An Open Letter To Northwest Film Forum’s Beloved Cynics


First, an apology to the people I angered, flummoxed, and offended on Election Day.  When asked if you had voted, you answered that you hadn’t and I openly expressed my disappointment.  I am disappointed but putting you on the spot, outing your lack of participation, then scolding you was not the most gracious behavior.

I care about all of you and value your participation in this non-profit.  Your volunteer labor, your artistic output, your smiling face, are all important.  The fact that you are such an active participant in this community is why it is completely baffling that you didn’t even register.

Take off your cloak of cynicism and think about this.

The race for President, Governor, Congressional Representative all affect art and so have a direct bearing on your life as an artist.  Funding for the arts from the city, the county, the state, and the federal government supports Northwest Film Forum. Our incredibly eclectic program, our regional film festival Local Sightings, our commissioned Signature Shorts, our HVX and DVX cameras, our building, all come to you with some government funding.

These funds are not a given.

Under Christine Gregoire, our annual award has doubled.  The State of Washington was the largest single contributor to building our cinematheque. Dino Rossi is not a friend of art, a condition that would result in a different shape to the state budget.

John McCain may tolerate art as a concept but certainly doesn’t like your art.

Our President Elect, Barack Obama has already appointed Bill Ivey as the leader for arts and culture to his transition team.  Arts and culture actually have a spot on the transition team, you cynics!  He believes art and culture are a priority in this time of economic meltdown, war, and environmental crisis.  He gets it.

So next time you rent a camera or come to a film or just hang out in our lovely facility, remember that Northwest Film Forum is part of a greater body.  Politics is a system in that body.  Like your own digestive system, it gives you nutrition (yum) while your bowels also move (ick).  It isn’t all pleasant but without it we perish.

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