Sponsored in part by by Moveon.org, Rebuild The Dream, Russell Simmons, Occupy The Dream, The SEIU and the Courage Campaign, and hosted by political consultant, theorist and author, Van Jones the massive "All IN For The 99%" art show took place in Los Angeles on Saturday, March 31.
The "All In For The 99%" event was quite an undertaking. Staged in a giant former parking structure here in LA, the event combined an all-day public art opening with speakers, workshops, musical performances, and a celebrity laced after-party with the focus on political/social unity in current efforts to re-establish an American middle class.
It's odd and rather diheartening that, at such a crucial political moment in US history, and at a time when it is clear that a massive youth movement is building in more socially forward cities, that political discourse/social interest of any type is considered such a dangerous fringe quality. For this reason, and hopefully to the remedy of this stigma, events like "All In For The 99%" are terribly important.
The "All In" event was very successful in striking a balance between art and politics and in issuing a rallying cry that was inclusive and palatable to both core activists and to relatively non-political, but still socially aware attendees. This was a good example of art as a gateway, of exposing coolhunters to the fact that all of the cool people who they would like to be associated with are highly, highly concerned with uncool activities, with not only Arts, but also Humanities.
Culture is not just the music that we listen to, the food that we eat and the clothes that we wear, culture is the character of a people. And, if history has taught us anything about art, it's that art is among the most honest and lasting of cultural indicators.
What do we want future civilizations to say about us when they dig up our art?