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Freedom’s just another word...

Co-curators Rocky Pinciotti, left, and Mary Greene invite gallery visitors to create their own "love line" at “Be Mine Forever,” an exhibition of photography and poetry now running at the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance Gallery in Narrowsburg.
TRR photos by Jonathan Fox

January 30, 2013

Or is it? My dictionary defines freedom as “The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.” We are lucky, here in the “land of the free,” though far too often we take our rights and freedoms for granted. We have the right to freely vote to elect the candidates of our choice; we are free to take to the streets to demonstrate or protest what we do not like; we are free to bear arms (definitely a hotly debated topic of conversation throughout the Upper Delaware Valley these days).

I tend to steer clear of political conversation and choose to keep my opinion on that topic close to the vest. “Not my strength,” I opine when asked. “Better for me to stick to what I know best—the world of arts and entertainment. As it is, I get into enough trouble by freely expressing my views on that!”

This week marks a milestone at The River Reporter, as we publish our 17th annual “Best Of” special edition—our readers’ choice awards, where everyone in the region has the freedom to express their opinion on the people and businesses that the community at large feels deserve recognition. This is an issue that folks look forward to every year for many reasons, and the readers’ freedom to make their voices heard (TRR received thousands of ballots) is honored here today.

One would think that the freedom to express love for anyone, regardless of race, religion or gender, is a given, but for many, this “right” has been a struggle. Thankfully, we live in “the home of the brave” and this country (IMHO) has come a long way. To celebrate, the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (www.artsalliancesite.org) has once again opened its heart and doors to the public, inviting us in to explore that freedom of expression in the form of “Be Mine Forever,” the fifth in a series of exhibitions “featuring photographs and poetry expressing stages of romance, heartbreak, marriage, and lasting love.” My program indicates that this year’s show is the final one in a planned series, which seems bittersweet, given that (for me) it is the “best of.”