I admit it…I had never before heard of “Giving Tuesday,” but I have to say, I think it’s a good idea. I personally don’t participate in Black Friday; in fact, I avoid it like the plague, as I dislike shopping in general. That said, “Small Business Saturday” is brilliant. If it weren’t for the fact that Saturdays are the Jewish Sabbath, I’d be in on that 100%. I can easily find lots of interesting items to buy locally, that I wouldn’t even think to look for on the web. Both of these promotional days get straight to the idea of building better communities. Regardless of our harried lifestyles and internet access that puts the world literally at our fingertips, we human beings still crave interpersonal connection and a place to call home. The communities we build give us just that. The hitch is, we have to build those communities. It’s a do it ourselves sort of project.
Everything we need to enhance our communities costs money, but some things just don’t generate enough of it. From my perspective, it’s The Arts. Imagine a community without The Arts; without paintings, sculpture, photography, literature, ceramics, theatre, dance, film, symphonies, chamber music, opera. And that’s hardly an exhaustive list. Everywhere we go, we see Art. We surround ourselves with things of beauty…things that are thought-provoking…to inspire us, cause us to pause and take stock…and help us keep a positive perspective in a world that is increasingly challenging. Most of us take the presence of Art for granted.
The least tangible of all the Art forms is Music. When I speak of music here, I’m talking about serious Art Music, in contrast to popular styles of music. Without going into a long explanation of the difference between these, and why it’s important to understand those, let’s just say that Paul and I believe that this sort of music, classical music, has the singular, most powerful potential to enrich and transform lives. Yet, in contrast to all of the other arts, classical music, especially chamber music, is reaching far fewer people these days than the other art forms.