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Life

Reflecting on Art, Life and College

There is nothing quite like art. It can tell a story of a lifetime without a single word and move a generation to action. Artists receive little praise for their overall contributions to the community and yet it feels almost like you need to earn the title of artist in order to use it. It is so easy to look over all the work artists put into their craft or designate it falsely as having no value beyond entertainment when you have had limited experience in it. I had heard before that art should be for everyone, but in a lot of ways it seemed like an elite craft in a world that I wasn’t a part of. High school taught me that art isn’t a practical past time or a lucrative business opportunity for young people. So despite loving it, I always assumed I would have to give it up at some point because it just didn’t seem reasonable.  

 

Since a young age, I’ve always loved performing. I spent a good part of high school in theater and as a part of an a cappella group called the Soundwaves. I would spin worlds with my words and for a time even deemed myself a creative writer. After graduating, I figured that I should try to expand on my artistic interests upon entering college. I was originally drawn to MCLA for its arts and its close connection to the contemporary arts museum, Mass MoCA. I enjoyed all the different mediums of art at Mass MoCA and the bigger perspective of the world that I felt the art gave me. So as a freshman, I entered MCLA Dance Company with no prior dance experience. I was fortunate enough that I was welcomed with open arms and put in three dances with fantastic choreographers. Dance Company quickly became like a family to me. In a couple weeks, we prepared a full show and performed it for an audience. I took an introduction to dance class, which helped me start to learn techniques. Dance Company taught me the importance of having passion for your art. I learned that dance’s unique ability to enrich a story with emotion. Dancing is not all that different from storytelling and my love for dance and music are now completely inseparable. I also have had the pleasure of being involved with different theater groups, a band, and visual arts classes. I’ve even gotten involved with MCLA’s Fashion Club and I am extremely excited to be designing for them this semester.  

 

Dance and the arts have built me up and turned off that little voice in my head that liked to say that I wasn’t good enough. The saddest thing is how little the arts are recognized for all their contributions. Art and dance don’t have to be past times for only the elite. Arts build towns, improve lives, and preserve culture. It is at the core of every country’s history and every great social movement. Yet, refusing to fund the arts has become a popular trend, and I fear that younger generations will not be able to experience the arts and all the lessons they teach as the same way I have. They have made me who I am, and as an arts management major I hope to keep art in all of its forms as a large part of my life. 

 

Bee is a sophomore at MCLA and a member of Fashion Club,WJJW, and Dance Company. She works on social media and is a staff writer for MCLA chapter.
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