a big, but then when you take a step back, you're like, This is a dance recital. And it is

Rauel LaBreche:

a big deal. Yeah, super important thing,

Lindsey Giese:

but they're also kind and like, so that lifts me up, like when I get to even and then someone who's like really stressed and they're super kind and I'm like, This is what it should be like, you're so kind to me, I'm gonna help you like we're gonna we're gonna do this, right? We're gonna get through this ticketing hazard. Well, isn't that,

Rauel LaBreche:

you know, that's, that's the thing that I have struggled. And I think I struggle more as I get older with it, that it strikes me that art should provide an environment in which we are encouraged to the best Better Angels of ourselves, you know, that we AM. And part of what happens I think, with an artistic or really wonderfully crafted artistic event with someone that has great technical abilities, as well as just natural talent, is you get lifted to a place that makes you think, Oh, thank God, you know, you know, it's not, you know, everything that is part of life every day. It's what we could be if only, you know, it's somewhere in West, you know, West Side Story, those moments where you just go, Oh, my God, yes, please, please let us get there. And yet, I sometimes I worry when the world gets as ugly as it is that we as artists, there's a contingency of us that will want to focus on that ugliness and really expose it Raleigh for what it is, and leave us there. I think of it something like activist art sometimes I think does that. It's just it's so like, wanting to rattle the cage so much. And yet, what's the way out? There is no way out. You know, this is what it is. Yeah.

Lindsey Giese:

Yeah, it's hard when you you know, if you can't take away anything from it. So maybe we missed that. Mark.

Rauel LaBreche:

Are we stuck? Are we gonna get is that the danger? I guess I'm getting it is my question. Are we going to get stuck in that place? When we have so much political polarization we have so much, you know, social media. We talked about, you know, last episode of, you know, troll ism is so much vitriol being spewed out. Art to me has to be at least one of the major tools and or weapons to get us out of that. Right, doesn't it?

Lindsey Giese:

Yeah, I don't I don't think that art is going to get us stuck. I think it helps you see other sides to things. Yeah. In a non argumentative way. But even like some of the examples that you're saying where someone's it's an activist, just trying to poke the barrel a little bit. I don't I don't think that we're gonna go too far. I shouldn't I can't speak in absolutes. Yeah. Does go too far. I don't know.

Rauel LaBreche:

What you think of like, let's take a pretty well known idea, Maple Thorpe, and some of maple forbs photographic exhibits. And the one in particular that got a lot of press was the crucifix in a vial of urine, right. And people were just so so you know, vehemently opposed to that as a Oh my God, how could you This is an art and we're using tack scholars to support this, it became this huge arena, right? Without any real dialogue. I'm well, why was he doing that? What was he trying to say about things, you know, do is is what's happening to you right now and your disgust with this? Isn't that part of the message? As an artist, he was so disgusted by what we were doing to that crush that in his mind, deal with it. This is what you're doing to it, whether you like it or not, right. But the dialogue

Lindsey Giese:

happened? Yeah, it was angry. Some of it was angry dialogue. So thought provoking?

Rauel LaBreche:

Is that what we need to do? I mean, does there need to be the musical Trump? You know? Because I have no Long Day's Journey Into Trump. I, you know, I wonder, you know, how do we get to the point where the things that fomented to the point of causing a January 6, and beyond, can get dealt with in a way that I think art is the means for doing that,

Lindsey Giese:

