Jamie Greene – Live Blog
1976 was a big year for young Jamie Greene. He had red white and blue bedspreads, red white and blue gravel in his aquarium, and, best of all, a red white and blue bike. It was the nation’s bicentennial and Americana was everywhere! Today’s moment in time, and this upcoming year, is also a big one for Jamie Greene. With his help, Columbus is gearing up for its own bicentennial celebration, scheduled 50 days, 12 hours, and approximately 50 minutes (as of 11:15am) away. Not that Jamie Green is counting, and not that we’ve been promised more red white and blue aquarium accessories. (Yet.)
Columbus is getting primed for 12-months of “robust commemoration of our city.” So what? (Jamie’s question). Here’s part of the answer: a Gallup poll has shown that the level of emotional attachment people have to their cities is the most significant indicator of that community’s capacity for growth and economic expansion. Here’s another morsel of an answer: Columbus (specifically, Battelle’s operation here) is the reason m&ms don’t melt in your hand! Both are pretty sweet. So, bring on the parade and parties and you bring on the prosperity. (Jamie also encourages you to enjoy the parade and parties for their own sake, not just as means to an end. The audience took this suggestion well.)
This past spring, as Jamie worked to tap into what the Columbus community would want from a celebration of itself, he heard a young woman say “I want Columbus to be revealed.” Jamie loved this and he ran with it, embracing it as the guiding force for the Columbus celebrations. What does it mean to be revealed? Blinding flashes of the obvious (Jamie’s words) only? Yes, but also more: Jamie asks Columbus to see this next year as a platform to do good works, to influence the possibilities of this community and power them further than ever before. Through fun slides of huge murals and outdoor installation art (take away: artists in Ohio really love cows, in rivers on walls on barns …) as well as discussions of more sobering revelations (Columbus has one of highest poverty rates across cities in the U.S.), Jamie encouraged us to see ‘revealing’ as both showing and doing.
Again in his words, what will you reveal?