It’s that word “inaugural” that does it for me…
Seriously, it’s an honor. Especially since it’s shared with the immensely talented inaugural Artist-in-Residence Ahamefule Oluo (Aham for short).
So what does it mean? Do Aham and I get to sleep in the landmark Town Hall building, which was formerly a Christian Science church and looks kind of like a Pacific Northwest version of a Roman temple? (I bag the top of the dome if so.)
I don’t know about Aham, but maybe I could pull a Marina Abramovic. After all, they’re giving me a key, and a key to a building as grand as this should surely be used appropriately. Does anyone have a canopied four-poster bed that would fit into that dome?
Seriously (did I say that before?), my inaugural responsibilities are delightfully onerous:
— Go to as many events as I fancy (top of my list: novelists Junot Diaz and Paul Auster, Bishop Gene Robinson talking straight about gay marriage, Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman, Chris Ware and Chip Kidd on graphic novels, neuroscientist Giulio Tononi guiding “a voyage from the brain to the soul,” and an Election Night special where I can whoop or weep as the need may be in good company).
–Post to a Town Hall blog when the spirit moves me (I’ll cross-post here) and invite audience participation both online and face to face.
–“Curate” a couple of experimental evenings (for instance, on October 28 my friend Nassim Assefi will beta-test her plan to crowd-source revisions to her new novel, an idea that fills me with both horror and curiosity).
— Give a presentation in December (am scheming on this right now: I want to invite audiences to kind of live-Tweet after each event, then document what they write, mix well, and recombine into a kind of crowd-sourced portrait of Town Hall’s fall season).
— And last but definitely the opposite of least, have fun.
Whatever happens, that last one is a certainty.