I think art serves that purpose. I you know, in this can be very personal, like, I personally look at art to not not necessarily escape, but to better myself. So if I'm, let's say I'm in a bad mood, or in a dark place, I can view art and art experience, and it's going to take me out of that mode, or I'm already in an elevated happy state, it's only going to, I can't think of an art experience that I've had that made me feel worse off when I left it. But I didn't see the maple, Maple RPS over it, I don't know, that particular piece would have done it for me, but I've never, I've never personally experienced art in a way that made me feel worse, or be less of a good person. So I look to art for that, like even I was listening to a podcast the other day where they were talking about the power of art. And that may make can make you cry, like if you watch someone who's crying, you might cry with and someone might say, why would you want to put yourself through that? Like, why do you want to go to something that's gonna make you cry. But in the podcast, they were saying, like, actually feel happier after I cried, like that release that emotion, sharing that emotion with somebody else, but also just that emotional release. Sure. And it's not even about they're like, there's they're having empathy for that other person who's crying, that that whole experience puts them in a better place. And I think the more that we can have those, especially an empathetic experience, that's going to help us get out of some of these slumps. But art's been historically trying to be the activist and been trying to do things for years. Yeah, I think we just gotta keep pushing.

Rauel LaBreche:

I haven't thought of a workshop I was at years ago. And the presenter said that artists are contemporary prophets, that just like Elijah, or Isaiah, artists come and shake the cage, you know, they're there, you know, Jonah and Nineveh, saying, Repent, you know, sometimes that's the job of the artist is to get people shut up enough, so that they have to look at what's going on. And that's what I think of as activist art. I think where I get worried is that sometimes I see artists that are so angry, so unresolved in their anger about things that they write these pieces that are so angry, and there's no resolution to the anger. So it's like, why get stuck there. I think I think of artists having a, somewhat of a sacred responsibility of taking us beyond those things to the somewhere, you know, peace. Because I think, you know, you look at the issues in West Side Story, and there's some pretty angry things there. I mean, the Puerto Ricans and, you know, the jets that those two factions are very angry. And there's some really very sad things going on. And in the midst of this, you have, you know, the Tony and Maria relationship, and then the penultimate is somewhere, which, you know, you want to believe that even though it ends with him dying that somewhere it can still happen, right?

Lindsey Giese:

Well, yeah, it goes back to we've talked about this in the last episode, too, but it goes back to the dialogue. Yeah, if you're gonna just create art and you don't want to have that conversation or, or spark that dialogue, then it's just art that's just gonna just gonna sit there like there's Is

Rauel LaBreche:

it art if it just sits there? That's kind of an interesting prerequisite. Isn't that if it's art, art for art's sake or art for just me? What sometimes line you know, our work is what we do for other people. Art is what we do for ourselves. So yeah, I guess I mean, an artist is doing something that is in themselves. But if there's no one if there's no audience, if there's no recognition or appreciation for an audience for my art, is it still art?

Lindsey Giese:

All right, don't even press Shouldn't it can be just taste sometimes.

Rauel LaBreche:

It's okay to disagree. I mean, I, I would think maple fork would be one of the first to say it's totally fine to be upset with my art. I was trying to make them upset. Yeah. Yeah, that was, you know, if you're not upset, then I wonder if you're awake. So but then can we get past the upsets, right?

Lindsey Giese:

And then the anger that was usually the first response, but anger typically comes out of fear. So can you have the discussion about like, why? What is? What are you afraid of? What what does this symbolize to you? That makes you angry?

Rauel LaBreche:

Right? Well, and sometimes I think there's a conviction element there, that, you know, we realize that I have been kind of peeing on my religion, or I have allowed others to pee on it by, you know, this sort of behavior. That was all part of that context, right? That you can't deny the truth of that.

Lindsey Giese:

But a lot of people can't have the Kindle, they don't have the words for the conversation either. So I was talking like this is we're not talking about religion. We're talking about art here.

Unknown:

art and religion together. Back in the day, when Michelangelo and those people were involved, we'll

Lindsey Giese:

talk to somebody about why do they go to church? And they said, that's what you're supposed to do. But why do you go to church? Well, you're supposed to, that's not that's not a reason to me. Like dig deeper if you can, like and if you don't know why you're doing these things. This is a moment. And so that's, that's specifically religion, but in general, like, Why do you have a problem with this painting? What's

Rauel LaBreche:

right? What is it? Is that

Lindsey Giese:

ever something that's like, maybe you don't really have a problem with it, you just were told to or you think you should? And you've never questioned it, right?

