It is impossible to turn on the television without hearing of the many travesties occurring in the world right now. This should go without saying, but people have an implied obligation to better the lives of the individuals around them. They are encouraged to search for a solution. Oftentimes, policymakers, teachers and counselors are asked for guidance. However, there is a large group of people who are often left out: artists. These include actors, singers, dancers, graphic designers, writers and painters.
But what do visual and performing arts have to do with current events?
Whether art is taking on an active role or passive role, the arts are connected to all facets of life and these include social and political movements. In all historical movements and decisions, there is at least one art form that is attached to it. During marches, people sing church hymns. During the 20th century, jazz and blues music flourished as artists looked for ways to express feelings that otherwise remained unheard.
Artists have this unique ability to make people see things in new and different ways. Is there a group of kids teasing a girl because her hair is natural? Tell her that her hair is beautiful and write a song about it. Do you recognize white privilege? Draw what that looks like. What does the #BlackLivesMatter movement mean to you? How does it relate to you? Answer the questions by creating a devised theater piece. The possibilities are endless. Write plays, compose music, and no matter what happens, don’t stop. There is a world that needs changing, so help where you can and fix the parts that are broken.
Times of social inequality are when artists need to practice their craft the most. This has been going on for decades, and 21st century artists need to continue to make motivating art. And, quite frankly, the most beautiful art comes out of times of darkness because the art represents something so substantial. The most important aspect of art is that it allows people to see what maybe cannot be expressed simply through ordinary words.
So to the many artists out there, create art.
And make it meaningful.