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The Power of Art

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I once heard a debate on CBC and the question was "does the world need more doctors or artists?"  It was obvious, to me,  right away what doctors

contribute to the overall well being of our society.  As I listened to the

debate I was fascinated with the person who took the view that world needs

more artists (and this person wasn't saying doctors aren't necessary -

because of course they are).  But his arguments were about how art can be a catalyst for change, a process of healing, an opportunity for self care, an

education, a way of life.  And his argument was that being able to express

ourselves through many different ways, is healing and promotes well being.

Art requires that all be unique and express our own perspectives.   I don't

remember many of the details, but I have always said "I'm not an artist" and

so I was fascinated to hear both points of view.  Many many years later

after living in an art based community like Haliburton I have to say that my

appreciation and experience of the arts is huge.  Two weekends ago I was

feeling depleted and tired, and wanted a quiet day, and knew that being

creative would be good for my body so I signed up for a "Zentangle" day long workshop at the Sir Sandford Fleming College.  Not only was my course full, but every course in the building was too.  There were 16 people taking "Harp for Beginners". The participants in the  "Fascinator" workshop were creating beautiful head ware (I had no idea this was a hip trend now!).  There were card making, painting, felt scarf making and pottery classes also happening. It was energizing to be in that space.    I loved my class and I felt relaxed and very quiet and focused by the end.  In my busy world of doing, I found the creative spark in me and it was fun.  

This past week I was the volunteer coordinator for Dusk Dances which was held in Head Lake Park.  4 dance pieces (and a band) performed for 4 evenings at Dusk.  Over 1700 attended and my daughter was one of the children in the piece choreographed by Julie Barban - The Four Elements.  To watch those children, in their beautiful flowing costumes in the evening light by the Head Lake as they danced ballet to Tchaikovsky  was very moving.  Those children will never forget that experience I'm sure, and people in the audience won't either. The finale in Dusk Dances, called Incandescence, brought tears to my eyes every evening.  It was very touching to watch 38 local participants (mothers & sons, fathers and daughters, friends, first time dancers) all move to music that reminded us that we are all one, we are all connected, that we each have the most beautiful face, that that happiness makes us cry, that

everyone we know some day will die and you want to let everyone know that they make a difference and that you love them.  The people in that piece will never forget moving together with each other and in that beautiful

place.  And the audience will remember too.  Everyone's hearts got bigger.

That is why we need art!

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