Rauel LaBreche:

My guest today is Lindsey Geesey, the executive director of river arts incorporated here in the software area. That thing that you just said right there. Lindsey makes me think of something I want to come back to when we are done taking this break to hear a word from our sponsor, so help me remember that thought, Okay. And don't go anywhere because we've got lots more fun stuff to talk about here on frame of reference on 99 Seven Max FM's digital network.

Unknown:

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Kory Hartman:

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Unknown:

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Rauel LaBreche:

And we're back here on frame of reference. Lindsey and I started talking on the break in between, I was trying to remember what my next question was. And I don't think I remembered what my question was, but we got into a train of thought I thought, why aren't I recording right now? But my guess is Lindsay Geesey. She is our local executive director. But she has a mind that is way beyond local. So and we get to talk about one of my favorite subjects in the entire world. That being art and because we both have artists hearts, I think we see the world through an artist's eyes and perhaps more importantly through an artist's soul and we're talking about the world as it is an art if it does one thing is able to both simultaneously capture the world as it is in the world as it could be the great words of George Bernard Shaw you know I I see the world and ask and do not ask why I see the dreams that could be dream or I see I dream dreams that could be an ask why not? So the quote master this i I'm finding as I get older, I want to have more quotes as part of my life.

Lindsey Giese:

So I'm gonna come I got to do some prep work next time. Oh,

Rauel LaBreche:

look at Margaret Mead that her code is getting used a lot lately have you know never underestimate the power of a small group of passionate people to change the world for indeed that is the only thing that ever has.

Lindsey Giese:

So it folks he's not reading these these are all memorized and I'm probably

Rauel LaBreche:

I'm paraphrase. I'm sure I'm not gonna there's gonna be somebody out there that I'm sorry. I really I wish I had the mind that commemorate. But I get that just okay. I'm adjuster if there's such a thing like gestures and I'm adjuster anyways, so we're talking I got into this realm of, let's face it world, regardless of where you're at politically, you know, frankly, folks, that's not the issue right now. What the issue is, is that our political beliefs, our political ideologies, our political passions, and our social passions have come to an unprecedented place in the history of the world. As far as we know, we are in the words of one woman that I listened to not too long ago on a podcast TED talk, she said we are more politically and and personally polarized in our nation than we have ever been before. And, you know, we're in an election year now, which is, you know, I don't care which side of the fence you're on in the political spectrum. There's a lot of anxiety over what could happen, what should happen, what better not happen, all of that, right. And so I say all that as a preface to the world as it is, is not a real happy place, families aren't talking to each other because of who they voted for. families aren't talking to each other close friends aren't talking to each other, because where they stand on certain social issues, put in your own social issue, you can imagine which ones I'm talking about. Art has always been in my mind, one of the best tools and means of helping to pull us back from the precipice of self mutual, whatever destruction, right, either by waking us up before it's too late, or by giving us a dream to push forward towards. How is that happening? Is Do do you are one of the most hopeful people I know. Are there examples of art out there right now that are artists that you would point people towards that, that help to make things settle down enough to say, hey, let's not forget, we're all in this together. Can we not forget that?

Lindsey Giese:

Well, I think that's like the root of it is not focusing as much on our differences. But why we are why we should be united. But that's a lofty, that's a lofty goal. Yes. You know, I'm going to be honest, I feel like I need to do a better job looking globally. I love my little space here in Sauk Prairie, and my job and I it's so easy for me to focus on all like maybe that is why I'm positive because I can I can focus on like the good that happens around here. And the good friends and family but the beautiful art that's around here. And because it gets really scary further out.

