The Art of Protest / #next364 #rednose


Photo by Mary Ludington:

My neighborhood in SW Minneapolis feels like living in an Artists’ Colony. On my block alone there are five actors, four published authors, two photographers, and I live in a house full of clowns.

As I’ve mentioned I’m sorting through a yearlong collection of blog posts for a book project.

The story began next door at my neighbors Kevin Kling, and Mary Ludington’s house. We were meeting about a fundraiser for to help in their battle against Climate Change.

The driving force behind last summer’s project was Mary. She wanted help producing a show called Full Moon Circus to raise money and consciousness about climate change in our community. She explained that Kevin Kling was being brought in because the Koch Brothers fueled opposition was winning the battle of the story.

Mary explained, “We need storytellers that can do a better job of telling our side of the story.”

“Let’s do it,” I said

Mary sprang up saying, “Great, let me change into my paint clothes before we go.”

“Paint clothes?”

We spent the rest of the day at a warehouse painting protest signs for an upcoming anti-climate change march on the MN State Capital The man on crutches is David Solnit who was directing us how to make protest art.  David came to Minnesota last weekend from California to help prepare the artwork for the Tar Sands March on the Minnesota State Capital.

David earned his crutches when a pile of plywood fell and crushed his foot. The good news was that there were no broken bones. The bad news was that I guess a crushed foot takes longer to heal than a broken bone.

His crushed foot didn’t seem to slow David down that weekend.  When your trying to save the world from Global Warming I guess a little pain was worth it.

David told many amazing stories but the one that really captured my imagination was when he helped to create the infamous Rebel Clown Army that effectively shut down the road to the G8 Summit in 2005.

When I first posted this story last year I realized that I was beginning an extraordinary journey as an artist. The greatest human folly of our age is the self-inflicted wound of Climate Change. It seems to me that this truth is the one thing we all need to agree on if this world is going to survive.


Special Note: This story is part of my #next364 project where I spent a year publishing daily posts to my blog celebrating the spirit of the clown.  Over the course of a year I generated enough material to make into a book. In fact I’m making it into a book.    You can follow my progress here at My current step is to revisit the past year of posts to polish, edit and shape the written material into a future book.