This fall we learned once again that “all politics is local,” as Tip O’Neill famously said. All the theories and polling and arguments for the greater good paled in influence on voters compared to the circumstances of their daily lives, their immediate relationships, and the “call of stories” that fuel “the moral imagination,” as psychiatrist Robert Coles wrote a quarter of a century ago. Artists have been telling us all of this for at least two decades, with a swell of local performance and art scenes burgeoning across the globe. No one can be everywhere or see everything, and the internet has made us all aware of how much is going on that we’re missing. Even among the viewers of a single work, “there’s not one vantage point that should be seen or a unique point of perception,” as Christo explained in a 1983 interview.
This abundance and diversity makes the conversation richer, with more outstanding artists in more places than ever. But there are more audiences too, and people in downstate Illinois need outstanding works of art just as much as anyone. They’re getting them with — among other works — an exciting series of multimedia performances by Deke Weaver in and around the University of Illinois. On December 22nd, Weaver released the first online video for Part Two of his current “Bear” project. Five more of these one-minute teasers are going up on the “BEAR” page of The Unreliable Bestiary each week in January. Weaver will use geocaching to draw viewers into area parks to find clues that will lead them to surprising discoveries. The videos anticipate a culmination in stories and videos at a nightly performance that will run February 16 to 25 at the Station Theatre in Urbana. Will the videos capture field sightings of local bears? Will they reveal steps on a path of discovery in the AMK Habitat Corridor? We don’t yet know. But we do know what has happened so far in Part One.
We are angry, frustrated, and in pain because of the violence and murder of Black people by the police because of racism. We are in the fight AGAINST RACISM. George Floyd was murdered, his life stolen. The Adafruit teams have specific actions we’ve done, are doing, and will do together as a company and culture. We are asking the Adafruit community to get involved and share what you are doing. The Adafruit teams will not settle for a hash tag, a Tweet, or an icon change. We will work on real change, and that requires real action and real work together. That is what we will do each day, each month, each year – we will hold ourselves accountable and publish our collective efforts, partnerships, activism, donations, openly and publicly. Our blog and social media platforms will be utilized in actionable ways. Join us and the anti-racist efforts working to end police brutality, reform the criminal justice system, and dismantle the many other forms of systemic racism at work in this country, read more @ adafruit.com/blacklivesmatter
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.