Treasure artists - musicians, cooks, dancers, poets, actors, writers, painters…

In these times, when budgets are getting tougher and tighter — I worry about what is going to happen to our artists. There was a time in our country when artists lived among us. They taught in formal settings, or gave lessons in their studios or in their homes. They got together on Sunday afternoons at the VFW to play and sing; we danced. Many artists I have known formed collectives or cooperatives, and banded together to create and to perform. I still believe in this organic kind of pooled art. A few times in my life, I have been lucky enough to experience it.

Someone played music; other musicians and singers joined in. Dancers moved to the sounds and the rhythms. A painter set up an easel at the side of the stage, and created a piece to be auctioned or raffled. The smells of cooking food wafted through the space; visitors joined with cooks to chop and mix and decorate — the resulting culinary presentations were works of art, too! Someone took photos and videos of the fun!

So what was happening? We were seeing and hearing and smelling and tasting and touching and moving — we were engaged. Our sensory systems were super-charged and we were loving it. I don’t know how we’re going to afford the time, the energy, the resources to re-create these experiences. But we have to make a beginning to make a return!

“Art is not a thing; it is a way.” Elbert Hubbard