Newsletter Issue:
Spring 2024

A Toast to an Ethos of Care: An Epilogue, It’s Alright, It’s Okay

Fig 1. A Toast to an Ethos of Care. Photo Credit: Chris Andrew

by Dr. Rikiesha Metzger, PhD 2024

At IDSVA’s in-person symposium, A Toast to an Ethos of Care, Jeca Rodríguez-Colón and Gabriel Reed, the co-curators of the event, were nothing short of amazing. What started as an open invitation for anyone associated with the IDSVA family to contribute their artistic and philosophical musings via academic papers, visual art presentations, and performances, turned into a vibrant celebration. This gathering signified a powerful testament to the ethos of care that is the cornerstone of the IDSVA community. As a participant, I am grateful to have been part of an event that encouraged us to show up as our authentic selves. A Toast to an Ethos of Care created an atmosphere that allowed all in attendance to embrace a communal exchange of energy by living out loud as modern-day artist-philosophers, for all who dared to “take risks” following the symposium guidelines set by Rodríguez-Colón.

Fig 2. A Toast to an Ethos of Care. Photo Credit: Chris Andrew

Entering the brightly lit space, rows of black fabric chairs formed a welcoming semi-circle facing a stage positioned at the front and center of the room. Awaiting guests on each chair was a tan-colored program outlining the evening’s itinerary, accompanied by a single yellow flower that added a feeling of warmth, cheerfulness, and hope to the intimate space. A light brown lectern stood solitary against the large glass backdrop that presented various views of different New York boroughs.

Fig 3. A Toast to an Ethos of Care. Photo Credit: Chris Andrew

Before the start of the program, sounds of chatter and lively conversations filled the room. The open seating arrangement created a friendly environment that provided an opportunity for old friends to have up close and personal encounters with each other while others made new acquaintances. The full house, which left standing room only, spoke volumes about the importance of the ethos of care and the impact IDSVA has had on its community. The night consisted of seventeen presentations that ‘rocked the mic’ for a three-and-a-half hour mix of dynamic sessions.

Fig 4. A Toast to an Ethos of Care. Photo Credit: Chris Andrew

The works of the presenters ranged from screen-projected images to singular and group presentations while demonstrating how the artist-philosopher shows up in different forms. Whether through my performance, “It’s Alright, It’s Okay,” which used a call-and-response technique to create a musical composition that invited the audience to be open to the spirit, spoken word pieces like Novel (Idea) Denise Sholars’ “Wayward Seeds,” or dialogical performances such as Professors Simonetta Moro and Dejan Lukić’s “Six Memos for the Artist-Philosopher,” attendees were encouraged to engage with the space in a way that allowed them to be moved by various cadences and different frequencies. As sounds of freedom resounded throughout each performance, a polyphonic rhythm of poetic flow was brought forth through the spirit of the artist-philosopher.

President George Smith’s quote, “There was a time when thinking, Being, and poeticizing were all one and the same,” captured the essence of A Toast to an Ethos of Care—from sounds of laughter and excitement to emotional catharsis that brought tears of joy, the spirit of the artist-philosopher appeared in every form. A Toast to an Ethos of Care was an unforgettable experience indeed.


Works Cited

Rodríguez-Colón, Jeca. “TEOC Guidelines and Program Draft.” Received by Rikiesha Metzger, 12 Apr 2024.

Smith, George. The Artist-Philosopher and New Philosophy. New York London: Routledge, 2020.

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