February 28, 2010

Children With Color

My husband and I are finding ourselves more and more active in the local art scene. From theater to dance to singing to instrumental, somehow we find ourselves at events that spotlight what our local young talent has in Palm Beach County.

The odd thing is... that in all the years we've lived her, we have never been thrust into these settings, not for the Arts, and now this year, out of the blue, we have.

We end up at big fundraisers for local theaters or award ceremonies for folks who have done a tremendous amount of work keeping the Arts in our schools when Art is being cut or providing artistic experiences for kids in neighborhoods that would not normally have the opportunity to learn things like modern dance, ballet, and voice.

We find ourselves in awe of the commitment of the teachers drawn into wanting to teach and motivate and educate children from all walks of life... from the heart. We are in awe of people who have, as I like to say, 'More Money than God', who have developed a passion for helping the Arts stay alive, when it seems so many want to kill it or at least do not see any significance. We are in awe of the children we perpetually meet who are so very... talented.

Hearing a 16 year old sing Opera, Soprano, you are moved.

Seeing young children from indigent communities dance and they are so spectacular, you want to cry.

Listening to middle school kids play instruments in such a way that you pray they always keep music in their lives.

And you wonder how people could not want to support the Arts. A civilization without Art is not civilized.

It just is.

And I am realizing the irony that we have come to realize that we have a child not like the others. We have a child that just doesn't 'fit'. We have a child that has already worn out his teacher and there are still 3 months to go in the school year. And as we realize it and try to do something about it, we continually find ourselves in situations where we meet children like him.

Children with artistic minds, that see the world through an amazingly colorful prism, where things are not linear, but light is shooting off in different directions in different colors.

I am wondering where this road is taking us... I am bracing myself... for as frought with frustration as it is... I suspect it's going to be fun.

And rewarding.

Stay tuned...

Posted by Boudicca at February 28, 2010 12:02 AM

I saw a movie yesterday that hit me in a couple of ways. 1 - I kinda relate to the whole finding parents thing. 2 - when I was younger, before I took it all for granted, music was in everything I heard. I was a freak. People made fun of me. That's one reason I shut the music out.

Anyway - you'd love it. August Rush. Now...it's sappy and completely inane, on several levels. But cried real tears at his confusion, how he was treated, how happy he was to not just HEAR the music but see it. Express it.

Like I said, it's sappy and predictable. But watch the story beneath the story......

Posted by: Tammi at February 28, 2010 08:32 AM

I, too, have one of those children. Little Man can sit at a keyboard/piano and make music with it. He did the whole acting thing in school.

He is not like the others. He is unique, just like the others. But in his own special way. Little Man does not only dance to his own drummer, he brings his own band, and is probably playing his own instruments, too.

On one hand, you sit back and think, HOLY CRAP! Why doesn't he fit in? What can I do to help him along? He's going to have it rough because he doesn't see things like others see them.
Then, on the other hand, you think- HELL YEAH! He can think for himself. He doesn't care what others think of him. He has talent, and brains. He is an amazing person.

And usually, this type of child is open, and warm, and funny, and endearing, and lovable and aggravating.

It's not the child that can't handle the world, it's usually us who do not know how to handle the child. We must remember NOT to put prisms in a black box. They deserve to shine.

Posted by: rave at February 28, 2010 02:03 PM

The Arts world is made for kids like these. My daughter is active in 'theatre', and has been exposed to so many different types of people. It's not a 'one size fits all' experience. All those people are unique in their own way and are very accepting of others.

One thing I love is that my daughter has been exposed to is gay people. Does that sound strange? But these people aren't aggressive or militant...just sharing a love for the arts. She sees them as ordinary and accepts them as they are, just as they accept her as someone who could never be gay. They all just 'are' who they are.

That's what the art/theatre world provides for these kids. Where 'different' is normal and encouraged.

(And Brown University has a summer theatre program...don't know if it's just theatre and/or music, but you might want to look into it!)

Posted by: Mrs. Who at February 28, 2010 05:52 PM