President's Report 2018
A year ago, I started to write a report for 2016, but it turned into a magnum opus.
I was dipping into details of my forty-year association with Arthur Hall and quickly
lost my bearings. My intended audience kept shifting. I got all balled up. I did
have a very fine foreword by Abbott Meader, all laid out with two photos of Arthur
Hall on the third floor of Ile Ife, back in the day, but it languished, a foreword
without words to follow. Then again, the times seemed out of joint, the creative
powers disconnected. The ways of inferior people ascendant. The ways of superior
people in decline. As Wilhelm/Baynes would have it in the Classic of Changes, it was
a time of standstill and stagnation. 2017 staggered to a close, and the death of Van
Williams put a full stop to it.
The death of an elder is a library burning.
Now we approach election day 2018, a dangerous situation in which Ifa suggests it is wise
to withdraw, certainly, but to remain constant, true to basic principles and to vote!
James J. Williams visits the editing room in Belfast, November 6, 2016.
One constant through the years has been James Williams, the stage manager for many of
Arthur's concerts in Maine. Jim also rescued the ileife.org website when the original ISP
disappeared one night in 2001, and he has maintained the Arthur Hall Collection's
online existence ever since. He also teaches Nia Technique in Brooklyn, NY,
is active in progressive causes, and reads to his grandchildren.
We also keep a constant eye out for young talent coming on. We had a good call from an
angry young woman wondering what the Arthur Hall Collection was doing way up in Maine.
By the end of the call, she was enthusiastic about her potential involvement with the
collection once it is housed at Temple University, where she is an undergraduate.
Aviva Kapust in the Village of the Arts, September 23, 2018.
More young energy came from Germaine Ingram, active with the Yoruba Cycle in
Philadelphia, who introduced us to Aviva Kapust, the new director of the Village of
the Arts. Her work with Kwasi Burgee and Lily Yeh led to the creation of the Obatala
mural honoring Arthur, the dedication of which provided the great catalyst that broke
us out of our doldrums and propelled us forward once more.