by Anastasia KETCHEN
June 6th, 2019 is a day I believe will be imprinted on the minds of many for a long time. On this day ideas were exchanged between persons that might not have intentionally crossed paths before, relationships were created, voices were heard, stories were shared, commonalities made, unique differences respected; Art united many during our Spoleto Interactive Tour/Performance.
It was quite an experience to witness and be part of. I don’t think any of us could have truly predicted the outcome we shared. It was definitely an experimental journey that involved much work. During the development of this Interactive Tour/Performance many of us (Charleston Rhizome Collective/ conNECKtedTOO participants, apprentices), spent many days on foot connecting with local TINY Businesses in the Charleston MLK Memorial District (Spring and Cannon St). We exchanged and recorded stories, learned history, and spent time listing the businesses that existed in many of these spaces before. Connecting with individuals that are the heart and unique essence of TINY Businesses was incredible.
A lot of research, sweat and laughter took place and brought us all together. This experience helped us (Artists, Apprentices and Collective Participants) further develop our relationships and share our stories. It was wonderful to see people breaking out of their comfort zones, sharing hidden talents and creating a space where people could freely express themselves and create an unbiased environment. It was incredible having TINY Businesses Owners, Local Community Members, Artists, Apprentices and more come together. We discovered people we knew were singers, poets, drummers, writers, harmonica players, actors and full of knowledge. Space and opportunities allowed these things to take place. We also learned no matter how much you plan to always be prepared and flexible for change, sometimes things happen out of your control. Some things also can not be simply scripted, they just happen and can be the most precious and impactful moments. After weeks of collecting, writing, rewriting and changing our script, learning the Bet on You Jingle -created by Kurtis Lamkin- and rehearsing, we pulled off something amazing despite the rain: an indoor event we will perform again.