Barnsmell,” a moonshiner in the World War II (WW II) comic strip “L’il Abner,” had
a secret still called the "Skonk Works” where he made “kickapoo joy
juice". Aerospace juggernaut Lockheed Martin adapted the term in WW II when
responding to the unstoppable German Messerschmitt. Their best and brightest
produced the legendary P 38 in less than five months-all the while adjacent to
a malodorous plastic factory.
true smell of a skunk works is the sizzling savory aroma of hearts and heads on
fire doing something profoundly creative, smart, fast and right, especially under
has a budget crisis. So far, Fairfield City Council and staff are candid. Fairfield
is about to lose a jewel in its crown, the arts.
understands the magic of the arts where dreams and imagination become melodies,
words become lyrics and librettos, and pictures and portraits of human
creativity take shape. The arts are an umbilical connection to the world and we
are healthier when we choose to create on the grand stage of life, rather than
languish in the mezzanine. The arts are pivotal for a vibrant, happy and safe community.
They stimulate critical thinking as well as increase cultural understanding and
preserve ethnic heritage. Flourishing arts encourage personal and community
creativity and pride, contribute to lifelong learning in adults and the well-rounded
education and development of children while strengthening the local economy.
At the last council, Councilman “Motown
Mraz” summed it up tightly and rightly with fellow city staffers and council
members doo whopping in backup harmony … “The body of this city is… safety… its
soul is the arts” Listen to a leitmotif of leadership- they get it!
I have often bathed in that sweet skunk works
stink. A chance is coming again. Because of many forward thinking backstage
meetings last week, opinion leaders and city staff will convene their own skunk
works to distill a better elixir that will institutionalize rich, vibrant and
entertaining immersion in the arts as part of the fabulous Fairfield experience.
notion causing all the commotion is this; build a bonafide non-profit arts consortium.
Staff it and wean it into self-sufficiency. It would have at least the following
attributes: durability, structural and fiscal soundness, inclusivity and run by
those with most at stake and the most talent. There would be institutionalized
organizational learning through sharing of time, treasures, technology and
talents and programmed large scale use of city internet presence, organization
web space and city cable TV with emphasis on entertaining and educational
outreach to K-12 and beyond.
Fairfield Center for the Creative Arts would be maximally utilized with forgiveness
of tech and rental costs. It must be fun, not overly ponderous and not
dependent on a small group. The City would have oversight; seeding and staffing
responsibilities to provide a safety net, but not a bassinette, and the City
would creatively coerce participatory partnership of all to build bridges to
taxpayers’ consciousness and coffers.
amalgamation of city, private, small businesses, fraternal and philanthropic
organizations, “tithing subscribers,” as well as some incentivized generosity
by community “big fish” recently and unexpectedly awash in new monies, could
fund it. Thank you, Measure Q.
technology and treasures exist to marshal economies of scale for marketing, publicity
and fundraisers reaching every nook and cranny and market possible naming
key ingredients are no farther away than a mirror and the urgency to do what is
clever, quick and right is no more distant than our pulse. The city council is
on board and ready to tap the joy juice vat. If we build it well reasoned and
glad hearted, all will come and the sweet smell of skunk works will linger for generations.
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