[After posting this on Facebook today, I decided I’d bring it over to a more permanent home here on my site.]
It’s a strange time in American culture right now. Osmo Vanska just resigned from the Minnesota Orchestra, prompting Aaron Jay Kernis to resign. The storied New York City Opera is moving to declare bankruptcy, the federal government is shut down, affecting lots more than just federal workers (read: children’s nutrition, veterans, NEA, etc.), the Teamsters are striking at Carnegie Hall, and more. I’m afraid our civilization is losing sight of the forest for the trees. I hope we can all find common ground and remember what has made human beings what they are to this day – an immense striving for greatness, cooperation, commonality, reflection, and hard work. Now is one of those times where art is the most crucial. I urge everyone to take an active role in experiencing art in any form – go to a museum, a concert, a sculpture garden, a poetry reading, a play, anything. For reasons no one’s ever been able to completely explain, humanity’s greatest analysts have not been economists, politicians, physicists, psychologists, or sociologists, but painters, poets, musicians, dancers, playwrights, actors, sculptors, etc. It’s time we get back to being human beings again. I’ll be expanding on these thoughts today and throughout the next few weeks here on my website. Because humanity is all about real connections, I look forward to creating this conversation with all of you.