The Tyranny of Custom: Democracy’s Wardrobe Malfunction

Image: General George Washington Resigning His Commission, John Trumbull, oil on canvas, commissioned 1817, public domain. Burlington’s government has roots that auger downward through history to touch a bedrock of first principles. These are the organizing thoughts that define fairness in human experience where individuals have chosen to live together as a commonwealth. From those […]

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Debugging Democracy: City Leaders Are Qualified. Are They Motivated?

Our daily routines — no matter how personal, joyful, or mundane — happen in the context of a local government that affects the quality of our lives. We elect our friends, neighbors, and wise or energized community voices with a simple faith in their ability and willingness to steer government forward toward more fairness in […]

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NBC 5

Preserving Democracy and the People’s Voice

City Councilors Wright, Hartnett and Knodell proposed a resolution that would alter the language of a March ballot item in support of which citizens gathered more than 1,780 validated signatures on their petition. I spoke in opposition to this suppression of the public voice at the City Council meeting last night. Councilors voted to preserve the […]

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One People One Wall

One People One Wall: Remove the ‘Everybody Loves A Parade’ Mural

Update 8/17/2018: Seven Days reported on the release of the Mural Task Force recommendations this week.

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Memorial Auditorium

NYC Author/Journalist Peter Moskowitz Speaks On Gentrification and Displacement; UVM Professor to Share History of Memorial Auditorium June 30, SEABA Center

UPDATE 7/15/2017: Video of this event is available at RETN. Please join me for this June 30 event. Peter Moskowitz’ book ‘How To Kill A City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood’ illuminated ideas that could help keep Burlington’s growth ethical and fair. I feel fortunate that we have an opportunity to learn from him […]

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Memorial Auditorium

Memorial Auditorium: Refuge, Bastion, Symbol & Statement

This open letter to the Burlington City Council was written for Rights & Democracy with Shay Totten. It is guided by the Fair Development tool that is meant to keep Burlington’s growth equitable among multiple stakeholders, and governed by putting people first.  We’re asking that the city council ensure than an open, transparent and public process is used to guide […]

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The Roses of Heliogabalus

Being Not Less Than Lions

“There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” — Søren Kierkegaard Some things we hold dear, too fragile to take out of the drawer and risk the kitten will break it; too soft a secret to share, delicate and deserving […]

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The Elevation of Agitation

Tonight I experienced humble gratitude and sense of fraternity that is a rare pleasure. The Hergenrother Foundation welcomed me into the mix of speakers at the Ignite Burlington 2015 event at the Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center, and I gave the statement below, titled, ‘The Elevation of Agitation: Empowering Voices & Remembering Simple Truths.’ […]

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There must be, not a balance of power, but a community of power; not organized rivalries, but an organized common peace.

Woodrow Wilson, 1917
Photo by Mark Randall Byland

Velvet Rage & The Quiet Clarion: A Politic Call To Action

Photo by Mark Randall Byland. The BCA board has voted to create permanent voting board seats, narrowing further the opportunity for us to participate in guiding our city’s investment and planning for the arts. The note below was sent today to City Council President Jane Knodell and a few city councilors who’ve been open-minded about what […]

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Double Down: The Burlington Arts Transparency Imperative

From up high above the clouds, looking down, where all the world below seems green and blue and the sun is always shining, the city of Burlington welcomes everyone to participate in important decisions. Public engagement makes city planning and governing processes sparkle. It’s pretty and makes a person feel good. From up close, though, […]

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Ploof, Goodkind, Weinberger, & Guma

Candidate Poll: BTV Arts Governance

On Monday, February 23, I asked Burlington political candidates the question below via email. Answers were requested to arrive by Friday at 3pm so they could be posted here and shared via social media with the wider arts community, coinciding with the final mayoral forum at Arts Riot. Responses have been published in alphabetical order without editing. Find […]

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Open Letter: An Idealized Arts Position Statement for Burlington’s Mayoral Candidates

This letter was written collaboratively by visual and performing artists for the benefit of Burlington’s mayoral candidates. To Burlington Mayoral Candidates: Steve Goodkind Greg Guma Loyal Ploof Mayor Miro Weinberger Miro, Greg, Loyal & Steve: Below you’ll find an idealized arts policy position statement produced by close to a dozen local arts leaders collaborating via […]

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Dispatch

A note sent today to Burlington arts champions and the city councilors who have kindly conversed on these subjects. Hey, All –  Wishing a happy new year to everyone, with high hopes that we’ll see increased attention for transparency, inclusion, and a sustainable long-term vision by the city for its arts community. This note is […]

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The Tiny But Expensive Elephant In The Room

I made this statement to the Burlington City Council on January 12, 2015. I’m here to make a couple comments about how the city could make smarter and fairer plans for supporting the arts with its annual taxpayer-funded budget for that of more than $700,000. I work with creative people of all generations and artistic […]

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Inclusion: The Bedrock, The Sky, and the Noise Between

I made the statement below on September 23, 2014 as a panelist during the ‘Burlington On Burlington’ discussion series presented by Arts Riot at Hotel Vermont. The Arts Riot crew — Felix, PJ, and Hillary — pulled together people from different backgrounds in local arts to talk about a different topic at each event. The title […]

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Loving Half the Arts, And Other Big Choices

The essay below started as a statement made to the Burlington City Council on January 27, 2014. The Burlington Free Press invited that the statement be expanded for their ‘Heart of Art’ series. It was published February 23, 2014. Special thanks to Emilie Stigliani, BFP Story Editor, and Brent Hallenbeck, BFP Arts & Entertainment Reporter. […]

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The Case for A Cultural Commons

This essay was published  by the Burlington Free Press as a Heart of Art feature on November 29, 2012, http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20121202/ARTS/312020001/Heart-Art-James-Lockridge-makes-case-cultural-commons The arts encompass some of the most meaningful expressions humanity has to share — they embody our intellect, emotion and essential experiences in the most complete manner possible. The movement, color, words, melody, and the intricate […]

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