The following interview was done for "CROW'S LIFE" magazine. We later learned there was no such magazine. It looks like we were taken in by fake crow news. Oh well. We thought we'd share the interview with you anyway. It's funny and informative...
HOW DID "SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT" GET STARTED?
The short answer is, it started out as a lark. And turned into a crow....
Yes it's true, there are many tails flying around as to how it actually began. The one generally agreed to be the truth is this: a bunch of self-described “odd birds” where sitting around one day talking about nature’s most misunderstood animals. The crow topped the list. They said “it ain’t fair darn it, crows always getting a bad rap.” And they thought it was sad how the media continued to disperse fears and misconceptions about the crow - year after year. So, with nothing to prove and nothing to gain - other than to see crows get a fair shake - these “odd birds” decided to launch an educational campaign, and reveal the truth about crows. Let people know crows are cool!
(artwork- Deborah Diana)
AND THEY CALLED IT "SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT"
Yep. Arts, Education, and Community tie-ins with "crows" as the theme. It kind of "took off" from there...
WHY THE CROW? Each year, tens of thousands of crows migrate to Lancaster PA to roost for the winter. By springtime they head back north. The crows overwinter stay, however, sometimes ruffles the feathers of residents and businesses in areas where the crows congregate. Some people advocate shooting and poisoning the crows. We believe humans and crows can coexist. "Something To Crow About" is a way to educate the community about crows, and Lancaster's annual crow migration. Let them know about the crow...
(artwork- Modern Magpie Movement)
BUT WHY THE "CROW"?
Crows are cool! They have many amazing qualities. They are highly intelligent creatures (scientists now believe they are smarter than dogs and chimpanzees). They have facial recognition and can remember a person's face for years. Crows are very social animals with a human-like family structure, and they take care of each other and their families. They create tools when needed, can solve complex problems, and work together to accomplish tasks etc. They are fun to watch. So why not "the crow"? Maybe we'll look at crows a little differently once we are better informed.
(artwork- Deborah Diana)
DO YOU HAVE A CROW CREDO?
How about this? "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you tens of thousands of crows, make Something To Crow About."
HOW DID LANCASTER'S "ALL-CROW" ART SHOW COME ABOUT?
The Caw for Artists went out and crow art came flying in. Artists have been drawn to crows throughout history. Lancaster artists have a history with crows too. And there's some very talented artists here. The celebrated avian artist Deborah Diana ("Best in Crow" 2016) has elevated crow to new heights. Mimi Shapiro of Lancaster creates crow collages that are visual haikus. Student artists surprise everyone every year. There's no doubt the "All-Crow" art show is a high point of the events. (artwork Mimi Shapiro)
HOW DOES AN ARTIST SUBMIT ART?
Something To Crow About organizes and selects artwork for the exhibit. The "All-Crow" art show is comprised of professional, amateur, and student "crow-themed" artwork. Interested artists should contact Something To Crow About at [email protected]
ARE THERE OTHER KINDS OF CROW ARTS EVENTS?
The crow and raven have a rich literary history. Local writers, poets, and storytellers are creating a new crow folkore. Rabbit and Dragonfly in Lancaster hosts monthly "Open Beak Night" for writers, poets, musicians, and storytellers to perform their odes to crow. They compete for honors such as free caw-fee, "Best in Crow", "Feather in Yer Cap." Something To Crow About's annual crow-haiku contest has become a favorite event. Edgar Alan Crow (Lancaster Crow-et Laureate 2016) wrote a play called "Crow-drophenia" we are producing. In the past we've held a blackbird ball and had concerts for crow and plan to do more.
CREATIVITY SEEMS TO PLAY A MAJOR ROLE
You got it! “Something To Crow About” is really about 2 things: Crows and Creativity. The events and activities help educate people about crows. They also provide a platform for creativity – for artists, writers, poets, songwriters, businesses, and organizations – to show what makes them special, what makes them “Something To Crow About.”
HOW DO BUSINESSES TAKE PART?
They typically come up with a crow, raven, blackbird-themed product or service. Or feature "Something To Crow About" specials. It's a fun way for businesses to remind people what it is they do best, what makes them "something to crow about." A way to attract customers in Jan and Feb. It's about bragging rights and reminding the community “hey check us out, we're something to crow about!"
WHO PAYS FOR IT ALL?
Crows 'R Us is our lead presenter. A Day at the World has been very kind. As the Crow Flies sponsors the "Best in Crow" award for the "All-Crow" Art Show. Other partners help in other ways. It's a community effort. And anyone who would like to support our efforts is welcome...
WHY IS "SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT" HELD IN JAN/FEB?
Jan-Feb is when tens of thousands of Crows are roosting in the Lancaster PA area. Crows are everywhere, and bring an otherwise bleak landscape to life with an artist flourish. It seemed like the best time to host the crow events and activities. By March, the crows migrate north.
(artwork- Paige Baxter)
WHO IS LANCASTER CROW COALITION?
They are our lead Crow-education partner. The Lancaster Crow Coalition knows crows! They've been educating the public and helping the city address crow issues for years. Their use of humane techniques to move the crows to areas where they don't bother people is working. The mayor is a big fan of their efforts. And their methods have been employed by other cities. They are the crow whisperers of Lancaster, and we're thrilled to have them be part of our activities. The group is presenting several crow programs for Something To Crow About 2017.
CAN CROWS CAUSE HEALTH ISSUES?
Most concerns about crows are unfounded. Crows don’t hurt anyone. They’re not dirty and they don’t spread disease. What they are is smart. They’re actually very much like people – and sometimes, crows turn up in places where people would prefer they didn’t.
Media Crows About "Something To Crow About"
Flipside PA - Lancaster's Events are "Something To Crow About" in 2016!
Town Lively announces "Something To Crow About" 2016
Jack Hubley Spotlights Crows on "Wild Moment" WGAL-8 News Jan 8, 2016
The Ephrata Review Knows Crows
Town Lively Touts Library's Crows
Something To Crow About 2016 Caw for Artists
LNP Entertainment Editor Jane Holahan Gives the Crow Low-Down:
Something To Crow About's "1st Annual Crow Invitational Art Show" Tops First Friday List!
FLY Magazine's Features Editor Mike Andrelczyk Counts Crows: http://flymagazine.net/crows-set-to-invade-downtown-lancaster-blackbird-ball-and-masquerade-saturday/
FlipSide PA says it best: Lancaster is "Something To Crow About!"
Jeff Hawkes of LNP squawks about crows. Lancaster Online Oct 17, 2014.
Maria Shea caws out to artists. Check York Newspaper's "Flipside" Oct 30, 2014!
Downtown Lancaster Gets the Caw: http://www.visitlancastercity.com/event/blackbird-ball-masquerade/
First Friday Crow Art Show: http://www.visitlancastercity.com/event/1st-annual-community-crow-invitational-art-show/
FlipSidePA- Shane Speal's Cigarbox Guitar Ball & Masquerade: http://www.flipsidepa.com/concerts/ci_27355189/shane-speal-headline-blackbird-ball-lancaster
A Big Thank You to our Community Partners.
You Guys are Something To Crow About!
Crows 'R Us is proud to present "Something To Crow About." We want to thank members of Team Crow, all our community partners, and of course the crows for making "Something To Crow About" possible. Without you this wouldn't be possible. YOU are all 'something to crow about!"