Monday, September 15, 2008


My heroes brandish pens, pencils, crayons, paint brushes, sculpting knives, and scissors.

My heroes wear tap shoes, leotards, paint-stained t-shirts, and invisible capes of courage to help them weather lack of encouragement, support, pay, and recognition.

My heroes listen to the voices in their heads, the ones that tell them to put their visions on the stage, the movie screen, a piece of fabric, an empty page.

My heroes unite, inspire, awaken, and agitate others through their drawings, paintings, story quilts, picture books, comedy, and choreography.

My heroes have always been artists.

Why? Because it takes incredible bravery to to take what's inside and turn it out for all the world to see.

Creative Heroes from ChildhoodMaria Tallchief,dancer. I remember checking out her biography from my middle school library.
Nadia Comaneci, Olympic gymnast.
Scott Joplin, composer and pianist.
Madeleine L’Engle, children’s chapter book author. Remember A Wrinkle in Time?
Bev Hart, my dance teacher, who let me help choreograph my performance for a recital.

Creative Heroes from Young AdulthoodKeith Haring, painter and graffiti artist
Jim Henson, pioneer in film & television and creator of the Muppets
Faith Ringgold, story quilt maker and children’s book author
Nancy Savoca, film director
Sally Potter, film writer and director
Lily Yeh, creator of The Village of the Arts & Humanities

Creative Heroes from Recent TimesJack Black, comic
Ellen DeGeneres, comic
Julie Taymor, theatre director and creator of The Lion King
Fatima Robinson, choreographer
Missy Elliott, hip hop artist

Creative Heroes from Creative Times
Mike Sorgatz, painter
Petra Symister, Brooklyn blogger
Maira Kalman, writer, designer, children’s book author & illustrator
Fran Brill, first female Muppeteer
Eva Zeisel, 20th century design great
Tommy the Clown, Godfather of krumping
Leyla Safai, pink ice cream truck driver
Frank Biando, cameraman for Sesame Street
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