Rauel LaBreche:

Yeah. Big towns, big problems, right? Yeah, big countries, big problems. You know, you think of like Ukraine, what kind of art is going to come out of Ukraine? I saw on Netflix, they have Vladimir Zelensky is TV series that he was in before he became president there, you know, and which was eerily similar to the role he's in now. But you know, you think of what the tapes life all Yeah, yeah. You know, what, what art will come out of this, though, you know, all the things that you look at previous role the World War Two, you know, art that came out of that? Yeah, well,

Lindsey Giese:

even what comes out of it, but what, hopefully, it's probably far from their minds, but hopefully they're able to use art, just to survive. Getting through these moments. That's what I think is really important about art is not necessarily like a product that can be created, but how we use art for ourselves.

Rauel LaBreche:

Do you?

Lindsey Giese:

I don't have I know you were looking for all the answers today. We should have we should have teased with that. And then I could just burst the bubble and say I don't have I don't have the answers. I'm optimistic and I think art is beautiful. And

Unknown:

to have the answers on you do have them no thank

Lindsey Giese:

you. Maybe you know, to it may be the thing that can unite us or to at least have those. The the divide is happening because people aren't talking to each other. What do you think it's when they're not talking kindly to each other? That filter is gone? Yeah, the gloves are off. Yeah. And it is ugly,

Rauel LaBreche:

I can say whatever I want to say and you're just have to sit there and listen to it. Which is yeah, have a blog. I mean, you can anybody can blog. Anybody can be an expert now, which is really kind of terrifying to me probably more than anything. Because I you know, would like to believe that you actually you know, the school of hard knocks is important. I will never discredit that but at the same point. There are other things that you do have to study a while. I wouldn't want just anybody welding you know, so I would want a welder welding so I anyways, but maybe it isn't about having the answers as it is what are the questions we should be asking right now? What are the questions that art asks that have always pushed us forward?

Lindsey Giese:

Why are you uncomfortable? This is my question, not you. Yeah. Why are you uncomfortable? I think

Rauel LaBreche:

what makes you uncomfortable? Why? was just making your

Lindsey Giese:

own. And I actually I think, are some of the art. That's the most interesting as art that does make you uncomfortable. Some of the some of my favorite shows are ones that are perplexing.

Rauel LaBreche:

What did they mean? Or? Yeah?

Lindsey Giese:

Yeah, why did why did my like this? The problem is not. I mean, there's many problems. But the questions keep going, right? So why are you uncomfortable, and if you're, if you are just ignoring it, you're not willing to do that work for yourself. We don't get better. And unfortunately, a lot of people don't even have the tools to do that digging, maybe they were not raised to think about their feelings or about their feelings or and they are maybe they don't have someone who they can share it with, or then even take it more internally. They don't they just don't even know what they don't know why they're uncomfortable. Right? Right. And that can take months or years to figure out decades, probably.

Rauel LaBreche:

When you think about critical thinking skills. I mean, one of the things that I released learned as an artist were was the capacity for critical thinking. So it's not only, you know, why is this making me uncomfortable? Why don't I like this? What is this about this that I don't understand? What button is this artists trying to push on me? And why are they pushing that button? All of those kinds of questions that, you know, I think of what, cabaret, when the leader, the MC comes up and sings the song about money makes the guy rounds off to go out on you don't think, Boy, there's so much truth in that, that, do we ever stop to think about Wait a minute, you know, what this is? This message has been crafted in a specific way to generate some money for somebody a lot of times, right? So you know, either so they they can't get enough of it. And we'll buy more. Or, you know, it just it hits some things. Some scratch. I want itched, right? So, can artists do a better job of teaching us how to ask those questions.

Lindsey Giese:

I think that they're asking them, I think it's up to us to be open to hearing it. And some people aren't ready for that yet. But you did. And if we can go back you to ask please. Always go back. I mean, this is not going to be super, super way, way back, which is gonna be globally like something that people can look to for hope. And I don't even think you have to look globally. I think now that we are seeing live music happening again. We had a concert we had big top Chautauqua concert a couple of weeks ago, up from BT they came down here from Bayfield. Fantastic concert, almost sold out show which is a 500 seat theater Theater here at the river Art Center. Beautiful space, if you've never been

Rauel LaBreche:

a little plug remodeling now to

Lindsey Giese:

almost Yes, almost 500 people, you would not know who anyone voted for in there. And I would guess it was about a 5050 split in that room. Politically, right. And people on both sides that are very strongly believe their side, right? And we all enjoyed that music together. Nobody was mean, everybody had a great time claps all in the same spot. Imagine that we all have

Unknown:

same times. They all knew what was good.

