By now I am sure that many of us has seen iconic buildings lit up in red to bring attention to the plight of the live events industry #LightSAred campaign. The live events industry range from artists to freelancers, theatres and venues, equipment suppliers and various companies and businesses that have been unable to work since the blanket ban on all events due to the Coronavirus. Similar initiatives have successfully taken place across the world where buildings, monuments, landmarks, structures and empty theatres have been illuminated in “Emergency Red” to highlight the enormous challenges facing live events, music and performing art sectors.
Many a time we overlook the importance of the arts in shaping culture, societies and life. The Arts Council of England puts it so succinctly with the following: “Life without the collective resources of our libraries, museums, theatres and galleries, or without the personal expression of literature, music and art, would be static and sterile – no creative arguments about the past, no diverse and stimulating present and no dreams of the future.”
Allow me to share a speech by a young girl sharing what the arts has come to mean for her. As a passport to take this journey your imagination is required. As a start, imagine this young girl on a school stage relaying this speech:
Greetings to you all today. I stand before you as a 13 year old learner, dancer, musician and artist and one who enjoys poetry, reading and seeks to be stimulated by creativity. I’m still growing into the person I hope to become and a big part of this development will be shaped by the arts and so I want to take you on this journey of my love for the Arts.
We start close to home. Imagine us walking into a cave and to our right we see what looks to be art or paintings on the walls. Now we move to Europe. The year is sixteen hundred and we are walking down the dusty streets of London and we hear the words of a man on stage “To be or not to be, that is the question”.
Let’s now hop over to Germany. We walk into a great theatre and we see an orchestra being conducted by a deaf maestro and what is that sound I hear *hums* ( Joyful Joyful – Beethoven).
We will be moving onto Holland and Italy next. In Holland we walk into a museum and proudly displayed is a self-portrait, let’s look closer… I see an ear missing. Now in Italy, Rome, we walk into a chapel. We look up to the ceiling and what do we see? *gasps* the hand of God.
Next on our world tour we go to Asia, starting in Russia. Now here in Russia we step into a dance studio and see ballerinas and suddenly a cane flies through the air striking one of the dancers, who humbly picks it up, hands it back and says “Thank you maestro Cecchetti.”
A little bit of a distance away we are in South Korea among thousands and thousands of fans, who call themselves ‘ARMY’ waiting to be entertained by seven young men, who have broken all cultural and language barriers.
Now we find ourselves on the other side of the world in Carnagie Hall. We are with the “Bee-Hive” listening to one of the most incredible female voices of our time.
*finger clicks* Now come back! We have been to the North, South, East and the West of the world. We have experienced and felt this wonder of what is possible through the Arts. Now for a moment let’s walk down a street or road with nothing, no creativity, no wonder, no splendour. That is a world devoid of any life. The arts allows us to live, to create, to express, to feel, to experience, to wonder, it allows us to connect and it makes us who we are as a society, as a people, as an individual. I thank you for taking this journey with me. So! For life let’s keep the Arts alive.
The insights of this young girl is truly inspiring. Let us continue to support the arts.