From DAVE SHAFFER
Chair, Black Swamp Arts Festival
Of course Bowling Green and the Black Swamp Arts Festival welcome you wholeheartedly to the festival coming up this weekend. We are so enthusiastic about making you all feel welcome that I would like to take a little of your time to discuss what it takes to do just that (make everyone feel welcome).
The classic advice to never discuss politics or religions is maybe going a bit too far. Civil, considerate discussion amongst consenting adults is fine, yelling at people to think like you, no matter how important the cause, is best done elsewhere. Come to enrich yourself: enjoy the art, the food, the music and the people watching. How we each interpret and present ourselves to the world is an art we bring to our own lives and the best thing about people watching is that the people you watch are different than you. Open yourself up to the differences.
Personally, I love to see dogs at the festival and if you do want to bring your “best friend,” it would be best to do it earlier when the crowds are fewer and the pavement is cooler. People will pet your dogs. Some will ask and some won’t. You and they should be ok with that.
One of my favorite movies, A Blast from the Past, summed it up well: “good manners are just a way of showing other people we have respect for them.” and “…a lady or a gentleman is, someone who always tries to make sure the people around him or her are as comfortable as possible.” So, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the festival.