The flyers by a person (or persons) claiming to be the "East Bridgeport Communists" decrying Version Fest 12 as "gentrifying" the neighborhood has generated a lot of chatter. Now it's also produced a response.
Daniel Pugh is an artist who calls Bridgeport home, probably for longer than these assumed East Bridgeport Communists have been in the neighborhood, or identified themselves as Marxists. Pugh was also involved in the planning for Version Fest and organized Thursday night's The Art Bowl at Benton House, which saw, to your humble Editor-in-Chief, a surprisingly strong turnout.
Pugh created his own response to the East Bridgeport Communists' flyer that echoes many of the sentiments his fellow organizers and longtime Bridgeport residents have about the benefits of the festival. The text reads:
"As a West-Bridgeport-Socialist who ran last-night's VersionFest Activity, The Art Bowl, I wished you had heeded the many public calls for proposals that began in January. You might have added a strong voice to the Festival. Since January my bleeding & disorganized heart was able to put together dozens of ceramists who donated almost 200 hand-crafted bowls. A dozen foodies spent their own money to make enough soups and chili to feed a crowd of several hundred. That crowd opened their wallets and handed over $15.00 a head for those bowls and that soup. At the end of the night we had collected over $1,600 dollars. Truly a bourgeois scandal, I know.
"What's a good Socialist to do? Well, I did what I had planned to do all along. I handed over all $1613.08 to Ben from the Benton House so that it could be spent on goods for the food pantry (serving 1000 hungry families in our direct community). Here it is the day after and I am the same socialist with limited cash in my wallet but great memories and a head full of plans for how to raise even more donations at next year's event.
"So please, join us in January 2013 as we begin to plan for the next VersionFest. You have a lot of strong ideas. I am certain that with some help from others in the comm-unity you can develop a proj-ect that helps shape the Comm-unity of the Fu-ture.
"See you next year!
"PS. I don't know where the $0.08 came from but the missing $2.00 (resulting in $1613.08) was because a member of a local community center was ""two dollars short" but it was out of the question to deny them art and food."