Uptown Thinktank

Late today I had the great pleasure of participating in a very creative brainstorm about how to adapt Simi Linton’s memoir to the stage. We’re still waiting to hear about the success or otherwise of our various grant applications – and I’ve got more to write tomorrow to meet a few 1 March deadlines – but for a few hours this evening we were all blue sky and dreams, rather than practicalities and tin-tacks.

In attendance, apart from Simi, Simi’s husband (a media studies professor) and myself, were a documentary film-maker, a painter, a theatre critic and arts writer, a playwright, and the curator of a disability film series that’s currently playing downtown once a month. As I looked around at this group of interesting thinkers, I did feel quite privileged to be part of this creative moment, and that this is certainly the best aspect of being in this city. Which is not to say, of course, that thrilling conversations and brainstorms don’t take place elsewhere; but in the diversity of the participants’ backgrounds, the supportive environment in which such discussions are nurtured, and (last but certainly not least) the real possibility of other sources of funding, it was a very New York moment for me.

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