Creativity is thriving in the arts—and it’s not in the way you would think. Not the what, but the where: How it’s being delivered. Take the example of Yo Yo Ma and Renee Fleming performing in Chicago, last March. In a theater or auditorium? No way. In the middle of the work day, in the rotunda of the State of Illinois building in downtown Chicago—to the delight of the crowd.
In a joint community initiative between the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Lyric Opera, these performers—along with a chorus of high school students—delivered their music outside the traditional venues. While we have street musicians galore in Chicago—and many of them excellent—we don’t often have artists of this caliber in the day-to-day environment.
And it could be a phenomenon that’s catching on. In a public plaza in Sabadell, Spain, on May 19, there was an unexpected performance of “Ode to Joy” from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Even though it was highly produced and funded by Banco Sabadell—whatever the motivation, it doesn’t matter. The expressions on the faces of the onlookers are priceless.
As a blogger Trent Gilliss for “On Being” said, “…it’s the fascination and pure joy of the passersby that makes the moment magical.” I wholeheartedly agree. Let’s hope more companies that can afford to fund things like this, follow suit. A moment or two of inspiration—whether expected or not—goes a long way. And I don’t know about you, but it feeds my soul.