Monday, September 8, 2008

The Storytelling Organization of the ARTS CONVENTION


Today Sep 8th 2008 is the first day of the Arts Convention of Las Cruces and Mesilla Valley.

We will use these talking sticks to create a sacred space for delegates of the 250 artist and 128 arts organizations. The talking sticks will allow storytellers to integrate new horizons of the past, present, and future of the Arts Scene by coming together in a very special STORYTELLING ORGANIZATION, we call the 1st Annual Arts Convention.

Our challenge today is to construct collective storytelling of the opportunity for prosperity, growth, and evolution of this awesome Arts Scene.

With our Talking Sticks we create 10 sacred circles where we invite people to listen to the storytelling of those holding the stick, until its your turn to find your storyteller's voice, and expand the experience of your Talking Stick Circle.

A STORYTELLING ORGANIZATION is a way to expand and grow out of the past experiences of the Arts Scene that can be released using a democratic process that is quite ancient. 

This STORYTELLING ORGANIZATION is an ARTS CONVENTION with 10 Storytelling Circles, where people share hard learned lessons of their experience as artists and leaders of this Arts Scene.

Storytelling is NOT pointing the finger of blame, because three fingers of our hand point back to you.  A Storytelling Circle is where we share what was our own unique path, as we lived our story, and this perspective allows others listening to discern and decide for themselves their pathway.

The storytelling inside you can spin a tale of an Arts Scene that will expand the space of prosperity, develop your talents as artists, and grow the circle of artists who make their living as artists. 

Today's 10 Talking Stick Circles weave a STORYTELLING ORGANIZATION together with more enchanted of our Arts Scene, growing in this Land of Enchantment called New Mexico.

A STORYTELLING ORGANIZATION that uses Talking Stick Circles opens a sacred space for the Arts Scene to change, transform, grow, and prosper. 

I have this theory of the relationship between dead narratives, living stories, and a word I invented, 'antenarratives.'   Ante is a bet about the future. An ante is a living story before it becomes a dead narrative.

A dead narrative becomes a fossil. It is a way to cling to the past. A dead tree trunk has petrified rings. We can petrify the Arts Scene by clinging to dead narratives of what once was, and tell dead narratives of why there is no opportunities. Or we can engage in acts of antenarrative, to release living story from the bondage of the past. 

It is the realignment of dead narrative and living story through processes of antenarrating that brings about what Nietzsche called monumental history, a future not clinging to antiquarian past, or so critical of the present, it cannot move forward into the future. 

Since Aristotle Western Narrative has exercised a need to control the living story, to set a linear path for walking it, to stop exploring in ways that are self-organizing, daring, and exciting.

Western narrative control fossilizes the living story process, deadening our ability to adapt to change. The Talking Stick is a way to overcome deadening narratives that keep repeating the past. Narrative expectations are too rigid, resulting in a future that only repeats patterns of the past, that were fit for quite a different situation. 

The beauty of an antenarrative is that it's not control path that keeps living story from exploring possible ways into the future.  An ANTE is a bet about finding a new and different pathway to walk into the future.  An ANTE is the living story before all the fossilization deadens it.  An antenarrative bet about this Arts Scene, for example, is that it is evolving and growing to a new an unanticipated phase of its evolution.  

Narrative control tries to predict everything, control the path, enforce a regime onto the future that is traced out of past ways of weaving living stories together.  Antenarratives are all about surprise, discovery, and taking a risk on walking a new living story.

ANTENARRATIVE QUESTION: What are storytelling leaders of the Arts Scene willing to make as antenarrative bets, that the dream-weaving we do today will expand the Living Story Spaces of Arts Scene prosperity.  

Today is the 1st of three Mondays in September where we unleash the power of storytelling. It will require courage to let go of dead narratives of our past Arts Scene and make some Antenarrative bets about the Living Stories that is possible for this Arts Scene to achieve. 


David H. Tobey said...

Excellent post David! I hope some of this is worked into your opening welcome speech. One thing seems missing though, like the lessons we learned from Wal-Mart, how must the past be re-written to provide legitimacy for our "monumental history" we are about to unfold? How must we re-interpret the lessons learned to re-story a new BME that redirects the trajectory of the Las Cruces Arts Scene into the future we envision? How might our Talking Sticks become Narrative Arrows?

David Boje said...

Thanks David, Good post. Yes, the new antenarrative can become another BME petrified narrative, with time. The founding story needs to learn lessons of context and situation to unfold, to remain strategic. We are in a situation where the founding story of the Arts Scene has many contenders, and lots of forgetting. I think people's memory of when the first gallery opened, when the first art exhibit was held, the names of earliest artists, is pretty thin. So hopefully tonight's session will make the monumental history become an antenarrative arrow.