Monday, August 25, 2008

How Much Is It Worth?


I really hate generalizations about people. Generalizing is lazy and disrespectful. Remember the "gun rack" comments of a few months back? That's what I 'm talking about. I am often the subject of broad generalizations. Let me give you a few examples:

1. Teachers are overpaid and lazy.
2. The only people who teach art are painters who could not make a living painting.
3. Teachers get three months paid vacation.
4. Christians are stupid.
5. Conservatives are greedy, ignorant and selfish.
6. Conservative, white Christians only cling to religion, guns and pick up trucks out of fear.
None of these are remotely true about me - or anyone I know. I am angered at the notion that people who do not even know me believe that if I am ___________then I must be _______________. I shall proceed with this in mind as I tell you about an awful thing happening right now. It will very difficult for me not to pass unfair judgement on people I do not know.
Early last week an art-teacher colleague of mine (not overpaid or lazy) informed me that Pi Beta Phi Fraternity is selling the land in Gatlinburg that is currently leased to my beloved Arrowmont. I have searched the Internet high and low and emailed a well-connected artist or two to try and figure out what is going on. What I can glean - and it ain't much, sister - is that Pi Phi believes more good can be done in The World with the money Pi Phi would make from selling the land than by LETTING ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL CRAFT SCHOOL ON THE PLANET SIT PEACEFULLY ON UNDISTURBED NATURE!
Looks like the undisclosed party who approached Pi Phi wants to build an indoor water park and all-inclusive resort where the Red Barn is. Pi Phi has a "shut up" deal with the undisclosed party so nobody knows how much they are getting for the land. I have read the figure 9 million dollars as the amount Pi Phi will give Arrowmont to get themselves back together someplace else. Someplace way else, I guess. Nine million MIGHT buy a fudge shop on Parkway. It could not begin to replace what Arrowmont has now.
Some poor slobs go through their entire lives without clarity. Not me. Arrowmont gave me clarity. On June 17, 2002 right there in the book studio, I heard the voice of the Almight Himself - "Go forth and make books." No Arrowmont = no more moments of clarity for the searching masses.
I'm no tree hugger. I like money. I believe in capitalism. But I also believe that worth cannot be measured in strict dollars and cents. I am sure a lot of good can be done with 47 kazillion dollars. I am also sure that a sacred place - to me and others, Arrowmont is a sacred place - can't be replaced for twice that. If Arrowmont ceases to exist, the possibilities of what could be learned or discovered or created there cease to exist, too. What's that worth?
Go to www.savearrowmont.wordpress.com. Go to the older posts section and read the one called Pi Phi Support for the words right from Pi Phi.
You can also link to a petition from savearrowmont.
I made the big book at the top with a 4 needle Ethiopian Coptic. I leaned that at Arrowmont. I finished it today. I'll tell what I'm doin' with it later.

3 comments:

calamitykim said...

oh, man! I came by after finishing your article in the latest issue of CPS- I enjoyed the Colorful Cake Books and might have to try that technique- Now I am sad about this Arrowmont News. Surely it can get help and support to stay in existence!? I am not proud to be an American when the govt cuts out the Art & Music being taught in our schools and now to think that this fine place that has been nurturing Artists for so long might close is sad, very, very sad.
I am off to go read more concerning this- what a loss that would be.

Lori E said...

I am sad and ANGRY!

Lori E said...

P.S. It's not as if Gatlinburg needs yet another tourist attraction!