Why do we make art? There is no choice. You either don’t much care and, therefore, don’t bother, or you are driven and you need to make it. You need to create. It is simultaneously very self-centered and arrogant and absolutely selfless. You need to express yourself and inflict your voice on the civilian public at large and share and inform and enlighten. You need to bring the expression of what you believe to be your “revealed truth” to a (perhaps) unperceptive population.
Newark is not Chelsea. Working in the arts community in Newark tends to give expression to the bias in the community, to the revelatory and expressive inclusion of the rest of the community. The South Bronx and Chelsea, well…not so much. This is why I live here. This is why, at my advanced old age and semi-decrepitude, I have been able to be revivified and join in, and be accepted by the arts community (musical, literary, and visual) in Newark.
I have lived in most of the regions of the US east of Wisconsin. Newark, as the rest of America used to be, is a place where one can re-imagine and remake oneself. This is a place that remakes itself periodically, and that embraces the new more willingly that any other place where I have lived.