“The principles of true art is not to portray, but to evoke”
For some, their dream is to stand on the stage under the lights and give their heart to the show. For me, this view is where I find my most vivid life. This is where I long to be – watching a story come alive before my eyes. It is not a passive partnership. There is a symphony created between performer and audience and I will sing its praises always. If ever there is a world without the arts, please don’t make me live in it.
Tonight I sat in a theatre. I watched a live performance and got lost in the music. It was a glorious moment!
I knew I’d missed live theatre and music during the pandemic, when so many aspects of our economy had to shutter their doors and darken their lights for the safety of us all. I knew I would enjoy sitting in the audience again, absorbing the sounds, the feel of being entertained. I did not know it would bring me to tears.
Tonight I wept in my seat. Both for the story I was listening to and for the realization of all that I had lost – that we ALL had lost – over the past 15+ months.
Theatre – the arts as a whole – is so much more than being entertained. This is where we are pushed to understand, to question, to feel, to think, to learn, to let go, to hold on. The arts pull us from our consistency and push us to the unfamiliar. This is what we lost in our separation.
Artists will hold your hand as you sink with them through anger or sorrow and then lift you on wings of laughter into heights of joy you will not find anywhere else. The darkness and light held within the colors and notes and words and movement of art will wrap around you and refuse to let go. This is what we lost in our isolation.
The arts will change you. The version of you that emerges from an experience will step out into the world altered. This new version of you will change the world that you encounter. Whether you are softer or harder, louder, or more quiet – you are changed. The art has become part of you and will weave into your being in subtle ways or in bold flashes. This is what we can never risk again.
I am blessed to live in an area rich with the arts. Music and theatre and dance and visual explosions of beauty surround me! There is never a day that you cannot find a performance somewhere, or drive by entire buildings in bloom with art. I will not take this for granted. I did not always have this luxury. I grew up in a town where the arts were certainly appreciated, but they were also scarce. Now, I am overwhelmed by the numerous choices of how to engage my senses in the world of art.
When you find art near you, I hope you will support it. Not just the big shows and museums, but the small theatres with no big marquee, the local school performances, the town art festival, and the couple singing in the corner bar. Support them with your words by telling others how wonderful they are. Support them with your time by volunteering. Support them with your applause for all they do in your community. And support them with your wallet, by buying tickets or donating to their campaigns or buying advertising in their hallways and programs and playbills.
Don’t let the arts fade away. Our world cannot breathe without it.
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