Lindsey Giese:

So if you liked that level, yes, right. I mean, it wasn't to a beat or anything. We can't we still have a master that

Rauel LaBreche:

that's yeah, one and three or two? And

Lindsey Giese:

that's the big question, what do you do? But that happens all the time that happens on a daily basis that we are sharing something together, and we can put aside the differences.

Rauel LaBreche:

So can we find more of that? How do we what's the old Bing Crosby song? You got to accentuate the positive desaturate the negative and don't mess with mystery in between? How do we accentuate the positive? Where are the where are the pieces mean? It's just a matter of folks go find the good. Go find the kind go find the things that want to make you

Lindsey Giese:

need those changemakers and we needed to come from kindness. I don't think that you fighting with somebody, even if you don't, you're not going to change anyone's mind. So listening, we've talked about that.

Rauel LaBreche:

And certainly art gives you an opportunity to listen, listen,

Lindsey Giese:

listen, listen to each other. You can disagree. Can it come from a place of kindness? And I actually even hesitate to say like, it's like, do we need to change each other's minds? Or can we just open minds to other perspectives and viewpoints where the divide doesn't have to be? I don't think it's realistic to say we're gonna change other people's minds.

Rauel LaBreche:

Right? Right. I don't think it's realistic to think that everyone is needs to agree with me. I think there's more

Lindsey Giese:

it's the kind of the kindness element is gone. The fact that you can disagree and think that it's okay. To harass somebody, or we're take a weapon and like somebody that like, that's not going to serve anybody.

Rauel LaBreche:

Why? Why would you, which is maybe that's the thing I want some art somewhere to be able to do is to dial back the rhetoric, the hateful rhetoric, because it is. Yeah, I disagree with you. I don't think you know, whatever. That should be okay. Yeah.

Lindsey Giese:

I also, and I don't think we have to be best friends for it either. If the divide is that big, right, fine, but can we still be you don't have to be my best friend. But

Rauel LaBreche:

can there still be in can there still be room in the world for both of us? Yeah. And that that's, that's the thing that I guess I would have hoped that something as horrible as a pandemic would have taught us that. You know, what, I don't agree with you. But I don't, I don't want any harm to come to you. And sadly,

Lindsey Giese:

I don't see that we have come out. I, I sadly, feel like the divide is worse. I think there were things parts of COVID that became very political, without us getting into any politics, just face masks, which inherently shouldn't, it became a political thing. And then became something that people discussed for now the last for several years. And now it's a political thing. And now it's like, oh, you're wearing a mask ball. Like, now you visually are, like, seeing what you think is a indication of somebody's beliefs. And, and people get angry about it. And

Rauel LaBreche:

instead of just, well, maybe they have an allergy, and they have to be super sensitive. And now yeah, whatever

Lindsey Giese:

the reason is, or instead of, you know, COVID, where you know, people are really suffering instead of trying to come together in a more positive way. I had to this gonna go real personal here wrong. Maybe I shouldn't be revealing this. This is big news. Big news happening. Common. Hi, I'm honored and excited. I was asked to sing the national anthem for our local fire on the river, really. So I'll be there. And I'm so excited. I love that event. If you've never been here are top notch. I was going

Rauel LaBreche:

to emcee with Michelson and I, it was a conflict of schedule. I couldn't do it. So I feel awful. I could have introduced that would have been amazing. I will hold it against you. Well, maybe next year to

Lindsey Giese:

next year, maybe next year. But so they asked me and I'm so I'm very excited about it. But I had to sit with it for a second and think, How do I do the national anthem is, I think a really special and beautiful song hard, very hard song. But it is very special. Am I in a place where I'm I can sing that in front of the 1000s of people? Am I Am I proud of where things are at right now. And I don't say this in a political way. And this is not a stand for this, like, Nope, I don't want to get into anything on

