Two weeks ago the Madame Walker Theatre Center asked me
and four other women to come and speak to young ladies about careers in the
arts. As usual, I was hesitant but
likewise, I was inspired by the time I had and what I learned from the children. I arrived at the Walker on a Saturday morning and we met in the third floor
conference room. Twelve girls attended the "Little Women in the Arts"
workshop and were eager to hear why women chose to work in the arts and what
paths they could navigate to do the same.
I gave my talk in list
form. I gave them seven reasons why I enjoy working in and for the arts in
Indianapolis. Find my short answers tailored to 8-year-olds here.
courtesy of the Madame Walker Theatre Center
Like the participants in the Little Women gathering, these youth from the Kuumba Kamp last summer are among many who attend the Madame Walker Theatre Center's specially designed programs to engage Indy's youngsters in the arts.
- The arts can be used
in many different ways. I can use the arts to get people to think differently
and to learn differently. I can use the arts to offer a new perspective and to
begin to change stereotypes.
- The arts have no language barrier. It
doesn't matter if you speak Spanish or German or English, the arts have their
own unique language that is cross-cultural.
- The arts are multigenerational. Whether one
is older or young, anyone can enjoy the arts so the audience is large. It's
- The arts will always be a part of our
lives. The arts will never go out of business. As long as there is someone with a beautiful
voice and someone who can play an instrument, there will be art. It has always been and it will always be.
- There's no right or
wrong opinion when viewing art. If you love it, you love it. If you don't like
or don't "get it," that's fine too. Art is subjective.
- I like working in the arts because the arts
make people feel better. It's proven
that when art is present, sick people heal faster. It's therapeutic.
- I like the arts because I love shoes and
clothes. People who design high heels and cute shirts are artists. We have to
remember not to put artists in a box. Those who design office interiors and
watches and your favorite sweater -- they are all artists.
It was a great exercise
to consider why I really love working amid our arts and culture scene in
Indy. The girls asked questions such as, "I want to be a singer -- how do I do
that?" and "How can I be bold like you?"
When considering their
curiosity and eagerness to learn about the arts, especially at their age, it
validates what many of us in the business already know. We need to reach Indy's youth and answer
these important questions and keep them asking. Keep our youth engaged in the
arts and foster their enthusiasm for cultural enrichment. Thanks to the Madame
Walker Theatre Center for thinking to host young girls and those of us women
who are in the arts to share our knowledge and experience. This is a perfect
example of what businesses and venues in the community can to support such
endeavors. Can you think of other ways we might engage and educate our young