Salons are based on a simple but powerful idea— gather like minds into intimate groups to discuss art, new ideas, and the plights and purposes of a generation, the result is renaissance; a rebirth of truly great art, beatnik generations and golden ages.
On the long road to modernity, the tradition of salons became a key component in spreading new and revolutionary ideas like freedom, liberty and equality. They are the tried and true incubators of every great art movement and cultural revolution. The name changes sometimes, but the tenets remain the same. Gather people with intention to discuss the world's problems and mysteries, its art and the future, and real change can begin.
Imagine being in Gertrude Stein's salon in Paris, with Hemingway, Picasso, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
The dialogues in Gertrude's salon during the roaring 20s, still impact the world and will for generations to come.
The Beat Movement can be traced back to a salon at the Six Gallery in San Francisco, when a group of young poets including Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac discovered the beat and pushed the generation into a world where art has no borders.
And let's not forget the actual Renaissance in Italy, circa 1500, it was Lorenzo de Medici's salon that gave patronage to Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael, and many others. Dinner and conversation around Midici's table was the incubator for a rebirth of great art, engineering and thought.
Every generation has something that resembles a salon, just think of Ed Sullivan hosting progressive minds in NYC during the British Invasion or imagine the Harlem Writers Guild that set Maya Angelou on her way to the mountain tops with MLK Jr and Malcolm X. Think of who came to bring truth and changed the face of the world with only a dozen close friends.
Every generation has its own unique issues. Today we find ourselves in a digital age of progress trying desperately to rob us of our presence. We live in a world where truth has gone the way of alternative facts, beauty is defined by Photoshop, economic gain outweighs the needs of the people, and prejudice, injustice and marginalization have become the voices of our generation.
We have never needed Bob Dylan & Maya Angelou style voices of hope and resistance more than we do today.
One thing remains the same throughout the generations, art has the power to shake people out of apathy and into action. It can make impact in ways that no other influence can.
The artists in Lost Poets' Salons, with more than 8 million collective followers, have an incredibly unique opportunity to be the voice of a generation. We have more daily readers than all of the Beat Poets combined. What we do with this rare global opportunity will define our legacies.
These are indicators telling you what to write about, what to create art about, what to live about.
More than likely if you're reading this, you are a member of a Lost Poets' Salon. So if this article has stirred you, go back to your salon and share the plights of the generation that call out to you, then begin creating art and poetry for the voiceless, the helpless, the hopeless and the broken.
It's not enough to talk about love, we must become love.
The Love Manifesto below is by Dave Yaden, four time Grammy winner and cultural advisor for Lost Poets. Tune in for 3 minutes and let him school you on how to find your beat . . .