The first full plenary session at the Orcas conference gave the floor to artists. The session was not planned in advance but was pulled together at the time in response to an expressed need by artists to be heard. The session was moderated by Alberta Arthurs, then director for Arts and Humanities at the Rockefeller Foundation. In her opening comments, she said, “I suspect this is not going to be one of the easier things that I’ve done in my complicated career. I’ve taken on Sam Lipman, raised three children, two of them artists. I once tried to run a small college. But I think this is going to be almost as hard as any of those things.”
In alphabetical order, the artists who stood up to speak during this session included: Michael Anania, Jo Carson, Carl Chew, David Driskell, Margaret Fisher, Peter Garland, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Pat Graney, Mary Griffin, Leonard Hunter, Spider Kidelsky, Howard Klein, Inverna Lockpez, Jan Brooks Loyd, David Mahler, Victor Masayesva, Kris Parker, Sandy Perlman, Tommer Peterson, Tony Petracca, Adrian Piper, Jim Pomeroy, Michel Reilhac, Carl Sander, Ruby Shang, Ed Shay, Buster Simpson, Rachel Vaccaro, and MaryE Young.
The edited transcript of what they had to say is broken into two parts. Here’s part one: Artists’ plenary, part 1