It does not take an overly educated individual to understand that we are living in a world that is continually cultivating fear and insecurity. From the growing number of stress related illnesses in adults that one reads about in the news, it is a wonder that the average person can keep their act together on a day-to-day basis. Uncertain times create concerns on all levels from the financial to the spiritual. It is hard enough to face these fears as an adult but imagine how devastating the fear is for the less experienced; our children.
Our children are plunged into the negative zone daily. Newspapers, television, radio and all other manner of technological media batter our children into a fear-ridden world that begs the question, how will they ever see the light again?
The answer is to remind the children that they are never alone. They have their parents, their teachers, their police force, their firefighters, their City Council, their peers, their friends; in short, they have their community family. This community family has been the fabric that has held together civilization since the first neighborhood was formed with a row of huts and a central campfire. A community family is comprised of people all looking out for the safety and the well being of the group.
Over the course of history, this fabric of family has been made ragged, has acquired more than one hole and is visibly thinning. Our government suggests ways of bringing the fabric back to life through programs and incentives, our religious organizations speak of stitching the community back together through common beliefs and there are a plethora of philosophers who have created visions of a wholly new fabric. Although these ideas have had merit, they have fallen short of the goal to reduce fear and build a safe world for the family community.
Mother J Productions is no think-tank, no bed of philosophical wisdom nor is it a religious order with a spiritual agenda. We are a company built on the premise that every civilization can survive fear only if it unites through a community family. Where better to build “unity in the community” than through the hallmark of civilization, the arts. Creative, visual or performing arts, it matters not. What matters is that through artistic expression fears can be safely viewed and overcome.
Our company promotes artistic endeavors that provide children with opportunities to express their fears and work to overcome them. Additionally, the company produces events that generate scholarship dollars to promote the artistic education of young people. Mother J Productions core program is “The Mother J Experience.” The “Mother J Experience” is comprised of the interactive performance of the original musical “Mother J” (the J is for Joy), a play that educates youth about “cultural diversity”, substance abuse” and “overcoming fear.” The “Experience also includes a youth art exhibition and community discussion forums that address the themes present in the world today. The “Experience” is central to Mother J’s success in the communities in which it has worked.
The building of a “Unity In the Community” Archway is another of the company’s works of art that is bringing together several hundred families in an art in public places project. Seven hundred hand-painted tiles will adorn an edifice that honors the community family. The Archway goes further to honor a woman, Adrianne Lowe who demonstrated through her work with the community body that one could be a mother to her own offspring and to a community at the same time. Her devotion to the community family is celebrated in this work of art.
Providing young people with an outlet for their creativity is tantamount to rebuilding the fabric of community. An event as intricate as a Jazz Festival opens the door to youth expression. At the recent “Mickey Carroll & Friends – A Festival of Jazz & Blues”, the Lakemount Steppers of Mount Dora performed their unique stepping rhythms, for the first time to jazz and blues. In essence, they stepped up to the community table to share their gifts through their dance. They united the community in celebration. It is this celebration that is necessary for the fabric to be mended. When the community is immersed in celebration, they become fear-less. When they are without fear, they can see clearly and when clarity is present, the community can be reunited.
Mother J Productions simply wishes to build “unity in the community” and not just in their city of Mount Dora, Florida but in each city to which they can bring their “Experience”; first in Florida, then the rest of the country. There is no better place to begin your journey than where you are in the present. The company does not expect to rebuild the fabric of community on its own. The company wishes to be an active participant in the process to make the world a safer place where family is larger than just those sitting at your dinner table.