Friday, October 19, 2012

Why Are We Here? Part II

In the Mike Nichols' movie Primary Colors Kathy Bates’ character admires a beautiful full moon and muses to her friend that they are like the moon, that they can shine and be beautiful but they need the light and energy of their friend the sun (Travolta's Clinton) to do so. A performing and visual arts center can use the same metaphor, without artists and patrons we are but a cold, dark space useless until we are filled with others’ energy. Probably not the best film metaphor as Kathy’s character kills herself in the next scene. But my point is we are facilitators, we are the middle-man in an intimate transaction that connects audience with artists and vice versa. 

That audience member takes on many visages and to me is why we are here.
  • There is the smart married couple in their early fifties, no kids or kids in college, that enjoy good food and an eclectic mix of music. They come to the MAC once a month tonight it’s jazz, next month folk music, and maybe the next classical. I enjoy talking to them in the lobby – they tell me what they are reading, share a good restaurant they have recently dined at, ask me if I have heard a particular musician – they soak up the total experience.

  • Then there is the middle-school kid who has never been to the MAC. His family is working hard to pay the mortgage and support the family and honestly arts participation is coming in low on their critical needs list. Somewhere in his being he knows that art (a song, a sunset, spoken words) have the power to move him. But his life does not allow for many opportunities to experience art until one day a musician and a visual artist walk into his school and life may never be quite the same. A person and an organization had to facilitate that experience.

  • A small bus pulls up, the doors open and brimming with anticipation a dozen people assisted by walkers, canes or the hand of a friend or loved one make their way through our front door. They are spending their active twilight years with a community of older adults and the MAC is a convenient and affordable night out on the town. Now and then when they cannot come to the MAC we manage to bring an arts experience to this most appreciative and deserving audience.

  • For me one of the most joyous moments I get to experience is holding the door open for a stream of buzzing, wide-eyed 6 year olds. “Did you see when the dancer…, The purple moon was…, It was funny when the mouse…, That was so cool.” Following this trail of energy is a smiling teacher, proud of her class, who graciously thanks us for bringing a theatre company all the way from Nova Scotia to perform for her 1st graders. It was our pleasure.

We’re here to provide arts experiences to people young and old, students and community members; regardless of your station in life or your ability to access or afford. We’re the bella luna reflecting the life giving light of the artist in the dark night.

be well

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