A band of idealistic artists, students and community activists travel to communities across New England with the popular folk artist, Sidewalk Sam, on a special mission - to giant, temporary artworks and community symbols on the ground in the center of towns with the enthusiastic participation of thousands of
local townspeople. These art events, which have had a record of success in small communities across the Northeast, rally enthusiasm for regional artistic expression and fortify an appreciation of the arts that is shared across communities.

The ART AMERICA TOUR shows how the arts provide a basis for shared American values. The tour is a symbolic event binding together many communities in trust and good spirit. It involves regional arts organizations and cultural groups
interested in creating a more civil society. It draws heightened attention to regional artists and arts institutions, presenting them as important resources for resolving America's social and political differences. Because it can bring people together despite regional differences, the ART AMERICA TOUR declares that the arts must be supported because they have the ability to speak out to diverse people and
regions and provide a solacing influence during contentious times.

BACKGROUND
Artists are concerned about talk of Red States and Blue States dividing America into two disputing camps that have no common interests. They have seen prejudices become inflamed for states that are either "Democrat" or "Republican,"
regions that are "cultured" or "non-cultured," citizens that are "moral" or "immoral," areas claiming a lock on "informed opinion," groups claiming a lock on "family values" and so forth.

Although these are divisive times, such divisive periods have occurred before in America (after the Revolutionary War, around the Civil War and the First World War, for example) when ungoverned political feelings began to take
precedent over sensible discourse. American's unity became seriously threaten.For such times there always arises a moderating voice.

Today leadership is to be found among creative artists who speak out in support of tolerance, respect and appreciation among all Americans. It is a time for the arts to provide symbols of unity and respect for Americans everywhere, independent of regional differences. The arts must now rally Americans in
support of noble values that are common to us all. People must be reminded of a
higher cause that binds all Americans together. The ART AMERICA TOUR provides an opportunity for all America to come together; it allows the arts to take a leadership role in uniting America. The ART AMERICA TOUR promotes the arts as an organizational resource that can bring Americans together around issues that are more basic and profound than any that divide us.

The ART AMERICA TOUR lets tens of thousands of Americans work on a unifying art project together. As they gather to make art and share experiences they will tell their personal stories in taped interviews, describe the effect the arts have upon them and their families and provide samples of the way the arts
add character and meaning to their lives. The ART AMERICA TOUR and the stories about the value of personal expression in people's lives will be presented in a videotaped program intended to be aired nationally on PBS.

Presently we are seeking interested community leaders, churches, civic organizations, cultural non-profits, college groups, students, people in the arts and active people in communities everywhere who would like to discuss this tour.

Interested parties can get involved by filling out this form.

Name:
Address(opt.):


Phone:
E-mail:


If there are any special services, equipment handling or skills you can offer please list them below. This might include background, special contacts, access to an appropriate tool or vehicle, carpentry, photography, multimedia and visual arts.