Tag: identity

Creative Folly

Creative Folly


The Illusory Support of American Artists by Arts Organizations & Funders

c  Lisa A. Miles 2014

Over a decade ago, I published a book about a woman artist and her work, and the larger role of an artist’s work in American society.  Another one formally begins here, to expose the lunacy that underlies American arts organizations and funders’ support for the individual artist, and to propose alternatives far more sane, just, creative and certainly do-able.

My biography of Esther Phillips, This Fantastic Struggle, commented upon the concept of Artists as Workers, deriding the little respect mainstream society has for creative workers of all genres.  This current work tackles in-depth the illusory support by the American arts establishment itself, which is supposed to be championing the artist’s cause.  Across a broad spectrum that includes community arts agencies, philanthropy, larger urban cultural entities and much more, it is a required critical look at the lack of real support for those that produce substantive creative contributions to society– the artists themselves.  It is informed by my own longstanding work as a creative artist, but also many others working similarly in the United States.

Where “Fantastic Struggle” railed against mainstream society’s lack of understanding of artists and their work, Creative Folly takes on the insiders, those very entities who proclaim to have artists’ best interests at heart.  Instead, their policies are entirely incapable of making measurable, significant difference in the lives of the millions of true working artists in this country.

This is a book that art administrators will denounce and hate– unless they’re willing to take an honest look within their community at what and whom they purport to be helping.  Foundation officers, and those directing the scant number of corporate giving programs out there, will certainly outcry, too– mortified that their work is exposed for its little genuine benefit.  Even arts organizations’ low-level workers may scoff, taken aback at the suggestion that the nonprofit they advocate for isn’t advancing the arts.  But that goal is something which is best done when you actually support and create work opportunity for individual creative artists.

I don’t write to please the art establishment.  My focus is to expose and examine the long-standing policies and practices in place within the art-funding world and arts organizations large and small.  Those who are presumed to do no wrong– philanthropy and the creative nonprofits.  When in fact they could do far better to effect meaningful impact on the lives of working artists.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ancestral Fragments


Lisa A. Miles  c 2013   www.lisamilesviolin.com
All Rights Reserved


Ever wonder, as I, how folks who believe in reincarnation reconcile the individuality of every person, the uniqueness of the spirit?

I have nothing against folks who believe.  Really.  But I just never could quite feel that within one’s person there might be spirits of a distinctly different one.

Now, I am sure I got that a little wrong, my understanding and defining of actual reincarnation.  But no matter, as I’ll never quite be able to believe that I was once of another time and place completely unrelated to my own genetic material!

But when it comes to that genetic material, its a different story for me.  You see, I have always been deeply intrigued by ancestry.  (Probably like a lot of folks, especially when you see the online biz of it.)  I’ve wanted to learn more of the lives of age-old relatives, and then admire (or admonish) the stories that preceded my ending up being here.

At the same time–and this is going to be really hard to explain–I felt from a very young age something very powerful which has stayed with me.  Standing in my front yard as a little girl, I came upon an unusual sensation (not mere idea) that somehow each of us has a unique spark.  It seemed related to my ponderings of the physical universe in the starry night sky, but which I “saw” in front of my eyes in daytime that day.  I am told this is akin to a “waking dream,” whatever that is.  (Probably unlike the 3-yr-old child experiences of a lot of folks.)  Though at a loss for how to express it, I saw that day, or I should say felt and sensed, at that young moment of my life, what seemed very sacred.  That we each have some purpose, or at least some very individual “stuff” that no one else has.  (more…)


Self-Development Workshop at BYS Yoga this summer

Sunday July 21, 2013  11 a.m.- 1p.m.

Personal Power:  The Self-Designed Life

A colorful and motivational look at the keys we each hold to pursue a life that most speaks to us in this world.

This hands-on, highly engaging workshop will give participants a chance to reflect on their individual “sense of self.” It will be creative process-driven and utilize stimulating discussion, reflection, tactile and sensory facets, and some minor movement. Bring a a yoga mat and journal, and be prepared to leave empowered and inspired to leverage assets within, and to think on transforming personal and professional challenges, with both inspiration but also effective tools.

Led by Pittsburgh musician, writer and self-development coach Lisa Miles, who has been uniquely blending her expertise in Personal/ Professional Development and the Creative Arts ever since leaving the traditional world of teaching in the 1980s.
See more on Lisa’s advising, and writing for www.psychcentral.com on the BYS Yoga Community Wellness page, as well as her in-depth coaching profile at www.liquic.com.  
$20 in advance
$25 at the door

Tags: , , , ,

Self Development as Balm

Lisa A. Miles c 2013   www.lisamilesviolin.com
All Rights Reserved



Take the toughest challenges you have to tackle at work, at home or with extended family and friends–

Bosses who seem clueless to what your job requires, colleagues who can’t relate to you (or you they), the stress of deadlines and dissatisfaction of being in a job you are not even sure you belong in.  Family members who throw plans into disarray, disregard you and have you questioning your commitment (as well as your sanity).

Perhaps adult siblings who ask for money or come to you for advice, only for you to soon find yourself involved in maddening family triangles, or aunts and uncles who pull you into long-entrenched but silly feuds.  Then of course there are friends who you would like to shake to knock some sense or self-reflection into….  Get the picture?


Tags: , , , ,