Dear Hillary Clinton (and anyone else who reads this),
Thanks for stopping by.
Allow me to introduce myself to you (again). My name is John Hoey and I’m a huge fan. I think the strength you’ve shown in the past 20+ years is exemplary. Although I don’t have much faith in the current political system, I think that you are one of the few people that has the right integrity to affect change. I truly wish you the best in the upcoming election. I find myself agreeing with you on many issues and wishing, like so many others, there was something that could be done. As it happens, I’ve been working on something for the past several years and I’d like to offer it to you. I’ve been developing a way of using global arts and culture to help break down the barriers of misunderstanding between different peoples. Imagine Nixon’s Ping-Pong diplomacy but on an international level using music, dance, visual arts, literature, dramatic arts, etc., as a method to bring people together in a positive way. I know that this isn’t the be-all end-all to the country's and world’s problems... there isn’t a single solution. But I’d like to think something like this might be part of the start.
I come from a much different background than the arts (my father is an ex-marine corps drill instructor and my mother is a very conservative Christian, and they both think Donald Trump would be a good next president), but since my early 20’s I’ve worked as a designer for theater and film. When I was younger I was in danger of being "radicalized" by an overwhelming number of righteous causes, as is almost every other person. But at hard cost I learned that righteous causes seldom are. Fortunately, I was able to see that there were other ways to express oneself than through destruction. It was an outlet I'd never known before and it saved my life. I have a feeling that nearly every other person in a position similar to mine would probably make the same choice. For most the fact that there is a choice might not be known. Once I learned, I went on to do some amazing things. I received a BFA from the North Carolina School of the Arts, an MFA from Temple University and had a special personal study with Czech architect and scenographer, Josef Svoboda (in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1988). I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked with New York City Ballet, New York City Opera, Luciano Pavarotti, Spoletto Festival, the Kennedy Center, dozens of regional theaters, received numerous awards and to have travelled around the world designing. Along the way I’ve been smart enough to see how artistic and cultural elements blend and flow around our world with a constant commonality.
A few years ago, while trying to explain to my parents how theater and the arts influence a people, I had an epiphany. Since then I’ve been consumed with research into the entire world’s cultural history and, along with other tangents, how to use the arts and culture as a way to break down barriers of ignorance. While I was on the faculty of Temple University I had the resources to explore some ideas. As a beginning I broke the earth into seven to nine different ethno-geographic areas all based on music tonal scale, selected several cultural and artistic elements from each, and have traced them all from the stone-age until today. These regions and elements are mapped out in a 3D model that I created to help organize them. The idea then is to allow public accessibility in both a research and especially a live performance/presentation form. And what unifies the interaction from the source material to the audience is the idea of “stealth education” (discreetly introducing the language of the cultural element so the observer’s comprehension of it, and larger ideas, is increased). I’ve seen bits and pieces of these ideas work, but never as a whole system. In a completed form this model is a layout for a great live performance festival, complete with live internet accessibility, specifically targeted to introduce different cultures to each other in a positive and creative environment.
All of this is on my web page at http://www.johnstephenhoey.com/discover-the-world, and a video trying to explain it is at http://www.johnstephenhoey.com/video/. It may be a little long and rambling, but I think that you ,if anyone, would understand it. (I’ve been meaning to update the website, but unfortunately in the past year downsizing in both the academic and arts fields has left me off and on unemployment the past several months. That and other issues have meant that my priorities have had to be elsewhere.) Even the site is in no way an adequate explanation, but I hope the ideas come across. The concepts are explained much better in person.
I hope you get a chance to look through the site, but if not don’t let it keep you up tonight….I have a feeling you have one or two other things you might need to deal with. Regardless, it’s a pleasure to communicate with you and I hope in the next year you’re given the chance to be the leader that you can be. Should you ever need anything, feel free to contact me at TheGodot@aol.com, or at 1-215-514-1375.
PS- Along with this “Discover the World” project and related ideas, I’m also putting together a (theoretical) plan for a global live internet concert similar to the “Playing for Change” recordings, and researching visual perception and it’s role in cultural racism. Before too long I hope to be able to show where the roots of racism come from (physiologically, psychologically, and socially) and possibly how to eradicate it.
At least it all works in my head at 3am…