Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Praise for the International Center for the Arts

"I think your concept and idea is wonderful and the center would become a vital asset for Pennsylvania. I hope in these difficult economic times that the state senators can see and understand both the economic and cultural benefits such a facility could bring to the state."

Michael P.Godamski, Photographer
Wild Pennsylvania
Philadelphia - Portrait of a City

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Tribute To Tiffany Boyte / Marketing 101 :0)

put the girl, Miss Metro-Jackson
in the Burlington coat and gloves
in the BobBoyte Honda
in the Northpark Mall

...and let her sing the Christmas songs that Martina sings here with snow falling in the mall on her eyelashes just like this...
ending with their "ANYWAY"

....AND THEN...
as she looses the coat to the red dress...
she sings


fires up the S2000
silently and smoothly

and as

twenty elegant young men in tuxes come out of the stores,
loading a small silver Christmas tree and gifts
from each mall store in the right front seat,
clearing a path through the crowd,
she eases out into the night
every hour on the hour
on every weekend
'til Christmas Eve.
(she knows all the tv contacts to be there)
no need to thank me,
I'll watch the evening news
it's the only damn way
I'll ever see my girl sing!

love always, Al

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Political Viewpoints of Al Webber, Jr.


Oh, I know all that...but if you live among the very simple cultures as I have in Africa in Togo, and even on trips in Nigeria, I saw as so many Peace Corps Volunteers saw, and remembered for their lives...that simplicity, elegance, community, politeness, cooperation, sharing, giving, respect, tolerance, and unity all abound in each culture. When a Peace Corps Volunteer returns home, the cultural shock on returning is often worse than that experienced arriving in "the bush." Canadian Volunteers returned from service in Africa and ran a campsite for us during Expo '67. They were headed back to Africa because they missed these qualities in the children in Canada in their classrooms. Obviously, I returned in 1975 to work in Nigeria after having had my first breakdown in 1966. I, too, missed the beauty of the people of West Africa as I do today. I am in touch each day with volunteers there now, helping with their programs and listening to their tales as they discover the truths and beauties of a simple but ancient culture. We were told when we arrived in Togo in our Togo Fisheries Program, "Don't just do something; stand there." In short, there is much we can learn from these cultures and much we can give...but be slow to advocate change without understanding what has taken place for thousands of years.

In our rural areas, the communities linger that foster these qualities, and people who recognize them understand their foundations, possibly even in foreign lands even on distant continents. We have had men from Mexico work here in painting the house, paving the driveway, installing gutters, and so on. With a bit of the Spanish that I have learned, some understanding of the history of their lands that I have studied and visited, but mainly with the understanding and respect for their native culture and community, when they leave at the end of the day we are brothers. Many of my co-workers at Wawa, as I coffee-hosted, would resent these quiet, respectful, subdued workers as they came in for coffee at the start of their day. But for me they were friends of great value and I loved the culture that was within them. To this day, every day, wherever I go, I find them with warm greetings, in the supermarket, at the post office, the gas station, the bank...because I took the time to treat them as brothers and fellow human beings...because the Peace Corps taught me to see and respect the beauty in all persons...not people just like me, of my economic, religious or political persuasion or of the same skin color, but all persons, truly with equality.

When our nation dives into politics every four years, and the papers are filled with scathing comments and criticisms...not comments that build but destroy...harmful for all children everywhere, I long for the beauty I have known. Every comment by every person at any time should be based on all the data he or she has at that time with no allegiance to a political party or previous religious conviction. Otherwise growth and cooperation is impossible. Ridicule, hate, money, and illegalities abound at this time. The media, as I have shown in the link, and even here in AOL highlights, screams for attention. Newspaper headlines and magazine covers and TV commentaries all cry for attention...and your money. And nothing of value is happening. Eliminate all presidents, vice-presidents, gods, political parties, partisan thinking, vetoes, aisles to be crossed, majority quotas, and let all people speak equally through their representatives or departmental officials. What do you have. Democracy as it was intended...and practiced in simpler worlds where people cared, and a stranger met you eye-to-eye with a smile wherever you went...and you were brothers, always.

