My passion is to help others in the community, young, old, and everyone in between, find relevance and joy in learning, performing or listening to classical music.

Monday, April 5, 2010

It takes more than just individuality to keep the arts alive

It's amazing to me how life works.  When you allow it to, one wonderful piece of the puzzle can lead to another and even though you may not know what the picture is supposed to be, you can choose to have a lot of fun putting it all together and guessing where you think you're headed.  I find myself in that place right now in my life.  There are many, many exciting pieces that I have laying on the table in front of me, some which are connected to another piece already and that are giving me glimpses of something tangible, and there are those that are still hanging out by themselves, waiting...for something...I'm not quite sure what yet.

One piece that I find myself holding in my hand a lot these days has to do with the idea I brought up in my previous post, in which I described an outing to my daughter's first live ballet performance in which a professional dancer, the director of the company, danced alongside high-schoolers and young children.  It made for an incredibly inspiring, moving performance. Then another puzzle piece popped up, on my favorite new source of all things fascinating, twitter.  One of my twitter friends had posted a link to an article called, "A Cure for Depression" that was written today by Michael Kaiser, the President for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  I find it amusing that this article is a perfect extension of my previous puzzle piece since the arts group Kaiser writes about is a dance organization but more importantly, I feel that what this article has to say is very, very important and that we do need to listen and acknowledge what we are not currently doing in the arts world, in general, which is this:  I believe that in the name of personal success and survival, we, as artists, have moved away from a society that wants to work together as a whole to preserve its kind.  I think we have lost sight of the importance of inspiring one another, of sharing with one another, of helping one another and mentoring one another so that what we have now is a lot of disconnected artists that are trying to invent the wheel each in their separate corners of the world.  The good news is that in this time of the internet, twitter, blackberry, i-phones, there is no better time to get connected and share ideas.  This is a piece of the puzzle I am currently trying to work on.

I realize that this all sounds very idealistic and probably too dreamy for many.  That's OK.  Those that know me understand that I don't dislike individuality - of course not!  For me, music is a way to express one's individuality, that's one of the things I love about being a musician.  But I also think that it's very important that we, as artists, start sharing our arts across different boundaries...across different ages, skills, and styles...otherwise I fear we may not be sharing it with anyone other than ourselves for very long.

So there we have it - two pieces to a puzzle...a professional dancer that dances side by side with a high-school ballerina...and a call for folks in the arts to become mentors, to teach, and to share...

I wonder what the picture is going to be in the end. 
Let's make it a beautiful one. 

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