The Power of the Arts to Affect Change

Posted by Rob Schultz On November - 26 - 2014
Rob Schultz

Rob Schultz

One of the most gratifying things about working at the Mesa Arts Center is the opportunity to partner with local arts organizations, artists, and educators, help present their work, and bring it to the attention of our patrons. These partnerships come in all shapes and sizes, with varying degrees of success, affecting different audiences in different ways. So, since this is an arts education-oriented blog, let’s focus on one of my favorite partnerships, and favorite organizations: Phonetic Spit. Read the rest of this entry »

Introduction to the Encyclopedia Show

Posted by Robbie Q. Telfer On July - 26 - 2011

Robbie Q. Telfer

Hi, the internet! My name’s Robbie Q. Telfer, and I’m a performance poet and live event producer from Chicago.

The two biggest projects I am currently in charge of implementing are the annual Chicagoland youth spoken word festival Louder Than a Bomb and the monthly literary variety show the Encyclopedia Show. Both events are intensely rewarding, constantly challenging, and deeply exhausting endeavors.

The Encyclopedia Show was created by myself and longtime collaborator Shanny Jean Maney in December 2008 in part as a response to the adult performance poetry movement getting bogged down in cliquey cheerleading and egotistical self-indulgence.

Essentially, Shanny and I saw that there was this huge international community of trained performance artists who, after years of competing in poetry slams, were beginning to itch for new artistic challenges that had ostensible goals grander than “convince five strangers to give me high points in an intentionally absurd competition.”

Oh, that’s a fine goal for a while, but it would be akin to playing Apples to Apples every weekend for your whole life. They’re fun games and all, but there are so many more artistic possibilities if you just change up the rules. Read the rest of this entry »