If I choose not to vote for either candidate this election, it is because I know of a far finer solution.

"been there, done that" .... and it was wonderful Al



I just drove Dad up to the Birmingham Friend's Meeting, as always, and we voted. He, Republican, as always, the oldest voter in the Township. I originally wasn't going to vote at all but like Joe Pitts and Dominic Pileggi for Federal and State Senates, as they both have had continuing data on my International Center for the Arts and seem to be doing a good job. I voted for the water project for the township, knowing that whenever anything reaches the voting level, even the high school alterations, it is way overdue. I marked my decisions, took my slip-out paper face down to the nice lady at the tallying machine (who was begging not for free coffee but a hamburger) and personally slipped it in (it looks like a shredder). It read out on the screen the tallied spaces for her and she reported out loud so about six around me could hear: "You have left four votes unmarked, including the Presidential Electors!" I said, "I know," and she gave me my number and I about six people looked up, knowing me, in disbelief. Talk about your secret ballot! So there you have it. WHATEVER happens in the next four years, as in the last, I had nothing to do with it. ZERO. My vote wouldn't have made a damn bit of difference last year, and probably won't this year. If the vote is close, I couldn't afford to have half the country, 150 million people, thinking I am a total fool and an enemy to all they believe and want their America to be. Dad votes for McCain, Dave for Obama, and I Pass. When you drive by the Webbers-On-The-Hill, remember that we are "a total wash" and have nothing to do with the government of this nation, and we each voted our conscience honestly, as instructed, encouraged, and championed. If McCain drops dead from physical strain during his four years in office, or a crazed sniper takes out our newly-elected first black president, I will, as will the nation, be totally saddened by the event...but I, at least, will know that I did my very best not to put him in harm's way. And the cost of guarding that president and all his family, and the annoyance, for their entire lives, at huge expense, was never my intent. You can fund the Inaugural Ball while I send calculators to Peace Corps Volunteers in Togo, Africa, to help my friends there with business development and pure capitalism the way it used to be when the nation was young and didn't piss away all its resources on three mailings a week. Go figure!

I remain proud...after a thousand tirades dining with Dave and Dad on the stupidity of presidents, vice presidents, vetoes, electoral colleges, religious persuasions, political parties, party lines, aisles in Congress, Majority leaders and votes...THIS remains the only way I could ever be true to myself and proud of America. Al


An Essay on Election Night 2008 by Alfred C. Webber, Jr., 66

I'm the only "true capitalist" in the extended Webber family who started and ran a small business in architecture and photography, Webber Studio, yet would have died as Katrina hit the Gulf Coast of heart block a dozen times without Keystone Mercy, my only "insurance" provided by the State of Pennsylvania and Chester County through taxes of its citizens alone. Chester County hospital paid for all the medications during my three week stay. The total provided was about $100,000. Pure Socialized Medicine, pure socialism. I'm not proud that I didn't have my own coverage but a life of manic-depression, for which I was not to blame, forced me to be discharged from at least fifteen different architectural firms. Nevertheless, I helped to build schools, hospitals, nursing homes, universities, retirement communities, city halls, and more throughout five states and Nigeria. Not one firm ever offered any pension, IRA, or retirement benefit, yet were selected for the good they did for humanity. Unable to leave my Dad here at home for the last ten years, and unable to do the photography that I loved with a collapsed arch in my left foot, and now chronic Lyme Disease, I have been here by default when he has had four separate accidents that would have taken his life had I not been, collapsed on the kitchen floor, required CPR to bring him back to life. Had I commuted to a job to earn a small income, my father would be dead. Now, with Social Security providing my only income, $650 a month, on which I could not survive in a single room, I have Medicare to cover my regular bi-polar medications, yet still have county assistance (socialism) for my mandatory bi-monthly meetings with my psychiatrist, and mandatory blood tests. I pay the co-pay on everything, taking half of my Social Security every month with about $800 this year for just Lyme-related MRI's and doctors.

