Artist Activists Are Combining The Creative Coalition's Campaign
When hundreds of people visit an exposition of ecologically sound products in the Jacob Javits Center in New York on Fri., Sept. 6, which they will be seeing is another illustration of members of the entertainment community getting much more concerned with politics and social issues. The expo is endorsed by The Creative Coalition (TCC), a nonprofit organization whose members operate in the arts, letters, and entertainment communities and that believe that a commitment to educating themselves and others.
Working via the Coalition "is a means of empowering ourselves and our people to receive grass-roots, knowingly engaged," says Ron Silver, president and creator of TCC. "Maybe we are being helped out with a sea change in how people perceive politics," says Silver. "Perhaps people have had enough with all the '80s." The business started, he notes, because of a demand for members at the entertainment community to become involved on a deeper level by solving society's problems. Until today, "people felt quite decorative and decorative," Silver says. "They would lend their names and show up at events, but effectively their involvement was."
TCC is based in New York--with about 35 members becoming organized for busy membership in Los Angeles--and it includes some of their best-known names and faces in amusement.
Several have been active in politics until TCC started.
The group has no stage--it simply agrees on issues for members to operate on knowingly. Any member could suggest group action on a specific issue. For TCC to take action in an issue, 75 percent of their membership, and 75 percent of this board, must vote in favor of this.
Presently, TCC has committees working on issues addressing the homeless, the environment, reproductive freedom, and federal health care. It is also outspoken in supporting artistic freedom of expression. TCC doesn't endorse candidates or become involved with political campaigns.
"We are bi-partisan, and we are really split," says Jaynne Keyes, director of the Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting, who is also a board member, "but goes for the amusement industry." The company prides itself on teaching its members as completely as possible, and presenting all the different sides of an issue to be sure its members are as educated as they are sometimes.
The two Rudolph Giuliani and David Dinkins spoke to this group person on precisely the same night, even when they were running against each other at the New York mayoral election in 1989. In other meetings, Sen. Edward Kennedy and Joseph Califano, former Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare (who is also TCC's legal counsel), spoke about the crisis in U.S. health care, New York State Attorney General Robert Abrams and Ralph Nader spoke about the surroundings, and Mark Green, New York City Commissioner of Consumer Affairs, spoke about RU-486, a medication which is not available from the U.S., but is used in France by over 80,000 women to terminate early pregnancy. Informational membership meetings normally occur once each month or 2 months.
The group started informally when Ron Silver accumulated 17 colleagues in a friend's house in January 1989 to chat about how to become more politically involved. This was followed by 11 strategy and organizational meetings during the upcoming few months. Since That Time, representatives of TCC--such as Silver, Reeve, Alec Baldwin, and Sarandon--have been especially visible, meeting Gov. Mario Cuomo and New York State legislators about the environment, also speaking out in Cultural Advocacy Day on March 20, 1990, at Washington, DC, in favor of support to the National Endowment for the Arts. Keyes says she believes that one of the reasons that the NEA obtained reauthorization--with no restrictive speech regarding obscenity--was because of TCC's efforts.
As Keyes points out, functioning throughout the TCC isn't just about creating a couple of public appearances. It amounts to a good deal of difficult work for busy members. In its ecological function, TCC is developing plans to encourage corporate recycling in nyc, and also to support New York Citizen Suits Bill, that will allow private citizens to sue regarding environmental hazards or hazardous wastes. New York is just one of several states where such suits aren't allowed, says executive director Cristine Croninsaid Lately, Blythe Danner directed other TCC members at a struggle to restore funds for recycling to New York City's budget. Another ecological activity is attracting attention to the requirement for cleaning up the Hudson River.
TCC "allows non-celebrity members that aren't recognizable faces to use their own talents throughout the organization to assist something that they believe in," says Nina Streich, who is deputy director of the Mayor's movie office, also serves as co-chair of TCC's committee about the homeless. Last spring, the committee started improvisational comedy workshops for children in Project H.E.L.P., a privately funded program started by Andrew Cuomo to make transitional housing for homeless families in New York, also has helped build libraries in those facilities.
Related Post: How to Replace Car Speakers
Last year in the Greyston Family Inn at Yonkers, NY, at which marketable skills are educated to homeless people, TCC members did a Christmas show with clowns and entertainers for homeless families, and brought presents. This season, Radio City Music Hall is donating 200 tickets to the opening night of its Christmas show through TCC for homeless families. TCC members' use the homeless has been "really hands-on," says Streich. "A little bit goes a long way, and it's really rewarding."
Members of the entertainment industry--especially actors--have come under fire at the press for getting overly involved with politics, but Jaynne Keyes disagrees with those critics. "Showing people that you care about the system--which there is a way to escape and get something accomplished--merely teaches people a fantastic lesson."
"People in the arts--while or not in front of the camera--possess a unique ability to reach people in a manner that moves them" Streich says. "There's a responsibility has to do something to enhance the lot for another generation."
Members attend at no cost, but admission for non-members is 10. Membership from The Creative Coalition is $200 annually for a person, and $300 a year for couples. Most of the membership dues visit administrative expenses, based on its executive director.
Eco Expo will feature environmental achievement awards, as well as high-mileage, clean-fuel cars, ecological investment opportunities, speakers, and over 1,000 products which save energy and water, are nontoxic and natural, and encourage recycling or are made from recycled materials. It takes place from 5:30-7:30 pm in the Jacob Javits Convention Center, 11th Ave. in 36th St. Reservations are required: -LRB-212-RRB- 220-6891. How to install car speakers
Edited by adrienne2242, 14 January 2018 - 12:12 AM.