Thursday, May 6, 2021

Phase two of Chatham-Kent Art House Project draws near

By Dan White – Special to the Sydenham Current

Joni and I travelled to Dresden yesterday to receive our first COVID-19 vaccine.

According to some conspiracy theorists, Bill Gates can now track our every movement.

That’s so sad… for Bill.

He is going to be incredibly disappointed.

Joni and I have fun, but our lives are rather un-track-worthy.

I am just glad that the vaccine is such a clandestine way to track me.

I can take solace in the fact that I am not aware of technology that is so tiny it can go through the tip of a needle and so powerful it can send signals from my body to passing satellites while I remain blissfully ignorant.

If, on the other hand, it was a piece of technology that could fit, I don’t know, in the palm of my hand and I willingly purchased it and carried it everywhere – even blindly gave permission for it to track everything from my movements to my preferences and shopping habits at all times – well, that would frighten me and be worthy of concern.

As you read this, it is only days from May 2, the conclusion of phase two of the Chatham Kent Art House Project.

For the organizers this is always a stressful time.

We hope the word gets out and people in the community support the venture, but there are no assurances. Artists are infamous procrastinators.

I know.

It is Thursday evening, my column is due first thing tomorrow, I have had two weeks to write this plus I have some aches from the vaccine and I would rather be under a blanket impersonating a potato… yet, here I am at the laptop furiously pecking away.

For over two decades during my teaching career, I wrote the script for the staff Christmas play.

It was an hour or so of the staff making fools of themselves on stage as a gift to our students prior to the holidays.

While I usually tried to have things ready several weeks in advance, I always wrote just before a deadline.

I would ponder the process and stew about it, but the creative juices seldom bubbled to the top until the last minute.

One year we decided we were doing a newscast format.

I believe it was a year we didn’t know if we would be presenting a show for the students and a newscast can be done with a script in hand.

I was actually in the wings for much of that show with my laptop and a portable printer writing the script as we took to the stage.

It was: type, print, grab, read the late breaking news in character, repeat.

Not an experience I would want to recreate, but in the end, we had a show that the students enjoyed.

I can’t tell you how many stage performances I have been in where the cast and crew worked hard for months but they did not pull it all together until the final hours.

It is a consistent phenomenon.

It’s the same with audiences.

Most events I have been involved with had the stress of waiting to see if an audience would appear right up until the final days before opening.

I have heard people from enough different communities deal with the anguish of not knowing if all the effort put into preparing a show would be rewarded with an audience to support the effort to know that it is fairly universal.

In phase one of the arthouse project the media picked up this story early on and did a great job of assisting us in getting the word out.

But the media is fickle.

They run with new and interesting stories and we understand.

Their job is to sell and make a profit so they can continue to operate.

When we asked Teksavvy for support we planned a small honorarium for our nine selected works and the cost of creating a Zine.

We neglected to factor in a marketing budget.

We will do that next venture, assuming this first effort is well received by the community.

The five of us have no idea if we will have one, 10 or 100 creative writing submissions.

We hope that it will be an overwhelming wave of creative writing and it is a challenge to determine six works to be included with the three visual art selections in our Zine.

By the time you read this there will still be time to go online to and check out how and what to do.

So, take a few minutes and look at the works on our website, sit down at your laptop and start pecking.

I don’t mean to needle you, but you just never know… and I’ll forgive you if you don’t start until Saturday, May 1.

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot (pen name for Mary Ann Evans)

Nothing ventured…

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