Right now, I don't really have a point but just an observation. I come from an upper-middle-class-income family, with Dad's income from DuPont for my entire life. I owe him and DuPont and successful corporate capitalism for my comfort, college and support through lean times and continuing illness. I have dedicated my entire life to improving life for others and am proud of my work, yet with virtually no savings, no car, no home of my own, I am left with an uncertain future with a father at 101 who needs hourly attention. My last vacation was in 1988, and I have not been out of sight for ten years. I am thrilled to share these years with Dad and take him to his many activities but often am in nearly daily pain from both my leg and Lyme, keeping me in bed hours a day and leaving me frightened for my future and for Dad's. We have the home and his savings and investments but, as we all know, a major illness can consume everything quickly. I would love to be self-sufficient, do work I love, be near to Dad, and be free always from taxpayer's care...but I don't see it happening. I love to write, can work at a computer without pain, but publishing for the first time at 66 is a bit remote. Standing for a half-hour, even at a pharmacy waiting for a prescription, can produce unbearable pain. I cannot visualize my future, even walking from a room in West Chester to a grocery store seems impossible. Both the foot injury and the Lyme are for life; neither can be treated at this point.

My point: I come from a fine home and family, college-educated parents with all siblings going to college, my own taking six years, all paid for by Dad's income, all four of us in college at one time, no less. Yet I am partially dependent on welfare and socialized medicine now and have visions of far greater dependency in the future. My brother Dave, as well. It is noble to speak of Pure Capitalism and Total Self-Sufficiency and disdain for the Welfare State and the Free Ride, yet my plight is incredibly minor compared to so many Americans beset with great tragedy, flood, fire, storm, disease, homelessness. I seek truths in government and know the joy of making a dollar become two by the end of a day. Nevertheless, sixty-five million Americans don't have health care, and the private system in place is inefficient for all physicians and staff. Education, housing, public transportation, and career opportunities are sub-standard, or absent, for many. I don't know where America may be headed in the future, but if we must avoid the realities of Americans in trouble, adherence to a particular political party or a political social system with blindness to reality could well be the ultimate downfall of any and all efforts for reform and growth.

Alfred C. Webber, Jr. Election Night, 2008 Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, USA


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Seeking Committee Members for the International Center for the Arts, Development Phase

In the winter of 1994, I created the idea of an International Center for the Arts to allow the best of all artists of all disciplines and of all nations to share in their creative processes and enjoy personal interaction at a new and elegant site. Initially, New Zealand was considered, but now seems unavailable. Now, here in the United States, I have proposed my own state of Pennsylvania to its fifty state senators as an elegant natural retreat where the Center might be established to the benefit of all the world.

I have thus far worked alone with many wonderful critiques from governments and artists around the world. I am retired now from my careers in architecture and photography and want to once again pursue the analysis and development of the ICA. The overall concept, location, formation, growth, funding and so very many other aspects need to be globally addressed and discussed. With no budget and no present committee, I would like to see at this point if many individuals from many nations might voice their ideas on a site such as this blog, as a minimal starting point. If you would be interested, please feel free to comment on any aspect, and we will see where we can go from there.

I have lived in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, USA, for more than half a century, and it is well known for its art and artists. Still, there is a world of other disciplines of art and artists that must be included in EVERY aspect of this project, so utilizing the WEB seems appropriate.


Alfred C. Webber, Jr. (Al)

The International Center for the Arts, A Proposal


Alfred C. Webber, Jr.
September 5th, 2008
P.O. Box 97 Chadds Ford PA 19317-0097

Pennsylvania State Senators
The Capitol, Harrisburg, PA 17120

Honorable Senators:

I am Alfred C. Webber, Jr., 66, architect and photographer of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. I have created, developed and communicated this “dream project” that is solely my own, without committee or funding since 1994. It is an International Center for the Arts, an elegant globally-owned and managed retreat and creative center for the best in all arts of all nations.

Originally, after much consideration, a site on the North Island of New Zealand was selected and received the praise of their own Arts Council. A photographer sent slides of his favorite sites and the area, residents and businesses were considered. Prime Minister Helen Clark, after reviewing the project, has since stated that she feels New Zealand is not the ideal site, and I have considered others over the ensuing years. Wrangell, Alaska has an elegant 134-acre site on the Intercoastal Waterway that has been considered by their city and legislature and may yet become an Art Center and School with International ties from our joint efforts.

