Choreographer and master dance teacher, Dan Wagoner, used to us to remind us often of this truth, which I wrote about here. His wise words have echoed endlessly for me… perhaps no more so than these days.
So, I was heartened to read in The New York Times yesterday that music master Pharrell Williams is trumpeting the same theme. Both he and co-composer of the soundtrack for the new film “Hidden Figures,” Hans Zimmer, help us remember that “….’maybe, in this day and age, when everything seems to be a little crazy, the only thing you can put against the venom is music and art.’” (Mr. Zimmer)
Because, as I said before: “…if you’re making art, you’ve made a commitment to cultivate and offer a deep, ineffable part of yourself to the collective. By weaving your unique magic with the resources you’ve got, you take a stand for values like beauty, generosity, possibility, meaningfulness….
Even if no one else comes in contact with your art directly or consciously, your creative energy betters life. Art heals.
It charges the atmosphere with positivity and mitigates all too present negative forces. When you make art, you breathe into your community the life energy of the creative process itself, feeding the vitality of the polity‘s souls just as trees provide them crucial oxygen.”
While this is always the case, it is even more important when we encounter rough seas. Like right now.
The empowerment of creating art is evidenced in Pharrell Williams’s optimism “…that recent shifts in the nation’s politics [are] not going to compromise those goals [of putting women and African-Americans at the forefront of the film industry].
‘There are so many powerful people, and when we galvanize, we make a difference,’ he said. ‘We make change.’
During periods of unrest in this country, ‘the songs have been amazing,’ he said. ‘The paintings have been amazing. The design has been amazing. The fashion has been amazing. It’s what we do as human beings — we respond to pressure.’
‘Through that,’ Mr. Williams said, ‘there will be such vibrant, vivid creativity that will lead to change and inspiration.’”
Art can do that. Art does that.
‘Want to make life/the world/the Universe better, healthier, more full of possibility? Whether it’s blogging or painting or playing an instrument or dancing or you fill in the blank….GO MAKE ART!
Photo credit–Middle–Susan Parish: GUSTO Dance Project