Yesterday brought us an article in Gothamist, a flurry of discussion on Twitter and Facebook, and thousands of views between here and YouTube. Here’s what I learned:
1. New Yorkers love their music, and they want their musicians protected. Response to the story was overwhelmingly supportive and affirmative of the power and importance of public music.
2. New Yorkers have seen musicians harassed and arrested. I read through a lot of comments, and let me tell you, I’m not the first musician that these readers have seen escorted out of a station. Why doesn’t that news spread? Because there’s no central forum to share it — and we’re working to change that.
3. New Yorkers love their music — but they don’t always know it’s legal. Many comments from supporters still expressed unsureness or confusion about the rules. And that haziness in the public consciousness translates into a haziness in police practice, which results in harassment, summonses, and arrests. Let’s fix that: New York, Music is Legal!
“Art is legal” too. I initiated the longest running, most successful public engagement activity on The High Line over one year ago, by setting up a studio where anyone can paint, express themselves, and enjoy themselves – and have recently been harrassed to the point of removal on threat of arrest, and what I’ve learned is this:
There is a full score war on the public’s right to express thenselves, led by our government and private incorporations who would like to profit from the space we use, pay tax on, and have rightful ownership of.
And the artist is on the front line of this battle – armed with paintbrushes, saxaphones, whatever – against men with guns.
This is a battle for all of our First Amendment rights – and if you don’t think those are important – wait until they play your last celphone call against you in your trial for speaking your mind;(
Many people have your back Matt. Great work!
Well said, David. Interopia supports your project and the freedom of expression. What the world needs is more creative creation!
Interopia is my buddy Ryan, whom I met in VIetnam doing creative things. Thanks for the support Ryan!
Thanks, guys! Good to hear from you!