Manifesto for a Creative City
Let us talk about creation and the creative, about art and place- making, about the width and depth of London, and challenge the definitions of what, where, who, and when Business, culture, and art is, and can be
Let us applaud the grace of the water as it passes us by through the four seasons and glance through hoar frosted trees at the sunlight that tumbles down on our upturned faces and know that we are blessed by the happy coincidence of time, place, season, and each other
Let us savor lush aromas that slink out to our senses as we struggle valiantly, trying to decide where to feast ourselves. Let us offer appreciation for a full belly by those behind walls of kitchen or foodtrucks and by those who whisk out to our anticipation marvels of palate and poise.
Let us scream our full throated joy in never resisting beat or lifting our voices in harmony – – never wishing to be released from heartbeat sounds that fill us with the impulse to dance. Let us praise those link notes so beautifully that we are left breathless by the audacity of what has just stirred our most secret places.
Let us witness the grace of bodies in movement, gasping in wonder at the expression of a unique soul made manifest by the extension of arm, leg ,neck, and toe. Let us shake with excitement at the mad moves made by the mad young in perfected abandon on pieces of cardboard in the middle of a street.
Let us fall in to a palette of colours ,lines and curves that holders of brush and pen, crayon and spray, make for us to gaze on —images so profound or of such whimsy that we want them to be enshrined on our private walls so we are refreshed and reborn by them everyday
Let us clap and offer our thanks to the catchers of light. Those with lenses big and small that tell a life’s story in the millisecond movement of a finger on the shutter button. Or in the longer stories of photon catchers who tell us tales in campfire glow of cinema screen or monitors glow.
Let us marvel at the artisanship of digital magicians as they create places of play and communication and industry that move forward our entire world. That these keyboard wizards are as filled with art as are the dancer, the actor, the artist, and the writer.
Let us listen to the scribble of the poet and novelist. blogger and news chronicler, the inspiring and inspired, as they reflect the experience of the city in which we live or the world we hope to see. Sharing the personal and the profound, the plebeian and the pedantic, the reflective and the reasoned.
Let us recognize the places we have come from in the procession of our stately buildings and homes as they wind by us in the reflected window light of summer sun, and be reminded of those who have come before us and built that which we now stand upon and walk through
Let us contemplate the slow babble of water in winters snow and ice, explode in an ode of joy for the release that spring gifts us, revel in the green embrace of parks, trees, and spaces that we share with each other in summer, be suffused by riotous colors, the falling of leaves and the girth of our harvest in fall.
Let us celebrate the playwright and the Director, the designer and the actor, who stand before us in imagined landscapes and make our collective narrative breathe and come to life . These thespians who speak the speech tripingly upon the tongue and dare hold a mirror up to nature.
Let us look around at the faces that pass us knowing that the whole of the world, in all its cultures, live with us, and treasure that this has happened in old London town. Let us grab hold of that diversity of sex and race, youth and age, and gather it in the embrace of our beautifully changing London.
Let us choose to link our city in ways that are not just good for today but good for tomorrow. Let us strengthen transit, ease the path of bike riders, walk hand in hand around the places we share, knowing that in creating the means to connect we create places where we are connected
Let us go to the holders of public purses inviting them to understand that with out us toiling in the golden seem of creativity there would be no heartbeat at the fork of the Thames. That our food would be a little duller, our lives a little grayer, our street a little quitter, –there would be no industry to build, no thought to sustain them , and no future to plan.
Let us decide to scatter the seeds of our creativity across the whole of our city, Let us reach into our schools large and small, junior and senior, grabbing by the scruff the imagination of the young, inspiring them to make things that would leave our efforts looking pale and slight in comparison
Let us understand that we do not need to compare ourselves to any other city, but that within our own nooks and crannies, our own parks and boulevards, the whole of our lives are encapsulated and all we need is see, and there before us we will find the muse of innovation leaping to embrace us with outstretched arms.
Let us take responsibility and decide to no longer shake our fists at deaf heaven but reach out to the people that pass us everyday to let them know they make this city a better place to live by the very act that we are driven to do. CREATE
Let us decide that we can no longer attract or expand, make new or revisit old, iterate or innovate , without recognizing that the whole of our city is an experiment in art, innovation, and creativity. That we can no longer make the potential of what we want to be up on the backs of tissue paper wishes but rather inscribe them with our industry into the very soul of our forested city.
Let me offer my clumsy words clumsily offered. Let us chose, in this moment and in this time, that this place, our place, Our London, is brilliant —and when we do then we are and have always been a Creative City