Today, I feel that my own state of fifty-seven years, our Pennsylvania, might offer more tranquil beauty and natural security than possibly any other. Our love and preservation of our natural lands and waters is apparent on the last page here: our Protected Places. I am proposing the consideration of an International Center for the Arts, in any form, that might include a small portion of that beauty to share in permanent and elegant form for all peoples for all time. I believe the nobility, permanence and value of the project is something suited to that which we hold dear here in Pennsylvania, and America as well. As one of the founders of the first Spring Arts Festival at Penn State in1963, leading to our wonderful Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, this springs from that vision. I believe it can, and should, happen here.

Very truly yours,

Alfred C. Webber, Jr.




Room 216, Finance Building,
Harrisburg, PA 17120

August 22, 2008

Dear Sirs:

I created this project, an International Center for the Arts during the ice storms of February, 1994, and the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, inspired (as now) by the Global Interaction underway. It was intended and initially accepted for a site near Napier, New Zealand (by their Arts Council, but rejected in the past years by their Prime Minister, Helen Clark). Many persons in the arts and government globally felt it had great merit and were enthusiastic in their praise. A huge display in the HUB at Penn State during an Arts Festival was well received. I was one of the founders of the first Spring Arts Festival there in 1963 which lead to the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts...and, no doubt, my enthusiasm for this project.

I have since wondered if Pennsylvania, itself, might be the ideal location for such a Center, and, in that light, I present it now. We have vast (and no doubt, sacred!) areas of isolated and beautiful State Forest and State Game Land, not far from Interstates, that might allow a square mile or so for such a center. Building on the Pacific Rim, as in New Zealand, Hawaii, or California...or in other nations, is risking earthquake damage to structures intended to survive centuries in elegance. We are generally free of major forest fires, earth slides, hurricanes and tornadoes and have a climate that is friendly, with still the beauty of the seasons. My desire to place the ICA in a new quadrant of the planet is explained in the proposal attached, leading me to the remote elegance of New Zealand. It is only in the past few years that I have realized we may be one of the best locations right here in Pennsylvania.

It would certainly be a wonderful asset for the State and the Nation if it could be realized, one piece at a time, perhaps. Even an initial campus in the "campus-plan concept" would be wonderful, the Global Center possibly established much later. Wrangell, Alaska is still considering this option for the 134-acre site of gorgeous land there, given by the State for elegant development. The climate, however, has heavy rainfall for a portion of the year, making outside activities and concerts possibly difficult at times. Carol Rushmore, in charge of Economic Development there, has been so very supportive in every way, and a center with international aspects may be built in time.

Please note that the homepage for my ICA was allowed to lapse several years ago, and the same title was used for the wonderful ICA program at San Francisco State University, with which I have no affiliation. They are now established and published and my title might have to be changed in the future. Without new structures and a separate retreat for interaction of the global artists, their wonderful program annually brings in assorted artists from around the world. I have written them with praise and sought comments on my dream project without response. I am thrilled with all efforts anywhere to achieve our mutual goals. International Center for the Arts (ICA) SF State University

I will attach my simple and condensed web site for any consideration there at your office, and trust that the dated and vigorous presentation can be appreciated in its present form. The dream is there, and I would give it the rest of my life in a second if there were a chance it could bloom anywhere, especially in Pennsylvania. To this date, I have acted alone with simple critiques over the years and no real efforts were ever made for a grant or funding, but Bill Gates was very kind! Ideally, I would love a location where initial staff might assess all aspects and consider sites and the evolution of a project and the feasibility and international funding of such a project.

An adjacent and elegant ranch home here (in our artistic Brandywine Valley!) has been vacant for five years and would be ideal if available in a rental or lease agreement as previously for ten years. Its owner was the son of the President of the Thai Bank of New York in NYC and his intent is uncertain. He was a great friend of the family when the house was being expanded and renovated. Now some repairs due to leakage and tree work would be needed first, but he might be pleased to have a noble tenant. Its many rooms and elegant views could make a proud center for some time. This is just a separate vision! I also have commendations from many important people in government and the arts available.

