Creative Cities’ Peter Kageyama on WRFL today

Creative Cities’ Peter Kageyama on WRFL today

Peter Kageyama (left) and Mick Jeffries in WRFL studios with Ace Weekly (right). Photo by Derek Wingfield.

[Photo by Derek Wingfield.]

Creative Cities’ producer Peter Kageyama is in Lexington this week and joined Ace and Mick Jeffries in the WRFL studios this morning for Trivial Thursdays.

He opened the discussion by revisiting a conversation from this Spring’s Creative Cities Summit in Lexington.  The three big choices everyone makes are: who will be our significant other? what are we going to do for a living? and where will we live? And the third seems to be the most neglected.

He is currently writing a new book, with the working title, For the Love of Cities. In it, he talks about Detroit, New Orleans, and Cleveland as “new frontier towns.” He characterizes them as cities where one can make a difference, as “content creators, not just content consumers,” with very little barrier to entry.

He said, “People like us are chasing the opportunity to make meaningful work,” adding “Every place has people who love it? How do you get those people to do something?” In Lexington, he cited March Madness Marching Band as an example of a “love note” to the city.

The Now What Lexington? un-conference organized by Ben Self as a followup to the Creative Cities Summit was held in Lexington the next weekend, spinning off initiatives like Epic Small and Change for Art. Here’s a piece Ben Self posted about EpicSmall on ProgressLex.

Dr. Nick Kouns wrote on page 5 of Ace the week following:

“As it turns out, the unconference did what every good gathering of like-minded folk endeavors to do; it changed my mind.  From the minute I walked up the steps and saw my buddy John Malloy to listening to Ben Self’s opening speech; from seeing Jim Gray, Diane Lawless, and Kelly Flood to being in a room chock full of arts activists; to feeling like a Luddite with an iPhone in a foodie session to speeding back from rounds at the hospital to make a ‘shared assets’ breakout session; I was genuinely excited.  
If I were to truly bear my soft white underbelly, I would also have to admit that I was almost afraid to hope.
That’s a mouthful for me.  I am, by nature, a ridiculous optimist.  If I hear (or, more rarely actually HAVE) a good idea, I’m not afraid to poke around. 
The session gave me hope, although I felt a bit like an orchid thief.  The participants were what my father used to call ‘ready for bear’.  I’ve been around Lexington for a long time–I’ve heard the talk and seen the action disappear like tears in the rain.  On this day, I had the great pleasure of sharing space with men and women of action. On this day, I was afforded the rare gift of inspiration. My mind was changed and I’m the better for it. As for my action plan?  I am working on Change for Art.

This is but one idea of many. I believe Lexington is approaching some sort of critical mass. The ‘tell it to me’ ethos is giving way to the ‘show it to me’ paradigm.  It was my honor and my privilege to spend the day with these men and women of action.  Now what Lexington?  This is what is now. This is what is next.”

And the followups continue every day… every week in Ace (and every minute on line, on twitter, via facebook, on foursquare and more). The conversation goes on. 

For perspective on city portraits, read UK Writing Professor and author Erik Reece’s “Layers of Lexington” in Garden and Gun. 

Read Ace’s blogpost here reviewing The Utne Reader’s Building Better Cities piece as it relates to Lexington.