Art Makes You Look

Recently Seth Godin wrote compellingly about humanity’s ability to look away when the problem seems unsolvable. He challenges those who want to effect change to look deeper rather than look away.
One of the best ways I know to look is through art.
Today the Rockford Aces will present Kurt Bestor’s Prayer of the Children at State Solo & Ensemble Festival. Bestor wrote the piece in response to the Bosnian War. Here’s what I shared with my students as we prepared the piece:

The Bosnian War lasted from 1992-1995.

The war ended with over 100,000 dead, including many children. Many argue that the war only ended because Pres. Clinton, against objections in the U.S. Congress, intervened to stop it with a peacekeeping mission.

There are many moving pictures here. Some are covered and marked graphic. They made me cry. You are NOT required to view them.

There are currently ethic conflicts (and ethnic “cleansing”) going on all over the world – in South Sudan, Ukraine, the Middle East, and more. You and I can’t do much to stop these unbelievably pointless conflicts, but we can make this music as powerfully as we can. And we can do our best not to ignore what is happening in the world. It matters.

Here are some responses to that post:

Having this conversation in rehearsal and then sharing the results in performance can be far more effective than a history lecture possibly can. I am hoping that the Aces can synthesize the music and their own experience into a compelling performance that can create some small change. Enough small changes and perhaps we can save a lives in the coming years.
Art makes you look.