cover BRIDGE by Yuliya Ginzburg
“I see myself as a bridge builder; that is me building bridges between people, between races, between cultures, between politics, trying to find common ground.” – TD Jakes
Welcome to My Ghetto
Theme Song of COMMON GROUND
by John Doe, Tulsa Oklahoma
The Search for COMMON GROUND
developed by Kendall F. Person
If the US citizens have been held as political hostages since the Tea Party uprising, than the Presidential Elections campaign is their torture. With a reality show star and a bully at the top of a major party ticket and the prospect of the first woman elected president in American history, the combined novelty may have initially felt like entertainment. But less than a week before Americans take to the polls, the United States feels less like one nation and more like forced demo graphical kingdoms of powerless subjects, either pledging an allegiance to Queen Hillary or hypnotized by Supreme Leader Trump.
“It can be found, but it will take all the demographics searching in unison.” – thepublicblogger
Since its inception, The Neighborhood at thepublicblogger.com has been on the cutting edge of online collaborative entertainment with a consciousness. Over 200 artists have filled the roles, with a audience engagement as much a part of the shows (The Lives We Live, A Star is Born, Who is the Sexiest Number?). Person and a rotating cast of talented artists, have cleverly elevated the platform, multiplying the size of their audience in the process, with very sophisticated productions, that play across Facebook and WordPress platforms.
But this year, the free thinking Person, felt a responsibility to tens of thousands that follow thepublicblogger and to a nation in trouble. With the Chair’s approval, he decided that The Neighborhood could make a contribution in healing of the nation’s people in a real life search for common ground.
COMMON GROUND the reality show
The ideal of finding common ground is not a new one. But with so many mediums and institutions simply churning out essays or holding forums, where the information rarely trickles outward, Person imagined that an interactive, reality show format, with real life Americans, plucked from “opposing” demographics, Not in a spectacle of judgement, but in sincerity of getting to know thy neighbor for who they are and to learn what drives their mistrust or prejudices. However, in the process of telling their stories, they will be working with the ‘others’ (demographics) of whom they mistrust, while the nation looks on. “Best case scenario,” Person states “it could have a life-imitating-art type of affect.” When asked of a worse case, Person just shook his head. “We are already living the worse case:” referring not to the ugliness of the current political campaign, but to the heartbreaking failed government leadership on every level.
“Keeping it real is entertainment. Overcoming a mindset that our fellow citizens are ‘others’ is social consciousness. COMMON GROUND does both – Nafiys Walters, Chair
Will it work? Nobody knows. Only 3 days til the debut and if the weight of its own expectations is not enough, a delayed start, confusion backstage and funding challenges make it a long shot. But Kendall F. Person and The Neighborhood Artists like those odds and believe it is their responsibility to try.
The Search for COMMON GROUND begins November 6