On Saturday, September 26, 2015, people around the world took part in 100,000 Poets & Artists for Change, a global art project intended to promote social, environmental and political change. (See 100tpc.org for more details on the festival as a whole and visit Just Buffalo's site for info on what else happened as part of the Western New York component.)
On that sunny Saturday, the CHANGE MACHINE (an easily identifiable blue and white recreational vehicle, which has evolved often since its creation in 1995) traveled to public spaces throughout the day and evening. At each stop, visitors were invited to transorm anything they wanted about themselves and/or the world around them, in ephemeral fantasy if not always (yet) in longterm actuality.
CHANGE AGENTS Paula Watkins, Stoney Connors, Driver Don, and Ron Ehmke can show YOU how to:
Change your luck.
Change your diet.
Change your clothes.
Change your gender.
Change your gender orientation.
Change your political orientation.
Change your spots.
Change your stripes.
Change your tune.
Change your mind.
Change your life.
Change the world.
We are still posting photos and other reports from the historic event on Facebook (Ron Ehmke, Stoney Connors, Donald Kreger, Paula Watkins) and Twitter (@RonEhmke, @StoneyConnors). There are different images and words on each of these sites, so dig around a bit and maybe you'll find some you missed the first time you looked.
"But wait!," we hear you say. "This is all well and good, but what are Paula and Ron doing NEXT?"
To which we respond: "Read on!"
“Choose Yer Own Adven-Tours” is a joint venture by Western New York-based artist/entrepreneurs Paula Watkins and Ron Ehmke in collaboration with entrepreneur artist Stoney Connors, DJ/VJ Ron D M Key, and countless co-conspirators offering participants immersive/submersive experiences designed to take them on both literal and theatrical journeys through space and time, sometimes traversing blue highways and dead-end streets in a “magic bus” named the Leprechaun, and sometimes never moving an inch.
Each “adven-tour” is a one-of-a-kind event saluting Buffalo’s unsung-but-undeniable past, present, and future as an internationally significant, if sometimes invisible, hub of cultural activity.
From the pre-Prohibition-era drag bars and microbreweries of downtown (all long-since demolished) to the artist-run galleries, theater companies, and alternative spaces that have dotted the city for the last half century to the still-deep-underground movements fomenting in the minds of current-day teenagers in low-rent, as yet-ungentrified neighborhoods that the rest of the world will be glomming onto ten years from now, this innovative tour series focuses on aspects of life on the margins in “the City of No Illusions” that even 70-year-old natives never knew existed. Using years of meticulous historical research, on-the-spot reenactments, improvised roleplay, and pure fantasy, co-tourguides Paula Watkins and Ron Ehmke will reveal fascinating, often unbelievable but generally true tales of Buffalo from the days of the Erie Canal (and before!) to the era of Solar City.
If that weren’t enough, “Choose Yer Own Adven-Tours” is also the first—and, as of this very second, the only—tour company in the world to offer its guests nearly unlimited control over every aspect of their tailor-made tour. The program has been described by bespectacled bon vivants as “Bespoken Word” performance and by showbiz-savvy gamers as the latest manifestation of audience-involving entertainment.
Would you prefer YOUR tour to be 100% historically accurate, 100% fabricated, 50% truth/50% lies, or any other percentage that does not require higher math? Would you like the tour to be delivered by a native, a transplant, a man dressed as a native plant, Santa Claus, or the late Nina Simone? We will cater to your every whim. (The more you’re willing to pay, the more elaborate we’re willing to get.)
Choose Yer Own Adven-tours are perfect for out-of-town visitors, ex-pats, re-pats, Patti Smith should she be in town (it’s happened three times before), grrrls-night-out groups, illiterate bookclubbers, and everyone else who wants to have fun while learning more about Buffalo than anyone ever dreamed possible.
No matter what Adven-Tour YOU choose, Paula, Ron E, Ron DMK, Driver Don, and Stoney, along with their cast of actual actors and imaginary friends, are ready to give you anything and everything your heart desires.
For more information about Choose Yer Own Adven-Tours,
email Ron Ehmke at firstname.lastname@example.org.