Miriam Parker’s Vision

I caught up with Miriam Parker as the 15th annual Vision Festival nears. Vision is presented by Arts for Art and is the “premier multidisciplinary celebration of jazz music, dance, poetry and art.” This year’s theme is the “Creative Option.” The events run from June 20 through June 30. That’s 11 days in 7 venues around town.

People are always lamenting that there is nothing to do. There are plenty of things to do if you have enough guts to venture from the mundane world of predictable music in predictable venues. Miriam Parker is at the forefront of this underground dance/art/music thing. My pal Lupe Ramos took me to see her perform down on Rivington a few months back and I left inspired. Miriam was my savior on many occasions when she was making things work over at La Esquina, still my favorite place in town. She was the voice of reason for me at The Box, an often unreasonable place . Everybody is talking about Serge Becker’s new offering Café Lily. Miriam will be a friendly and familiar face when it clears the opening hurdles.

Tell me what you do? What do I do? I wear many hats. I work with Serge Becker, opening most of his new ventures. I spend much of my time in Buddhist studies. It is the main tool that I use to prepare my body and mind, to have clear intentions in all my endeavors. I am a dancer, and I work mainly with artists. I work at the arts organization Arts for Art.

What projects are you working on now ? I am opening Cafe Lily with Serge. I am getting ready for the Vision Festival. I am working on a project called the Crow series which is a site-specific installation with video, dance and music. Possibly working with RZA on his new film produced by Tarantino, a Kung Fu flick. I am doing the dance scenes.

What do you want to do in the future? I hope to open a spa with Serge and introduce new ways for me to more directly integrate my worlds, introducing lifestyle changes. I’d like to open a center for innovative art, music, dance and thinking. If that is to big then just create an NYC-based salon/collective that mimics the relationship that Merce Cunningham, John Cage and Robert Rauschenberg had. For me living a creative life is everything. It was much easier to make money as an administrator, but writing and designing are much more rewarding. You are dedicated to an artistic lifestyle. Tell me all about it. After barely surviving The Box and then spending a year at the peaceful Mercer Hotel, I began to crave my artistic roots and also the old LES, which had been such a hub for new art–a place where artists could find new ways to express themselves. With all the changes in New York nightlife–with all the rules and regulations–I miss the individual expressions of nightlife. I crave the innovative and creative side to things. This festival could not be more New York. But for some reason, the NYC art world has abandoned these roots. This festival gives us a chance to reconnect to some of the sources of inspiration that have fueled music careers of well-known artists such as Paul D. Miller, The Roots Henry Rollins, and Vernon Reid. We keep it homegrown with homemade food in our cafe/cocktail area. It is truly a meeting place for the underground.

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