Unknown:

your podcast, I completely get it. But it is just being honest with

Lindsey Giese:

myself. And I'm like, and if I'm not comfortable, what do I do to be comfortable? Like, what conversations do I need to have? And so and I only bring that up to say, I'm not just trying to like, talk the talk, I'm trying I'm, I'm digging? Why am I uncomfortable? Like I'm trying to dig deep and figure out what is it about this? So ultimately, I worked through that. And I was like, Yeah, you know what, I do want to do this. It's an honor to be asked, I love all of the people who are a part of the festival and for what they do and the the huge volunteers that are giving back to the community and

Rauel LaBreche:

when you know, and can we, it strikes me that artists are in a unique place professionally and personally, spiritually even to be able to make room for everybody at the table. And to be able to say, Okay, I I vehemently disagree with you. I totally I so much disagree with you, but that's okay. I I'm okay with disagreeing with you without hating you. Or without, you know, disregarding disrespecting you completely. Because everybody came to their belief came to their behavior, for reasons. I mean, there, there's a story there that we need to be willing to make room for. Right. So when I think of seeing the national anthem right now, yeah, it makes me sort of sad, too, because it was it's an anthem for the the entire country. It's the United States of America, and we just don't feel

Lindsey Giese:

united and that's where that's the root of it, where it came back. Right? Yeah. Right. Anyone that united may gonna sing this and feel dishonest, right? And it a little bit felt that way. And I was like, you know, I gotta I gotta have more conversations and work through why I feel this way and, and can me singing the national anthem have a positive result?

Rauel LaBreche:

We ought to all be right, you know, a free show. I mean, there ought to be a way to rally beyond that, that animosity, and that, I want to say media fired if I'm going to be upset with anybody. I think I'll be upset with the media, because the media is at its core, an artistic tool that has been weaponized in so many horrible ways, that to me, it's as bad as you know, the cult leader that wants to, you know, use scripture to accomplish an agenda. Without, you know, looking at some of the core things that are in that scripture you're doing wrong with media is doing the same darn thing. You know, and I want to see us get past that I don't want to see us to use those same tools. As unifiers, as you know, folks, come on, come on, you know, you ought to be able to put you know, your arms around your brother and sister and say, Hey, you, we don't have to agree on everything. So Okay. In fact, we're probably better and stronger if we don't agree on everything. Because I don't have to listen to the other side of the thing I'm thinking about.

Lindsey Giese:

That's the key listening. Listen, listen, listen, we don't grow or get anywhere. So are we better human being? Right?

Rauel LaBreche:

Well, and worse, the piece of music If there's a piece of music you had to listen to, that would help you find that place? I've been finding lately, honestly, I've gone back and listen to the music that I listened to when I was a kid, Emerson Lake and Palmer and yes, and, you know, things that I think it's some of the musicians that were thriving back in that day and age, that were total trendsetters, and yet they took everything from the past. And, you know, Emerson, Lake and Palmer took Aaron Copeland and, you know, reinfused with a new energy and did a rock version of Fanfare for the Common Man, for God's sakes, you know, so you look at that and think, you know, what we have to, we have to go and find those pieces of music and find those TV shows or movies or whatnot that help us remember what it is to be human being. Maybe just focus on that instead of Did you vote for such and such? Is that Is it okay to ask those questions? They insist that we ask those questions, or do we? Am I in a dream world?

Lindsey Giese:

I don't know that, that that question alone is bad. If but if there can be follow up? Like, why why did you what what platforms or things about that? Why did you? Why do you feel that way? Why did you vote that way? I don't know. Because I actually did grow up with you don't talk about politics. Yeah. And I don't know that that

Rauel LaBreche:

religion and politics, you just didn't talk about those things, their vendor table. Do not talk about religion and politics. Although now

Lindsey Giese:

when I look back, maybe it didn't make us because we feel like worse now. Maybe? Well, we just it took us a while to get to the answer. But we found it. I just

Rauel LaBreche:

the the answer is more questions are okay.

