February 24, 2011, 7:19 pm
Filed under: Community, Events

Please join us for our final THINK TANK session on Wednesday, March 16th from 7pm-10pm which will delve into the concept of COMMUNITY. These Think Tanks are open to the public and are a cross between Town Hall and Open Space format. We are looking to have a diverse group of folks at each event – we are looking for artists, alternative thinkers, educators, activists, social workers, community organizers, lawyers, parents, politicians and anyone else who is interested. Please come – and if you know someone who fits this description and might enjoy this event, please forward.

Please note: this event will be held at HERE’s Dorothy B. Williams Theatre, 145 Sixth Avenue at Dominick Street

If you would like to attend, please email to rsvp.


Think Tank #7 – Opportunity: Subtopic Notes: How does opportunity relate to time? by kristinmarting
February 10, 2011, 11:19 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Opportunity as dependent on time – “Seize the opportunity” “Miss an opportunity”

Is there lasting opportunity?

How do you sustain opportunity? Can you?

What does it mean to be born into opportunity? Opportunity through effort. You have to be courageous. Now is your chance. Opportunistic carries a negative connotation. Opportunity is something you create.

Sacrifice. How are you willing to live you life in order to gain the opportunity you want?

Does opportunity have to be taught? An opportunity to learn opportunity.

Planting seeds.

Is opportunity a product of environment?

Creating your own work- creates more opportunities- work begets work

The metaphysical application to it- put your energy out there

It’s all around like the weather

Opportunity is what you make it.

It is always there

A leap of faith

Visualize opportunity

How is perspective related to opportunity?

Bogged down- what it should be- what peers tell us- vs. what’s there

Many live with regret they “never did what they wanted to do” couldn’t get the gumption, they were waiting depending on someone else

Technology waters down the humanity of opportunity/Technology highlights the humanity of opportunity.

Turning over a rock as a child, to see the magic hidden life beneath.

Think Tank #7 – Opportunity: Notes from Subtopic: Is opportunity outside one’s control? by kristinmarting
February 8, 2011, 3:18 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Opportunity as something you have control of vs. opportunity as chance/luck

“You can be a prodigy too.”

-From an Amy Tan short story “Two Kinds,” about a Chinese woman who puts an enormous amount of pressure on her American born daughter and says “You can be a prodigy too.”  Can you become a prodigy?  Prodigy is inherent.

-From a young age, we are fed unrealistic messages.  “You can be anything.”  This is at the root of the American Dream.

-“You can be anything” has positive and negative implications/is misleading if not put into proper context

-Can be used as positive reinforcement, but if you can be anything, you can be also be a failure.

-If you don’t reach the ideal, it can impose a feeling of failure.

-Groups of people inherently need mythology; goals to feed to individuals in order to accomplish the goals of the community

-Obama using the term “Sputnik moment,” telling Americans to seize the reins and go after these achievable dreams.

-Only a certain number of people will achieve these dreams, so how do you encourage/inspire these people?  By sustaining this idea of achievable success that is available to anyone who wants it.

-On an individual level, there are more broken dreams than fulfilled dreams

-You have just as much an opportunity to fail as an opportunity to succeed

-If you work hard enough, study hard enough, overcome rejection, you too can be a prodigy.

-Prodigy stems from prodigious, meaning that to be a prodigy you have to work a lot.  This conflicts with the concept of prodigy as something you are born into.

-America places so much importance on opportunity because we value success, and that success depends largely on financial standing

-China is growing/succeeding as a country because there is a system in place that pushes this monocultural, national identity

-Realistic dreams/practicality: do they lead to more opportunities?

-Opportunity is elusive: You have to be able to recognize an opportunity, you have to know when to stop and explore something more deeply

-You have to be educated on some level/have to have time for trial and error in order to recognize/create opportunities

-Artists perpetuate the idea that opportunity is something that is more concrete/systematic outside of the arts world

-Opportunity is not always career oriented; the opportunity to fall in love and raise an opportunity

-Opportunity is not always money oriented

-Opportunity is relative; it is based on what you value

-Back in the frontier days, opportunity was out west, in the unknown

-Opportunity was out west for people who had less; they could discover opportunity at the frontier, the outer reaches of human experience vs. a city where there was already an establishment

-Opportunity for the people moving out West was really the genocide of the Native American population.  The narrative of opportunity is really a one sided narrative that leaves the Other out of the conversation.

-Genocide/slavery can only be done as a dominant narrative that codifies injustice into our legal system/rationale as a nation

-You always have to step on someone else’s toes to seize an opportunity

-There are just as many missed opportunities as seized opportunities; when you seize an opportunity, you miss the other opportunity

-Is one of the aspects of opportunity how tenuous it is?

-People commit atrocities out of fear that if they don’t, atrocities will be committed to them.

-Fear is mostly driven by culture; not all cultures are fearful

-Opportunity as relative to previous conditions: immigrants that are making more money than they would in their home country working horrible conditions in America

-The idea of what financial success is has increased on an exponential level in the last forty years.  It has become so much harder to achieve because of that.

-In South Africa the bank started a lottery savings account system.  Everyone would put their money into a savings account and then someone from that lottery group would win the savings.

-Why do so many people play the lottery when in essence there is a sure bet that you will never get anything back?  People like the chance, the idea that anything is possible.