They say that art feeds the soul, and now more than ever we are starving! Time limitations, financial limitations and a plethora of things that are there to amuse us without us actively participating have lead us away from the basics: art, music, dance, theatre and literature. I guess even some of the basics have been out priced, especially in this economy, but part of enjoying the arts is to be creative!
I want to share with you my passion for all forms of creative expression, and challenge you to find your own experiences with the muses. The wide variety of styles, tastes, media, locales and venues truly offer something for everyone. There is no harm, no foul in saying that something just isn’t your thing, the challenge comes in finding what moves you.
Did one class trip sour you on visiting a museum, or was it visiting with someone who felt they needed to cover the entire building like a general on a mission? Did your mother invite you to a concert and then tell you it was Barry Manilow (who puts on a great show, but doesn’t rock a teen ager’s world!)? Did you see the Nutcracker every holiday and think that every performance of dance included dancing rats and large ladies with multiple children under their skirts? How about if your first theatre experience was Kafka when you were ten, or a rollicking musical when you were in your goth phase? Of course, the insult to literature most of us experienced was the ill chosen summer reading book foisted upon us. How many dogs do have to die to have educators feel that they are providing meaningful content?
We have all had bad experiences with the arts, that is in fact part of the process. Knowing what you don’t like, what doesn’t move you, is an important part of finding out what makes your spirit soar. It is unfortunate when we are scarred so young, or buy into societal or gender roles about what types of entertainment you should enjoy. Sometimes by the time we move beyond the school age years our interest in pursuing artistic experiences, whether as a participant or a consumer, is non-existent.
Honestly, unless an experience motivates us, moves us or challenges us we aren’t anxious to repeat the experience or revisit it. It is vital to find the place within you willing to try, to truly make an effort to make a space for the arts in your life. It is also a responsibility to introduce young children in our lives to various forms of artistic expression so that they can develop that part of who they are. As kids grow into teen agers and young adults we also need to be open to their muses, it is so important not to dismiss something because of our own prejudices. Being open is the key, what happens next may surprise you.
I look forward to sharing my experiences with you and accept the challenge to move beyond my own comfort zones as we explore the beauty in the world around us – the call of the muses.