The arts are our fortress, a place to renew and be refreshed.
It’s a place where we create beauty and magic. It’s a place that fortifies us with strength and certainty. Now that the outer world is increasingly in turmoil, art can be an inner world to find solace.
There are some in the outer world who want us to stay behind our walls. They want us to play, sing, dance, and draw. Make art. Leave public discourse to them—the experts. Be honest—in this rapidly chaining world, who can truly lay claim to expertise?
You are the only qualified expert on how you feel. You are the authority on your heart.
How do I feel? Everything hurts.
George Floyd’s words ring in my ear. As he pled for his life, those were among his final words, “everything hurts.” I may not have experienced the deadly, crushing weight of a knee on my neck, but I agree, everything does hurt.
It hurts to see brute force applied without conscience
It hurts to see black and brown bodies discarded
It hurts to see shattered glass and looted bounty
It hurts to see broken promises and stolen dreams
What can artists and arts leaders do as we process the pain?
Don’t be satisfied with what you don’t know, desire to know more. Ask questions. Listen.
Share your feelings and thoughts. Being articulate doesn’t matter right now; be as clear as you can be now. We need your voice.
Let the arts be our fortress but not our hiding place
Let us gain strength and solace but not remain in solitude
Let the arts fortify us so we may dare to go outside our fortress walls
Let the arts give us the courage to learn, speak, and unite.
Be an ally to someone else who is hurting. You may not have experienced their particular brand of pain, but you have been hurt before. You can unite in empathy, compassion, and action.
With Love and Respect,