2008 has changed American culture greatly. Like the political reassessment that came in 1932, this year the environment plays a great role in dictating the priorities of American politics. The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 played as great a role in politics of its day as the distater of Hurricane Katrina does today, dovetailing with an economic disaster predicated on greed and ignorance of the greater community. This year Hurricane Ike devastated the coast of Texas, and although it’s effects remain to be seen, Texan culture will have its own reckoning with what the government’s role is in its citizen’s lives, and to what degree a community takes care of the least among us.
At this holiday of Thanksgiving, Houston needs to lend a hand to Galveston. Texas does too. One small way to help is to bring your parents to Lawndale Arts Center December 11th for a Galveston Arts Center fundraiser. Ask them if they would like to go out for a night. Offer to drive them. I’m sure they have something to remember of Galveston. The whole city is going to be full of new neighbors even if it fully recovers, but the devastated city today is not capable of functioning on its own. Galveston needs its touchstones to survive, and for business and tourism to return. Just a visit to the island for lunch at Queens means something. The recovery of the city is tenuous, and Houston must find ways to incorporate Galveston into its self-identity.
Here are some stories about Galveston: It was the site of the first post office, bakery, train station, electric lights, opera house and street cars in Texas. The Balinese Room was a major mobster hub, fronted by Sam Maceo they imported 20,000 cases of booze from Cuba in the 20s and controlling the streets of Galveston for decades. The East Beach is modeled on Rockaway Beach in New York, and was constructed by the WPA during the great depression. The island was settled seven years after the first Thanksgiving in Massachusetts, and despite the short history of Texas, the city’s churches and businesses and landmarks and cemeteries are some of the little history that Texas has to build itself upon. The Art Guys Jack and Mike will host the Lawndale fundraiser for the Galveston Art Center, and if you have ever walked down the Strand and stopped on the corner of 22nd come out and help the GAC survive this holiday season.
From Galveston.com: Prior to the storm, GAC had mounted an exhibition of the work of Fort
Worth-based artist Helen Altman. Of the 38 works featured in the
10-year retrospective, 25 were completely destroyed, worth an estimated
$98,000. In addition, inventory from the
ArtWorks museum shop was also destroyed. “We are facing lost revenue of
approximately $3,000 per month that the shop is not open,” notes
Irvine. "That money is an important part of our operating budget and we
depend on it to support our exhibition and education outreach
programs." A satellite shop sales location will be established at
Hendley Market at 2010 Strand during Dickens on the Strand and the Lone
Star Motorcycle Rally.
A "pass the hat" fundraising event will be held at Lawndale Art Center
in Houston on Thursday, December 11, 2008, from 5:30 to 7:30. Four great shows to check out! Ann Marie Nafziger, AJ Liberto and Jesse Wagner, Cory Wagner and Majuitta Ahuja. Outdoor installation by Emily Sloan.