Dear ICA: lets not quarrel

Dear ICA,

I am writing this in order to clear the air, at least from my perspective with regards to a blogpost I made last week: “ICA Closes 8:15 on First Friday WTF?” I want to apologize for the tone of the post as in my haste it came off mean and hateful. As I have said in subsequent edits I do not want my internet life to be characterized by this sort of “hate as public performance” and am treating this as a learning experience. I have known for some time that I react much better when I have time to consider a response, but that typically this medium encourages the response in the moment.

I also want it to be crystal clear that I have a great deal of respect for the work that the ICA does. I am frequently in attendance at events, consider many on the staff to be friends, and have volunteered time in the past to help out artists and staff. I mention this in case there are still hard feelings, I do not doubt that I am no longer on the Christmas List.

My initial ire was not aimed at any person, or even really at the institution itself, but at the string of events that led up to the closing on First Friday. I could of course be wrong about this, but it just seems like some sort of unspoken strategy to distance the ICA from First Friday. And that I do not understand.

I have worked with Cherri through another institution and I know that she is often quite insistent about getting the advertising together for FF, I am also well aware of the high degree of competence in the staff of the ICA particularly in marketing and PR so the advertising lapse can not be an accident.

I assume that the decision was made at some point to distance the ICA from SubZero. Again, I do not understand the inner workings of the organization, but last year for the street festival it seemed to generate a lot of foot traffic from people who had come to the fair. I don’t recall if it was last year or the previous year at Zer01 that the ICA took the opportunity to print t-shirts on the street and other works of art that connected very nicely to the print center. But without that and with the reduced presence on the street it is not surprising that the audience didn’t show up early.

As a teacher, I am not, nor am I ever likely to be a deep pocketed donor. As an attendee of FF though I say that I always look forward to visiting the ICA. Further I consider ICA to be an integral part of a nascent, emerging art scene in San José. I am grateful for the growth I have seen in this city over the last ten years, and have been inspired by the work the ICA has done to create a sustainable place for itself and for San José arts in general.

I regret that the tone of my earlier post was so very negative. I think the issue needed to be raised though and I look forward to visiting the ICA in the future. Please do not withdraw or scale down your participation in First Friday.