Sorry to start yet another thread on the Dancing Man Controversy, but this one's important and time-sensitive. Someone has answered the call for a dance-in. Be there tomorrow (Wednesday) at 5:30 and get your groove on! I understand that Bruce himself helped to organize this:
It's a Carrboro scandal...and Carrboro residents are dancing back...Wednesday, August 23, 5:30 pm... Weaver Street lawnÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
In late July Carr Mill Mall manager Nathan Milian told Bruce Thomas, dancer extraordinaire, that he could no longer dance on the "private property" of Weaver Street Market's lawn. Read http://www.newsobserver.com/102/story/476463.html for a more complete story.
Today, August 22, Weaver Street Market and Carr Mill Mall put out a press release with their "solution" to this PR fiasco: a new program called "Live on the Lawn." These scheduled events will feature performers who apply at Weaver Street Market. These performances must meet "approval" by Carr Mill Mall. The press release says there "will be a limit of one performance per week per artist or group."
Personally, we don't dance once a week. We dance when we want to. We want Bruce to dance when and where he wants to. Please help us make this point: come TOMORROW, Wednesday, August 23, 5:30 pm. on the Weaver Street lawn to raise dust with Bruce Thomas, the community of Carrboro, the Rainbow ReSisters, the Carrboro Greenspace collective and you!
Bring your instruments. Bring your Weaver Street consumer owner card. Consider buying something at WSM tomorrow to prove your patronage. Bring your friends. Bring your dancing shoes!
-The Rainbow ReSisters, on behalf of all Carrboro residents
I am so thrilled to hear of people taking action on this! The craziest thing is that this attempt to stifle their own customers will only damage the very values (or perception of them) that bring people to Weaver Street Market and Carr Mill's lawn in the first place. This action will be bad for our community in the short term, but we can find other places and other ways to gather. The impact on WSM of not being our community center will be financial and could be dire.
For background, please see past postings:
7/28: Dancing May Return to Carr Mill Mall, where we learned about the dancing ban and expressed pretty much universal shock and outrage. Some tried (and failed) to connect the issue to actual problems Carr Mill has with crime and safety - none of which are addressed by the ban on "performing."
8/16: Leadership on Weaver Street, where we pointed out that Weaver Street Market is having elections for their Board of Directors soon. Frustration with the management of this supposedly-member-owned cooperative is not new.
8/22: The private press conference, where we learned of the new "Live on the Lawn" program in which Carr Mill and WSM attempt to limit and control their patrons' creativity. I live-blogged the event which was closed to the public. The official press release was posted in the comments.