Lindsey Giese:

Listen, well, be kind. I actually feel like our last podcast, we talked about that again.

Rauel LaBreche:

Yeah. Be kind be kind be kind. It is so hard. It is hard. You know, when you are getting breath

Lindsey Giese:

sometimes too. Or I'm like, yeah, yeah. Hey, Lindsay, was this what? What benefit? Is it going to be for us? Right? Blow up about this. Right? It's hard for everybody. Right?

Rauel LaBreche:

How do I not not respond in kind? Right? In in kind donation? You know, it seems like we're all being asked to make these in kind donations to conversations that are not kind

Lindsey Giese:

now. And I feel like I should have said this at the beginning of our conversation, that we all have our own biases, and we come from our own places. And so I do also recognize that maybe it's easy for me to not be so angry, or I can come from my position. Because I've had privileges in my life. And I haven't, I haven't personally been impacted by a lot of the things that people are really angry about. So I do want to I feel like I always need to, like, preface it with that, that. I haven't I come from my own perspective,

Rauel LaBreche:

right, that it is difficult to understand. How can you don't know what you're doing?

Lindsey Giese:

Right? If I didn't go through it, and I can't like you, you can listen, and you can be kind. Everybody can do that. Right? So that's what I am trying to do. But and so like some of my perspectives, they come from this country girl that grew up in Wisconsin, I have seen the rest of the world but Right.

Rauel LaBreche:

Coming from Wisconsin, what's the old, you know, don't judge a person until you've walked a mile on their moccasins. Right. So that that, to me has always been the great challenge of theater is learning that. I come from a you know, white middle class background and south side of Milwaukee, right. But that was a very specific environment that, you know, I learned biases that I, to this day, still don't quite understand how much they affect. But theater gave me the opportunity to understand some different perspectives, right? Because you have to be able to tell the story of the character that you're playing, and not see them as a villain or you know, a perfect person in every way. You have to find the humanity of each of these people so that you can go Yeah, that could be me. I could be me,

Lindsey Giese:

that's an interesting going full circle, we started in the last episode talking about dear Evan Hanson the musical. And without giving away too much, if you're not familiar with familiar with it, you should listen to beautiful music. But the lead character, Evan Hanson, it's not some might call it manipulative. But he kind of ends up being a part of this family through a lie that he just gets perpetuated. And, and he can't get out of it. And it's interesting to see, you don't hate that actor, he's, it's something really awful that he's doing but you don't hate him, because you get to see this full picture of what he's going through his life, right. And it's just, it just opens up your mind to that, like you don't, as human beings, we don't get to, like I don't, I don't get to see that version of raw, like, I don't get to see you every day, don't get to be inside of your heart and mind to know, all of your experiences. So in the theater, when you get to, you do get to witness that, right?

Rauel LaBreche:

It gets crystallized in a way that's so impactful. Yeah. I think of the one of the lessons I learned as a as an actor in grad school was recognizing these horrible people, because for a while I was cast and like all these awful people, you know, just you know, the jaw in, in Miss Julie and robear, I think is the name of the character in a Robert in betrayal. And, you know, so just awful Yang Soon and good person have such won, and awful, awful people every time like, Am I that but but I would learn that I understand how these how this person became this person. It's completely legitimate that this person became this person. And I would probably become this person too if I were in that same set of circumstances. So it really kind of opened up my eyes to you know, before you judge somebody and say, You're a complete moron, believing what you believe about, oh, no, no, they're really not. They just have had a set of circumstances in their life that for whatever reasons, you know, they made choices, and

Lindsey Giese:

which gives you a good starting point for where they're at. And I don't think it's an excuse to not be better to not grow from those experiences. But it is, it's good to have that starting point of knowing like, this is what this is what they are going through, or and you may never know, but so to

Rauel LaBreche:

write, and you would hope that all of us want to be better. But perhaps the biggest problem.

