The problem that's befallen our country, from my perspective, is a spiritual crisis that I'll define as entrenched, narrow interests that threaten the integrity of the greater collective. Behind this crisis, however, are forces that are not simply addressed.
Human history appears to be in a flux between individual and the collective; and individual freedom, ultimately, can only be sustained and balanced by reciprocal love for the collective, or collective "spirit." What I propose we do in Merced is a threshold project in the arts, something that attempts to generate community spirit in concert with the California spirit.
Appeals for this can perhaps be directed to the Merced Arts Council. We maybe can induce a movement toward the greater spirits -- national, democratic, human -- that can override our ideologies that are inextricably tied to our pride and self-interest.
Sure, I'm a dreamer, but it's greater foolishness to exclusively look to our political leaders to address this crisis. It may be that a spiritual crisis can only be resolved by some kind of spiritual movement.