Very truly yours,

Alfred C. Webber, Jr.
registered architect, professional photographer, writer, PSU BArch ‘66, APX, age 66

1-610-793-1129 (phone, fax on request)
Mailing address: P.O. Box 97, Chadds Ford, PA 19317-0097 USA
Shipping address: 1105 Brintons Bridge Road, West Chester, PA 19382-8113 USA




August 30, 2008

Dear Members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly:

Please encourage anyone there to comment on any aspect of this three-page proposal of mine on an International Center for the Arts, originally tentatively planned for the North Island of New Zealand, possibly near Napier.

Alfred C. Webber, Jr.
Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, USA

In the winter and spring of 1994, I conceived and pursued the idea of an International Center where artists of every discipline of the arts, and from all nations, might assemble to develop their specific art or a merging of art forms.

I feel that the inspirational power of the arts has increasingly been lost on a world growing progressively more mobile and possession-oriented. The artists are also caught in this pace, the busy cities now dictating their passions. Retreats and summer camps for artists are common. Should there not be the ultimate retreat, a single global location where all the arts might unite to produce a purer, more powerful force. If crime and violence seem to permeate our daily news, can't the combined efforts of all artists achieve a stronger voice...helping to unite a world only beginning to touch on its cooperative global potential?

I have visualized a Center as a part of the United Nations, under UNESCO, so that it might belong to, and be managed by the entire world. Location became an interesting problem, but the site tentatively selected was on the North Island of New Zealand, above Hawke's Bay on the east coast, possibly against the mountains of a beautiful national park. The Ministry of Culture in New Zealand is enthusiastic, and has given the project its blessings, though it is unable to help financially. A professional photographer in Napier, David Lowe, had made slides of several sites for me.

It was felt that a remote, natural location, preferably English-speaking, "between" the two hemispheres, apart from the United Nations branches in the western culture, would be best. Suggestions for alternate sites are welcome. I was looking for a beautiful natural environment where the artists might not be pursued by tourists, and could concentrate on their artistic endeavors...or relax with artists of all disciplines and nationalities.

The first project would be to prepare a Program for a Conceptual Design Competition. The International Union of Architects (UIA) in Paris has been supportive from the start. They are funded by UNESCO, and they have the task of creating and managing global architectural competitions. The Sydney Opera House, now almost the symbol for Australia, was one of their achievements. They have roughly estimated that their phase of the project might cost one million dollars.

The competition results would be publicized and displayed in centers for the arts worldwide until support and funding might be obtained. My intention is that the complex would be the finest possible, built only of timeless materials. I had envisioned a core that might include ultimate centers for the performing arts with all their support facilities.

I would like to provide housing for groups of artists, such as symphony orchestras, theater, musical, and dance companies. I propose also beautiful separate and remote studios, linked possibly by footpath, tucked into the mountainside or coastline. Writers, poets, photographers, artists of all types, might be chosen to spend a period of time at one, having it outfitted for his or her specific needs. It would be a Thoreauvian retreat with the best of neighbors. Each studio might have within a log of the artists and their work developed there.

The infrastructure for all aspects of this project is non-existent. A National Center for the Arts is not present in most nations today. My intent is that no artist can "buy" his or her way into the International Center. One might be elected by an International Council of the Arts, possibly based on the site, that studies worldwide the most notable candidates, be they individuals or groups. In addition, art students might likewise be selected to apprentice under an artist, or work alone with all the advantages of superb facilities and mentors.

It is my intention that this Center remain as elegant and timeless as an ancient temple. I don't visualize individual names being attached to buildings, studios, or portions of the complex. Visitors may be welcomed to provide audiences for the performing arts, but the serenity and beauty of the setting must never be compromised. The security and tranquility of the artists and staff must be paramount. It is not, in any way, to become a commercial windfall for anyone, lest it be forever tainted.

