As an artist, I have a unique appreciation for the Wisconsin uprising. In addition to the usual outrage about the extreme right takeover of our state, I feel a thrill that so many people are expressing themselves in amazingly imaginative and creative ways.
The every-weekday Solidarity Singalong at the Madison Capitol brims with original protest music and artistry. For over 200 days, during the noon hour, hundreds of people have been singing with a lot of heartâ€”though not much talent or experienceâ€”and weâ€™ve been told that, against all odds, weâ€™re starting to sound pretty good!
Meanwhile, banner artistry has blossomed. One Solidarity Singer, Val, created the banners you see in these photos. She is a young mom with four children, yet she finds the time to sew expressions of the songs we sing. Look closely and you can see that they tell storiesâ€”including the crank phone call from â€œDavid Kochâ€ to Scott Walker, orange-shirted Democrats shouting â€œShame!â€ on the Assembly floor and Supreme Court Justice Prosser choking Justice Bradley.
And at least a dozen instrumentalists have learned through lots of practice how to play well together. Since they sound better every week, theyâ€™ve gained the name Learning Curve.
I shot this two-minute video of the Learning Curveâ€™s impromptu jam session on October 21. Itâ€™s guaranteed to make you smile in solidarity.