Building on the Arts History

As a country, we very much live in the future and don’t think much about our past. In Europe, it is all about the past. The US is at this moment where there is going to be so much change in the years to come and I hope we use the good parts of our past to become new in our future.

I grew up loving classical music. I played piano for years and guitar too. Even taught guitar lessons. I have been to countless music performances including countless theater events. NYC has endless opportunities to see something every single night. It is a gift and one of the many things that make the city magical.

The empty theaters are heartbreaking. We were talking with someone about Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts the other evening. It is truly a center for the performing arts. There are multiple theaters that support performances for dance, opera, film, and theater. Each vertical has a board around it. It is not surprising that the symphony or ballet is having a more difficult time raising capital and has been having one for years keeping the programs alive.

I have never been one for musicals but I remember seeing Hamilton at the Public. It was a game changing experience because Manuel had written a musical in rap. Genius.

Alex Poots, the artistic director and chief executive of the Shed, has built an insanely successful career in bringing the art of the past such as opera and symphonies and marrying them with new artists that push boundaries bringing new engagement with the past such as Hamilton.

The next generation of audiences needs new engagement because we should all be connected in some way to the arts. The Shed has an Open Call that puts out a commission for early-career artists from all artistic practices. They received nearly 1,600 proposals and will bring selected artists’ projects to life over the next two years.

I love this. Just like everything around us is going to change, the arts are changing too. Lincoln Center might want to take a look at what is happening at the Shed. During COVID-19, while we are all locked down thinking about what life will look like when all doors are open, that in order to make sure all arts survive, we need more Open Calls!