The International Center for the Arts is to remain open-ended in welcoming new arts and artists. The definition of The Arts is one of the most challenging parts of the preparation of the Design Program. I'd also include the latest forms of graphic arts with fine computer centers. I would include the laser and hologram arts that never existed decades ago. I need at this point recommendations from artists worldwide as to which arts of their nation should be included and globally recognized. The ICA would have centers for both broadcasting and publishing, and the work underway at the center would be shared with persons everywhere.

President Bush and all past U.S. Presidents have been sent information on the concept. Artists from most disciplines have been contacted. A ten-page bound dissertation was sent to all delegates of the United Nations. Many embassies in Washington have been mailed and faxed requested information. The National Endowment for the Arts has been sent the conceptual package by my congresswoman. All sixty-four State and Regional U.S. Arts Councils have been sent the same proposal, with very positive responses.

The town of Wrangell, Alaska on the Southeast Passage, is presently studying the possibility of building a Campus of the International Center for the Arts on a beautiful large and wooded site with a beautiful view that they have available. It is possible that regional centers or Campuses might be built in many countries so that more artists and guests could benefit from the international exchange of ideas and dreams.

Everyone knows it is a major undertaking that would take lifetimes of dedication. I believe it will happen, and that it will be one of the greater achievements of man.

Thank you so much for any comments,

Alfred C. Webber, Jr.
registered architect, professional photographer, writer, PSU BArch ‘66, age 66

1-610-793-1129 (phone, fax on request)
Mailing address: P.O. Box 97, Chadds Ford, PA 19317-0097 USA
Shipping address: 1105 Brintons Bridge Road, West Chester, PA 19382-8113 USA








...thoughts at 6:43 am, Tuesday, February 15th, 1994

... Crystal new morn...

So many arts.

So many lands.

What have I embraced with this dream?

Can it be achieved...and what can I do?

Barbra could build the nucleus with proceeds from a single concert...if just to hear her own voice on a morning such as this, clear and strong, echoing from mountain slopes of a New Zealand dream...

in harmony with Frank again...a lone piper from Peru interpreting...

a string quartet from Vienna...

Malaysian dancers intermingle with pastel holograms that catch the dawn...

...and it appears live over toast and coffee in homes from Katmandu to Nome, the ICA channel...the free channel.

Caress the will never take me back...there is no going back...

Charles Parks has already begun, this Maori morning, the clay form of an infant, born at the International Center for the Arts on the first day of the new year, 2001.

Spielberg, inspired as always, sat up all last night contemplating the reflection of the southern stars in the mountain lake...

Andrew Lloyd Webber beside him...

The best is yet to be.

Make it happen.


This site reaches artists, photographers and models and associates in most nations around the world. I sincerely ask all of you to consider this global enterprise and facility that many have said will make a better world. I welcome all comments, positive and negative by any means at any time. The International Center for the Arts is paramount in all that I do and dream. The Olympic Spirit inspired it fourteen years ago; let it inspire us all today to make it a reality. Al
"Your dreams of an International Center for the Arts pique the imagination. When realized, it will, indeed make the world a better place. Best wishes with your dream."
Edward J. Downing
President, Director
Interlochen Arts Camp
" excellent idea..."
Dennis Holub
South Dakota Arts Council
"I read your proposal for the International Center for the Arts with great interest. It is a wonderful vision.
Best of luck to you. You have clearly given this idea great thought. I hope that the center comes into being in our lifetimes."
Peggy J. Baggett
Executive Director
Commission for the Arts
Commonwealth of Virginia
"Thank your for sharing your vision of an International Center for the Arts; it is truly a remarkable concept. ...I have seen the benefit to artists, and to art, that periods of uninterrupted concentration, away from the pressures of urban living, can provide. I can only imagine the important results that such a center as you propose could produce.
I want to wish you well in your endeavors, and to thank you on behalf of artists everywhere for embarking on such an historic quest."
Julyen Norman
Visual Arts Coordinator
Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation
"Thank you for your letter outlining your wonderful ideas for an International Center for the Arts. After reading the letter, I was excited and thrilled at the possibilities of such an environment in which the world's artists would gather.
Please keep us apprised of future developments of your dream. Hopefully it will become the dream of many other people who can make it a reality."
Bonnie H. Stephens
Utah Arts Council