Rebooting Rockwell's America: News, Art and Community
A PUBLIC SYMPOSIUM / September 11-13, 2009 / Stockbridge, Massachusetts
News, values, cafes and the new pamphleteers --
Sustaining democracy through civic engagement
New roles for journalism -- and the net -- in fostering participatory democracy and community
The America of Norman Rockwell's mid-20th-century illustrations was rich with simple truths and sometimes hard choices. In that world, we respected authority, and the flag. We were asked to embrace justice, equality and tolerance. The country editor personified the Four Freedoms at the grassroots.
On Sept. 11, 2001, it was as if the last vestiges of Rockwell's stoic, insular, yet generous nation had been torn asunder, and a new, darker period of fear engaged. A buy-now-pay later ethic has brought some of our most valued journalism institutions to the brink. Now even the Missouri country editor works with bits and bytes alongside type and ink. Yet innovation abounds on the Internet, and we find new ways to connect and circulate. If Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and Twitter have taught us anything, it's that we may hunger for the constancy of community more than ever.
Options -- and tools
Can we reboot Rockwell's America in a digital age? Do we want to? What might be the role of art, and culture? Join us Sept. 11-13 to consider the options -- and tools.
"Rebooting Rockwell's America," will pause for three days to consider the roots of American community, freedom, democracy -- and the journalism which protects each. We'll consider how a generation of virtual pamphleteers -- in cafes, schools, clubs and meeting rooms -- might help point us to common ground via physical places. And now there is the promise that these places will be digitally united across a world that grows smaller, faster, more diverse and more precious by the year.
WHERE WE'LL GATHER -- OUR SPONSORS -- THE PROGRAM
"Rebooting Rockwell's America," is a initiative of the Norman Rockwell Museum, and most of the sessions and breakouts will be hosted at the 00,000-square-foot museum in Stockbridge, Mass., the heart of the Berkshires, one of America's premiere cultural destinations. Four co-convenors are at the forefront of studying America's new news and community ecologies. They are the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism, the Media Giraffe Project at the University of Massachusetts and the Journalism that Matters collaborative and the Center for Sustainable Journalism at Kennesaw State University.
We'll convene Friday, Sept. 11, at 3 p.m., run through dinner and an evening program. Saturday will be filled with discussions, breakouts and work sessions. After an evening of entertainment on Saturday night, we'll collect convene on Sunday morning to collect thoughts and confirm actions, adjourning by noon.