vibrant attention to the present moment
May 16, 2012
Last weekend I was invited to an exhibit opening at the Boston Museum of Fine Art by former Redmoon collaborator Dorothee Perin. The opening was the usual scene, two hundred or so people milling, talking about art, eating hors d’oeuvres, sipping on chilled milk, giving speeches...
What made this opening palpably distinct was that about 100 of those guests were youth artists from across the city of Boston who had co-created the exhibit with an artist in residence. (See more about the program here)
Beyond the diversity of the audience, I noticed the attentive way they interacted with the artwork. These young artists were engrossed in an exploration of the art, pointing out what they had made and more importantly looking with full attention and curiosity at the work of their peers. They asked questions, made adept interpretations, and boldly told me (a complete stranger) all about their process.
The museum was awake in a new way and so were the youth.
I believe this is a common occurrence in cultural events, they often activate--- through vibrant attention to the present moment-- a union of people, place, artistry and experience.
In the case of youth authored cultural events the vibrant present moment is focused on the agency and artistic expression of young people. It is a powerful reversal of who we traditionally consider to be the culture makers in our city. With youth as central collaborators, we witness the event as possibility –a glimpse towards the future.
It is with this example and reminder that I eagerly await next week’s Youth Spectacle. I hope you will join us in celebrating youth as authors of cultural event.