ROCKLAND— WRFR, Rockland’s volunteer-run radio station, has a new talk show on Tuesday nights and anyone who makes a side living as an artist, writer, musician or maker will find the show not just interesting, but also instructive.
Each week, Teresa Piccari, a career writer, who has been a writing instructor and coach for the last 20 years, explores creativity with guest artists. Once a month she does a solo show, taking calls about creativity questions, offering her own original writing prompts and exercises on the air, introducing the listeners to new books on creative process. Part talk show and partly a platform to inspire people creatively, she calls the show 21st Century Bohemian after a column of the same name she has written in Inner Tapestries for the last 10 years.
“I’ve always interviewed people in the arts,” said Piccari.
Having snagged interviews with the late Maya Angelou, Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way and Shakti Gawain, founder of New World Library and author of Creative Visualization, Piccari offers her listeners insights and tools she’s learned in her own research. Over the last 20 years, she has run workshops including Memoir, Creative Writing, Heroic Quest, Creative Process, Creative Daybook, Illustrated Journal and Engaging the Goddess.
“Essentially, I’m still exploring the same creative process platform, just in a new medium with radio,” she said. “As an example, on my July 4th show, I played some Bruce Springsteen music and talked a bit about his memoir Born To Run that was published last fall.”
Some of the questions she might pose to her guests on her show each week include: “How do creatives get inspired or keep going when they aren't? What really goes into creating a single piece of art or a creative body of work? What are their views on learned skills versus innate talent and ability? How do they nurture and protect their creative work? What about the money part of art?”
Asked what is the number one trait one needs to pursue a creative career, Piccari said: “I think having curiosity is a priority; to cultivate and to feel connected to your sense of child-like wonder. You have to be in a place where you’re not having an expectation of how a story, a photo or a painting will turn out. You have to have this psychic open space within yourself where you are inviting something new to manifest. So, instead of expecting a certain outcome, you create a world of possibility. ”
Another question relevant to the divisiveness that has currently deeply embedded in our country is: “How do creatives help instill order and beauty in times of cultural chaos?”
In a 2015 article in The Nation, famed author Toni Morrison recalled a friend telling her: “This is precisely the time when artists go to work—not when everything is fine, but in times of dread. That’s our job!”
“We are certainly in a chaotic time in American culture,” said Piccari. “I think artists of all kinds can be tapped as good resources to solve problems and to bring beauty and light into times that can be heavy and dark. My Engaging The Goddess workshop is an example of how women can align with this latest wave in the rise in the divine feminine. And to provide another example, one of my past guests, Don Rainville, offered the idea of starting an annual local event where artists use their creativity to shine a light on environmental challenges.”
“Right now in Rockland, we have a creative renaissance, and I think the time is perfect to shine the spotlight on our amazing creative community,” she said.
On July 25, Piccari’s next guest on will be Carrie Hedstrom, who blends fiber art and poetry. Her work is currently on display at the Camden Public Library.
Kay Stephens can be reached at email@example.com