The ancient Greeks defined temenos as a sacred space, a sanctuary, governed by its own special rules. According to Anne Bogart at SITI, Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung “imagined temenos not only as an object or place, but also as an experience – a virtual meditative space that can inhabited by the mind – signifying the inner space deep within us where soul-making takes place. In its modern usage, temenos refers to areas that are distinct from the hubbub of commerce and family, isolated from everyday living spaces. This term perfectly describes 16th Street Studios, located in the Racine Arts and Business Center, Racine, Wisconsin.
You’re probably familiar with the Muses, those Greek goddesses of the arts and science, whom many through the ages have called upon for inspiration, yet you may not know of the Muses of Mirth, birthed here in southeastern Wisconsin by the multi-talented Monne Haug of Kenosha to not only inspire clever souls but to feed them, too.
In parochial grade school, circa 1967, Sister Margaret in her flowing black habit and veil, escorted my classmates and I every weekday to St. Mary Catholic Church in Kenosha to hear from Scripture and to sing hymns of our faith.
My friend, composer Karel Suchy, calls it KeRacine, pronouncing the word, in his cool Czech accent, like you’d say, “ker-o-sene.” With this term, he’s referring to the Wisconsin cities of Kenosha and Racine, but it’s more than a mashup of names for him. He’s talking about a powerful energy, fueled by the the creative culture that burns bright here.