Lindsey Giese:

Yeah, that yeah, that I think we should push. I don't know if it's third, but I think we need to better ourselves and hope that others are bettering themselves. Yeah.

Rauel LaBreche:

And you know, and what do you do? That's the next question for the next episode is what do you do about the phone? I think they're already there.

Lindsey Giese:

We're gonna be on pins and needles waiting for that.

Rauel LaBreche:

That's gonna be a good one. We'll think about that before we get together again, folks, my guest for the past two weeks has been Lindsay Geesey, our executive director for the river arts incorporated organization here in town. There are so many cool things. We didn't even get to touch on that. But there's so many cool things going on this summer. And you've talked about the things that are all recorded on the website. Where do people go if they want to learn more about liberal arts or just find something fun to do? Because there's lots of fun stuff on the website. Oh, please.

Lindsey Giese:

Yeah, go to river arts inc.org That's river arts I NC dot orgy. And we have so many fun things. We all have over 70 events in our 2223 season. So that's live music, art openings, night markets, sidewalk chalk festival, coucher, Barton, CrossFit, so many different things. So check it all out. Plus, we still have some of our virtual content up there too. So if you're just looking to take a deep dive and have an artsy afternoon or evening

Rauel LaBreche:

coffee chat with somebody that you

Lindsey Giese:

can check those out river arts inc.org River arch. We have a YouTube channel too for a lot of those videos. And a lot of the stuff that we did with soccer alumni are on there as well.

Rauel LaBreche:

Okay. They just had the Aspire event not too long ago, right. So some of those things. We have DVDs available for two years. While we

Lindsey Giese:

do we'll do what we did a first order already, but it's so if you're interested to us.

Rauel LaBreche:

Well, maybe that's another thing to talk about, is how do you decide all the things that you do? What's up process is

Lindsey Giese:

already interesting.

Unknown:

Inside the Mind. Yeezy mysterious things happened. I

Lindsey Giese:

think that they're in my mind already. This is like a therapy session to talk to they're in there. I'm so sorry that you're in there.

Rauel LaBreche:

Well, those thoughts are just going oh, yeah, I understand. Lindsay, thanks so much. always such a pleasure to do so we get to have this time like Carol Burnett right. I'm so glad we had this time together. So take care. And we'll be right back here on frame of reference to our wrap up this series of episodes on frame of reference and 99 Seven Max FM's digital network

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Rauel LaBreche:

There's a line in Stephen Sondheim's musical Sunday in the Park with George, where two characters are critiquing a work of art. And one Singh's work is what you do for other people. Art is fun to do for yourself. I used to think that sounded very self absorbed and snooty. But I've come to realize in the past few years, that it's really not. It's a comment about arts ability to provide self protection, self regeneration and self preservation. From my perspective, as a lifelong advocate and practitioner of arts, I have to ask, what will it take for the majority of us to figure out how art can heal us? Haven't we had our fill of ugly, angry, hateful dialogue between opposing political parties, reprehensible violence in our schools, and even now grocery stores, news casts and podcasts and social media posts that focus less on information and more on inflammation, or lack of common ground as us more polarized than we have ever been since the Civil War. So how long before we all insist that something needs to change in how we behave? People use Europe and Canada's examples of places where laws have curbed much of the violence that we regularly experience? But isn't it interesting that in both Europe and Canada, they also pay much more attention to the arts in their schools and in their daily lives. They spend much more money, time and energy on educating people's hearts as well as their minds. They know that there is extensive therapeutic value in learning to appreciate and tap into our individual and collective creativity. They understand that like the words of the old hymn, less be the ties that bind. Art is one of those ties that binds us together. Art brings people together. Like Lindsey is example of the big top Chautauqua Republicans, Democrats, the old and the young, all attending, responding and enjoying the same event all together without fighting. What if we had more of that in our lives? Think about it, and stay well.