It’s Colorful, Eclectic, and Real
Arts Walk is crazy. It really is. I mean the whole downtown area of our city turns into this sort of crazy, colorful, chaotic display of art and music. And I think it is beautiful. It is an honest display of at least a decent sampling of Olympia’s artists and musicians.
As an academy, we value what is true. We also value music and art as a part of community life, more than just commodity or product that people buy. One of the beautiful things about Arts Walk is that it is FREE. Sure, there are buskers that welcome and invite audience participation and support by way of donated change or a few bucks. And that’s great. We absolutely support busking and think it is an important part of a vibrant city. There are also artists selling paintings and photography. Again, this is healthy part of a free economy and we would encourage you to support local artists, as you feel compelled.
But we live in a day where music and art (music especially) has been commercialized and packaged so much as a commodity by major record labels and producers that it is difficult if not impossible for the average person or family go out and enjoy an afternoon or evening of live music. We could say the same about many art exhibits. Arts Walk is just one example of music and art presented as a gift to the community, from artists and musicians to the people. It is a refreshingly different kind of display in a sea of music and art driven by the dollar,
It’s Communal and Collaborative
We value community. The community comes together as a whole for Arts Walk. Local businesses and city run establishments like The Washington Center collaborate to give the whole city this colorful and melodious display. We love it when people come together. And what better than music and art to bring people from various walks of life, beliefs, and subcultures together.
Something like Arts Walk is vitally important for the TIA community as well. Because of schedules, different classes and teachers, and even different locations (our guitar students for example study in DuPont), we don’t all get to be together in one place that often. At Arts Walk, we all gather under one roof. And I hope that during these times our art students will get to share their art with our music students, and they will cheer on the music students as they share their art through song. I hope vocalists will encourage each other, and horn players, etc. This would be a great time for parents to get to know each other. We all have at least one thing in common: we think music and art are special. And they really are.
Let’s let that start the conversation. I hope you too will come to know the power of art and music as the beginning of great relationships. It is a means to something that matters so much more.
For our students, and for many of the artists and musicians, Arts Walk is an opportunity to present what they have been working so diligently on. This is vitally important. We want our students to enjoy the thrill, the response of the people, the almost unexplainable thing that happens when you make live music for people, or first present your painting or daring to a crowd. And more than just presenting, there is an entirely different dynamic to doing this in the city, on the street, or in a festival or celebration like Arts Walk as opposed to displaying art in a gallery or playing a concert. Both are important.
We value people at the academy: even more than we do art and music, because art and music are simply expressions of humanity, our lives, and our world. If we don’t value people, art would have no purpose. Arts Walk is an excellent opportunity to get to know the people of this city and for them to get to know us. How can we better serve the city through arts and music education? It begins by starting conversations and getting to know folks. Something I look forward to every time we participate in an event like this, and I hope you do to!