Pulitzer Prize Winning Author Paula Vogel

On Feb. 8th, 2012, Pulitzer Prize Winning Author Paula Vogel spoke at the Drama Bookshop in Manhattan. This five part series will feature clips that highlight topics of her discussion. The first of the series is called “The Great American Bake Off.”

First On-Line With Fran was shot and edited by Brandon York Productions with special thanks to Nancy Reardon and the Drama Bookshop in Manhattan!

Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize winning play “How I Learned to Drive,” played on Broadway’s Second Stage Theatre, and was the first professional NYC production of the play since its premiere 15 years ago.

The 9-11 Memorial Site

On September 13th I visited the 9-11 Memorial Site. It was truly an inspirational experience in so many ways. The solitude, solace, serenity and sheer beauty of being one with the elements was spiritually uplifting. I felt as if I became part of a canvas, similar to Seurat’s vision in Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park With George: an aesthetic coalescence of art and reality. It truly was – IS – a testament to those lives lost on September 11, 2001.

Thank you to all those people whose efforts to make this hallowed ground a spiritual retreat for everyone to reflect, remember, and realize the sacrifices made by those we honor.

We will never forget.

How do the arts serve humanity as reminders of lessons lost and learned?

First Online With Fran

The Arts continue to be cut from school curriculums across the nation. Despite arts advocacy groups’ efforts to prevent the decline of arts inclusion, the budgetary solution remains to be that the arts are perceived as extra-curricular and disposable. My blog First on Line with Fran will offer opportunities for you to join me in discussions on how ordinary people are doing extraordinary things in The Arts to make our world a richer, deeper, better place to live.

For over 30 years I have witnessed how The Arts have impacted the lives of so many people, young and old. Utilizing testimonials, videos, and interviews First on Line with Fran will serve to be the sounding board to let the world know that, “We’re angry as hell and we’re not gonna take it any more!” Instead of taking polite nibbles to offset this spiraling trend, let’s bite back!

Here’s my strategy:

Step One: Let’s Get Loud: Raise AWARENESS

We know there’s a drama, art, music, dance, classroom teacher who changed your life. Every educator knows that within EACH and EVERY child lies an artistic soul waiting to be sparked; it makes no difference where they’re from or what their economic status.

The Arts Rejuvenate. The Arts Restore. The Arts are our supernatural gift.

It is the force that unites us as a single, breathing, living entity that connects every human being to be all that is good and pure.

Send me your testimonial: How your third grade teacher taught you to write your first play, finger paint your fears away on an oily white sheet of paper, dance to the beat of your own drum, strum, blow, sing the lyrics that express your point of view. Move an audience so deeply that they all get goose bumps! (Wagner, Search For Signs of Intelligent Life). Click here to submit a testimonial.

Step Two: Spread the Word: NETWORK

Arrange an interview with Fran: I am scheduling appointments with people who are getting the job done. I am interested in the work you are doing and would like to feature you and/or your organization on First on Line with Fran. Tell that teacher, arts organization, teaching artist who made a difference and have them talk about their efforts to keep the arts alive and relevant. We can talk about goals and objectives and the obstacles you confront either as an individual and/or as an organization. I am particularly interested in your personal commentary and why you have chosen to pursue this cause.  Click here to arrange an interview.

Step Three: Consequences: DESIRED OUTCOMES

You know what I want what I really really want…

•Keep The Arts as a staple of a child’s education because…

•Keep The Arts as a core mission of government as compared to road repair because…

•Keep the arts as a cultural investment because the National Endowment for the Arts conducted a federally funded research that showed $278 billion in economic activity was spun off by the arts in 2009.

If you would like to join me, then be sure to contact me with your ideas. You never know…small packages can surprise you!

Selections from "The Vagina Monologues